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Obama Wants $1 Billion For "Master Teachers Corps"

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the teaching-the-teachers dept.

Education 561

theodp writes "The White House has unveiled a proposal to create a national elite teachers corps to reward the nation's best educators in science, technology, engineering and math. In the first year, as many as 2,500 teachers in those subjects would get $20,000 stipends on top of their base salaries in exchange for a multiyear commitment to the STEM Master Teacher Corps. The Obama administration plans to expand the corps to 10,000 nationwide over the next four years, with the ultimate goal that the elite group of teachers will pass their knowledge and skills on to their colleagues to help bolster the quality of teaching nationwide."

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critical thinking (0, Flamebait)

pablo_max (626328) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696459)

Re:critical thinking (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696553)

They are not rejecting 'Critical Thinking' (or implied 'Logic'), they are rejecting HOTS and OBE which fundamentally change learning techniques. There is discussion in the education profession whether HOTS/OBE is advantageous to all/some students over traditional education . The Washington Post article is very poorly written and misleading.

Re:critical thinking (3, Insightful)

oiron (697563) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696607)

Forgive me for asking, but wtf are HOTS AND OBE? As far as I know, one is a passing crush, and the other is a British knightly order. I fail to see how either has any relevance to education, apart from someone having hots for their teacher who was knighted by the Queen...

Re:critical thinking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696669)

Please read the link at the top of this thread.

Re:critical thinking (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696721)

Maybe someone has the HOTS for OBE Wan Kanobi?

Re:critical thinking (5, Insightful)

tbannist (230135) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696689)

"Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority." - Texas Republican Party 2012 Platform

So they oppose Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) [wikipedia.org] and Outcome-Based Education (OBE) [wikipedia.org] . The real issue for the Texas Republican Party is that these programs might lead children to question their parent's religion or politics. Personally, I think it's a sign of weakness to fear questions.

Re:critical thinking (4, Insightful)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696729)

The washington post article may not be telling the whole story, but the reasoning and explanations are right in the document. If the texas government was opposed to it because they thought it teaches poorly or has something wrong in the curriculum I could sympathize, the republican party's actual platform documentation specifically states the issue with the programs is "Challenging the students fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority". Quite simply, they oppose the idea of teaching kids to think for themselves instead of blindly following what their parents or other authority figures tell them.

Re:critical thinking (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696767)

There is discussion in the education profession whether HOTS/OBE is advantageous to all/some students over traditional education .

"There is discussion". Now there is a loaded phrase. You could also say, "There is discussion that the bleeding Virgin Mary statue is a harbinger of End Times" but that doesn't mean it should be taken seriously.

That's the new way the Right is attacking anything science-based: "There is discussion" or "There is a controversy in the field...". Yeah, except the controversy is mainly on the pages of NewsMax just above the story about how eating soy products will make you gay.

If you actually look at the "critical thinking" curricula that this whole "controversy" is about, it's pretty reasonable: "Test hypotheses" is basically what it comes down to, but that's just a bridge to far for the belly-scratchers who call themselves "conservatives" these days.

It's a good thing that I took the time out to ask a teacher about this "Critical Thinking" curricula that is driving the Right crazy, or I might have thought this was some sort of post-modern education-theory drivel and moved on. It's not. It's basic, Isaac Newton-stuff. Problem is, that if you get a kid testing hypotheses and thinking about what he's told, he might end up wondering how God put all those phony dinosaur fossils in the Earth just to fool us into thinking that we revolve around the Sun instead of the other way around. Or something.

Re:critical thinking (1)

Theophany (2519296) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696573)

Wait, the lefties at the Washington Post said that their opposition on the Right is nuts? Crap, it must be true! If we apply the same logic, that means FOX News has been right about the lefties all along!!

Get a grip.

Re:critical thinking (5, Informative)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696821)

It was in the PDF available from the Texas GOP website.

They have since tried to distance themselves from it, but left it standing, because somehow they can't go back and remove it because of "rules."

The thing about the platform document is not just the critical thinking paragraph, it's the xenophobia and outright tinfoil haberdashery and millinery in the rest of the document. The opposition to critical thinking fits right in and completes the document.

I suggest you read the Texas GOP platform document itself. It's a laugh riot. You can't download it from the Texas GOP site anymore, because I guess someone figured out that actually publishing your stupid ideas and people identifying them as stupid leads to a backlash.

So let's go with this.

http://www.tfn.org/site/DocServer/2012-Platform-Final.pdf?docID=3201 [tfn.org]

Read. It doesn't disappoint. It's even more crazy than the 2008 platform.

Be fuckin' amazed that people actually think like this.

--
BMO

Re:critical thinking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696611)

When the US builds that fence to keep the Mexicans out, they should make sure that it encircles the south, and the entire midwest.

Re:critical thinking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40697043)

At which point you starve. Unless you want to eat your cat.

Reflections from the UK (5, Informative)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696461)

I'm tring to work out from TFA whether this is aimed at recruiting new teachers, or developing existing ones. If it's the former, then there have been various similar schemes (or perhaps it's a single often-rebranded scheme) in the UK over the last decade or so. The focus hasn't always been so narrowly on the STEM subjects, but it has tended to be on "difficult" subjects, where recruitment and retention of teachers is usually difficult (and where pupil uptake and performance has been fastest to decline).

In fact, I have a friend who works in teaching who got into it via the scheme in one of its various guises. He's fairly open about both its strengths and drawbacks.

In terms of strengths, he quite openly admits that the salary supplement (which was less than the GBP equivalent of $20,000 when he joined - closer to around $8,000 equivalent) was a very attactive consideration, given that he was graduating with a fair old pile of debt. None of the other career options he was considering would have made it possible for him to move away from the parents and live independently in London quite so quickly. He's also noted that he (and others like him) actually know his subject (maths) to the extent that they can actually field questions from students that go away from the narrow syllabus. He was horrified by how many of his older colleagues were dependant on being allowed to stick to a very narrow syllabus.

On the other side of the coin, a lot of his intake to the graduate scheme dropped out relatively quickly - within the first year in many cases. The scheme was highly focussed on underperforming schools - which largely tend to be those which have the most severe discipline problems. It's no secret that many classes in those schools are more about crowd control than education. As my friend is the oldest of 6 siblings, he came to this with a natural advantage. By contrast, those who had gotten onto the scheme on the basis of academic ability often simply couldn't cope with the levels of misbehaviour, abuse and violence that are endemic in our less impressive schools and dropped out.

The other problem revolved around the reactions of other teachers - and particularly the teaching unions - to the scheme members. This is a profession where pay and career advancement had long been (and is still largely expected to be) determined by length of service, rather than performance or potential. Having a bunch of "bright young things" on additional pay and a fast track to Department-head and other management positions went down in most staff-rooms like a cup of cold sick. At the same time, the unions (membership of which is not mandatory, but is widespread) did everything they legally could to make life unpleasant for them. If you find yourself on a "Fast Track" scheme like this, you need to be prepared to be a bit of a staff room pariah.

So yeah, it's not a bad idea in theory, but expect results in practice to be mixed.

Re:Reflections from the UK (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696569)

"I'm tring to work out from TFA whether this is aimed at recruiting new teachers, or developing existing ones."

It's neither. The Chicago Mobster is just funneling more graft to the unions in a desperate attempt to buy votes as they already have internal pollong showing a massive loss for Obama in November.

Whenever you see a government program you need to understand that the name they attach *never* indicates the actual goal of the the effort.

Depatrment of Energy - they produce no energy.
Department of Education - they educate no one.
Affordable Healthcare Act - does nothing to provide healthcare and will increase costs

You are unbelievably naive if you believe Obama and his team have any interest in furthering the education of our young people.

Re:Reflections from the UK (2)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696591)

Corps members will lead ongoing professional meetings and teacher development activities; assist their schools and school districts in evaluating and providing feedback to other teachers; and validate and disseminate effective practices to improve STEM instruction.

Uh oh. People with scientific backgrounds, evaluating my older sister, a grade-school teacher who thinks the moon landing was faked? That could spell trouble for her ;)

An interesting side effect of this scheme, whether by design or by accident, should be to help push creationism out of the classroom. People with degrees in scientific fields are far less likely to be creationist than the general public. If these people are evaluating other teachers, I can't help but think that'll have an influence. Even when teachers aren't supposed to be teaching it, I remember having a number that tried to work it in subtly. I remember a science teacher who, when we were covering the dating of rocks as discussed in the textbook, added in something like, "but you can't trust the numbers on how old rocks are because if you take different samples from the same rock you can get really different ages".

Re:Reflections from the UK (2)

platypussrex (594064) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696665)

Corps members will lead ongoing professional meetings and teacher development activities; assist their schools and school districts in evaluating and providing feedback to other teachers; and validate and disseminate effective practices to improve STEM instruction.

So they will not be paid to teach as much as they will be paid to lead meetings... just what we need in the education system is less teaching and more meetings -not-

Re:Reflections from the UK (2)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696887)

*Someone* should be evaluating teachers. Do you want it to be someone who knows what they're talking about or someone who doesn't?

I know, I know, it's happening during the Obama administration, so it must be a bad idea. But can we get past that for just a second and think about this objectively? Should we be evaluating with people who don't know a darn thing about STEM subjects? Or maybe just with standardized tests? So is it okay if Mrs. Johnson teaches her students that we're all inhabited by body-thetans so long as her students can pass a state or national standards test?

Re:Reflections from the UK (3, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696919)

So they will not be paid to teach as much as they will be paid to lead meetings... just what we need in the education system is less teaching and more meetings -not-

It really all depends on what you need from the "education" system, doesn't it?

Teachers’ Unions 101: ‘A’ Is for ‘Agitation’ [nationalreview.com]

Re:Reflections from the UK (-1, Troll)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696775)

Corps members will lead ongoing professional meetings and teacher development activities; assist their schools and school districts in evaluating and providing feedback to other teachers; and validate and disseminate effective practices to improve STEM instruction.

Uh oh. People with scientific backgrounds, evaluating my older sister, a grade-school teacher who thinks the moon landing was faked? That could spell trouble for her ;)

It will go down badly in Texas. Some of these Graduates might teach that evil-ution thing

Re:Reflections from the UK (5, Insightful)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696769)

In terms of strengths, he quite openly admits that the salary supplement (which was less than the GBP equivalent of $20,000 when he joined - closer to around $8,000 equivalent) was a very attactive consideration, given that he was graduating with a fair old pile of debt. None of the other career options he was considering would have made it possible for him to move away from the parents and live independently in London quite so quickly. He's also noted that he (and others like him) actually know his subject (maths) to the extent that they can actually field questions from students that go away from the narrow syllabus. He was horrified by how many of his older colleagues were dependant on being allowed to stick to a very narrow syllabus.

This is one of the keys - a teacher should know the subject he/she is teaching. Having a teacher who fears/dodges off-syllabus questions is probably quite demotivating for the student. When I was in high school (some decades ago), our maths teacher died suddenly two years before we were due to graduate, and there was "difficulty" finding a replacement. The solution was that two postgrad engineering students did it as part-time jobs. They were great, not just being closer in age to us than the older teachers, but they both knew more than enough maths, were very keen on the subject, and imparted all sorts of unifying insights that weren't on the syllabus then. We had a "real" maths teacher again for the final year of high school, but he made the subject dull again.

On the other side of the coin, a lot of his intake to the graduate scheme dropped out relatively quickly - within the first year in many cases. The scheme was highly focussed on underperforming schools - which largely tend to be those which have the most severe discipline problems. It's no secret that many classes in those schools are more about crowd control than education. As my friend is the oldest of 6 siblings, he came to this with a natural advantage. By contrast, those who had gotten onto the scheme on the basis of academic ability often simply couldn't cope with the levels of misbehaviour, abuse and violence that are endemic in our less impressive schools and dropped out.

The second key is the parents, since it is they who will impart the love of learning (or not) at an early age, and provide encouragement (or not) by the way they value their kids' achievements at school. This key is largely missing in the more deprived areas, and consequent problems involving discipline and rejection of authority can be contagious when large numbers of the kids are dismissive of education. It's a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem, unless one adopts some kind of dispersal of the kids among other schools whose pupils are more attuned to learning (this is also not without drawbacks, and bussing has a poor reputation in the US).

The other problem revolved around the reactions of other teachers - and particularly the teaching unions - to the scheme members. This is a profession where pay and career advancement had long been (and is still largely expected to be) determined by length of service, rather than performance or potential. Having a bunch of "bright young things" on additional pay and a fast track to Department-head and other management positions went down in most staff-rooms like a cup of cold sick. At the same time, the unions (membership of which is not mandatory, but is widespread) did everything they legally could to make life unpleasant for them. If you find yourself on a "Fast Track" scheme like this, you need to be prepared to be a bit of a staff room pariah.

Teachers' unions in the US - good luck with that. Your image of "two teachers one cup" is probably accurate enough as an estimate of their reaction.

Re:Reflections from the UK (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40697029)

Obama wants $1 Billion for public sector union jobs, so they in turn can donate to Democrats. You don't seriously think this proposal is about education, do you?

we don't need it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696465)

This country is already overrun with literate smart people.

We don't need more wasteful spending. We need to spend this money bombing, uh, (throws dart at map)..

Madagascar.

More money for our corporate masters. That's the Amerikun way.

Re:we don't need it (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696547)

This country is already overrun with literate smart people.

We don't need more wasteful spending. We need to spend this money bombing, uh, (throws dart at map)..

Madagascar.

More money for our corporate masters. That's the Amerikun way.

I agree. America really needs to give the Chinese and other Asian countries a chance to catch up in the education department

Reward good behavior? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696475)

It's not going to work with conservatives. They want to punish all teachers, although bad teachers especially. Rewarding good behavior isn't in their MO... Only rewarding greed and selfishness works for them.

Re:Reward good behavior? (5, Insightful)

jacknifetoaswan (2618987) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696625)

Please. As a conservative, methinks you're talking out your ass. We have no problem with public school teachers. What we have a problem with is unions that continue to protect teachers that are poor performers or don't adapt to new teaching techniques, which is exactly the reason why we're in the sad state we are, these days. The point is that as teachers reach tenure, some, not all, can become complacent, and just use their job for a paycheck, while others go out of their way to create interesting, stimulating lesson plans. Who gets rewarded more? In most cases, the complacent one, as they've achieved tenure, they get greater raises and it's nigh on impossible to fire them. As a realist, I think this program is a step in the right direction, incentivizing good, young teachers to excel and actually TEACH their students, rather than just read out of a book. ON the other hand, nothing the federal government ever does ONLY costs a billion dollars.

Re:Reward good behavior? (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696849)

It's not going to work with conservatives. They want to punish all teachers, although bad teachers especially. Rewarding good behavior isn't in their MO... Only rewarding greed and selfishness works for them.

But the STEM teachers must be greedy and selfish, otherwise why would they be attracted to the $ bonuses, pay increments, and promotion prospects? You don't think they're like other teachers, who impart their knowledge/ignorance out of love[*] of doing so...

[*] For positive and negative values of love.

Obvious money giveaway is obvious (4, Insightful)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696481)

Obama has been looking for ways to release money into the economy as stimulus. I would much rather see it given to teachers than spent making and expending explosives where brown people live.

Re:Obvious money giveaway is obvious (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696521)

I would much rather see it given to teachers than spent making and expending explosives where brown people live.

I would too. My two problems are that:
1) there really ought to be a third option.
2) I doubt any less will be spent on explosives as a result of this program.

Re:Obvious money giveaway is obvious (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696545)

Giving money to teachers is cool and all, but when it comes to actually stimulating the economy, killing foreigners is the only known effective solution.
You have to reduce the supply of labor, and you do that by killing laborers.

Re:Obvious money giveaway is obvious (3, Insightful)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696597)

Obama has been looking for ways to release money into the economy as stimulus. I would much rather see it given to teachers than spent making and expending explosives where brown people live.

He's already been doing that since he's been in office with no results. This is just an election ploy to get votes.

Re:Obvious money giveaway is obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696811)

so children, which type of fallacy does this response fall under?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies [wikipedia.org]

Re:Obvious money giveaway is obvious (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696911)

In some sense, basically all political activities(save only the occasional throwing-your-career-on-the-grenade 'giving them what they need not what they want' ones) are 'election ploys'.

However, simply by virtue of that, stating the fact becomes nearly irrelevant to evaluating any politician's suggested program(doing so would be roughly analogous with replacing all reviews of consumer products with 'this is just a ploy to make money', which is pointless; because we want to know about how good they are, not the obvious fact that the seller hopes to profit).

There are electoral ploys to get votes that also happen to be good ideas(if we are very lucky indeed, they even get votes because they are good ideas...) There are other electoral ploys to get votes that are outright terrible ideas, from essentially every perspective except vote-getting, and then some that consist of taking a side between two irreconcilable interests that have pretty clear upsides for one side and downsides for the other.

So that leaves us with the more interesting(and difficult) question of whether this program is actually a good one.

Re:Obvious money giveaway is obvious (0)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696923)

He's seen few results because of the republican ploy to fight tooth and nail against everything he tried to do, even a republican health care plan.

Re:Obvious money giveaway is obvious (0)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696741)

than spent making and expending explosives where brown people live.

So, it's OK with you if people of other colors get bombed, just not "brown people"? What a splendid use of the highly over-used race baiting phrase "brown people" to demonstrate racism.

Re:Obvious money giveaway is obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696803)

Nice try. He said "where brown people live" because that's where we are using bombs and where we most likely will use bombs next. Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb ba France? Where are we bombing non brown people? What country with non brown people could we possibly invade? We bomb brown people because the majority of American people don't think of them as people or civilized or whatever excuse they use to make killing people OK.

Just like the good ol' day of the crusades. Saracens aren't people so go get 'em boys.

Re:Obvious money giveaway is obvious (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696851)

What a splendid use of ignorance of parody to demonstrate a lack of sense of humour.

Re:Obvious money giveaway is obvious (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696929)

Hi I'm from slash dot and I'm a Boot licking idiot who worships anything the democrats do. This sites a joke.

Like foreign aid (4, Insightful)

xzvf (924443) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696969)

One billion to give 2500 teachers a $20K stipend. So it costs $400K per teacher to provide that $20K raise?!!!!

Teachers' Union (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696503)

Some Teachers' Unions frowns upon this.

Feh. Obama buys more votes with taxpayer $$ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696517)

It's so much fun spending other peoples money, isn't it?

We are 15 TRILLION dollars in debt yet they keep spending like drunken leftists. Why worry, they can print all the money they want.

And these teachers go on to brainwash the young to be good little socialists such that they vote for more and more big government spending.

We are truly in deep shit if we do not trow these tyrants out of power in November.

Vote Romney for president and conservative in all other offices on your ballot.

Wake up drones!

Re:Feh. Obama buys more votes with taxpayer $$ (-1, Troll)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696537)

Can someone doing work on slashcode please place a trigger that mods any comment with the work "socialist" automatically to -1... please...

Re:Feh. Obama buys more votes with taxpayer $$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696551)

Have fun at -1, commie!

Re:Feh. Obama buys more votes with taxpayer $$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696743)

Can we do the same with people who abuse "air quotes"?

Re:Feh. Obama buys more votes with taxpayer $$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696555)

Or not.

Re:Feh. Obama buys more votes with taxpayer $$ (2)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696559)

Of course the vast majority of that debt was spent while Republicans were in power and getting the US involved in very costly wars. Not all, granted, but a majority I am sure.
Obama is trying to do something to improve the lot of all Americans, obviously the Right can't have that, only the quality of life for the very rich and powerful should be improved. The Republicans seem bent on opposing anything that might improve the US at the moment, so that no credit can be given to Obama and the Democrats. This is counter productive and a disservice to your country IMHO.

Re:Feh. Obama buys more votes with taxpayer $$ (2)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696655)

Of course the vast majority of that debt was spent while Republicans were in power and getting the US involved in very costly wars. Not all, granted, but a majority I am sure.
Obama is trying to do something to improve the lot of all Americans, obviously the Right can't have that, only the quality of life for the very rich and powerful should be improved. The Republicans seem bent on opposing anything that might improve the US at the moment, so that no credit can be given to Obama and the Democrats. This is counter productive and a disservice to your country IMHO.

Keep drinking the kool-aid.

Re:Feh. Obama buys more votes with taxpayer $$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696661)

"the vast majority of that debt was spent while Republicans were in power and getting the US involved in very costly wars."

Oh good grief will you shut up about Republicans? Who cares about Republicans? We need to get rid of the lot of them and elect conservatives. Do you see me justifying the spending coming from any Republican president? Obama has spent this country into more dept that all previous presidents COMBINED. Put down your DNC talking points memo and use your brain.

"Obama is trying to do something to improve the lot of all Americans"

How? By nationalizing the healthcare system lowering quality of care and increasing costs? By spending the country so fast into debt that we will never be able to recover from it? You think this administration intends to do anything to help us citizens? What? The economic stimulus was promised to reduce unemployment and it hasn't, more money pissed away with no effect. Expansion of the welfare state and increased numbers of people on food stamps. Your man is a fraud, a mobster who is only interested in more and more power.

And you just suck it all up and smile don't you. Have fun driving your Obama car that runs on Unicorn farts, drone.

Re:Feh. Obama buys more votes with taxpayer $$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696687)

If you honestly believe that it matters one fuck-knot who is in office as to the direction of this country, you need to wake up. Money is power, and regardless of who our congresscritters, president or other various reps are, the same people, year in and year out are the ones in power.

Re:Feh. Obama buys more votes with taxpayer $$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696797)

Don't tell me both parties are the same, thats bullshit and you know it. The ACA was passed with 0 Republican votes. The Republicans are worthless generally, but they are less worthless than the Democrats and our only chance is to throw out the current lot and force the Republicans back into the box we call the Constitution.

Re:Feh. Obama buys more votes with taxpayer $$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696951)

The only difference between republicans and democrats is that republicans are more overt about who they receive bribe. . . . err campaign donations from.

Re:Feh. Obama buys more votes with taxpayer $$ (2)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696761)

Ever heard of the No True Scotsman fallacy?

Re:Feh. Obama buys more votes with taxpayer $$ (1)

hackula (2596247) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696961)

We need to get rid of the lot of them and elect conservatives

Where is the conservative who I can actually vote for in the real world again? Mittens Romney is what a conservative looks like in the US today. Denying this is nothing more than an Only A True Scotsman fallacy.

Re:Feh. Obama buys more votes with taxpayer $$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40697055)

Nothing was nationalized, whole healthcare is still in private hands. You are watching too much propaganda. There is nothing in that law that would make price higher or healthcare worst.

Btw, American healthcare is already much higher than healthcare in any other western country. And its results are, well, not as good as other western countries. But it seems to be important to stop the only serious attempt to solve these problems. Because we hate Obama and it does not matter what is in his laws cas we hate him so we are against.

Re:Feh. Obama buys more votes with taxpayer $$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696699)

Of course the vast majority of that debt was spent while Republicans were in power and getting the US involved in very costly wars. Not all, granted, but a majority I am sure.
Obama is trying to do something to improve the lot of all Americans, obviously the Right can't have that, only the quality of life for the very rich and powerful should be improved. The Republicans seem bent on opposing anything that might improve the US at the moment, so that no credit can be given to Obama and the Democrats. This is counter productive and a disservice to your country IMHO.

BULLSHIT. [wikipedia.org]

Obama/Pelosi/Reid have added over 1/3 the ENTIRE US public debt in little over three years.

I even provided a pretty picture that your small brain can understand. With colors to help.

Re:Feh. Obama buys more votes with taxpayer $$ (4, Informative)

jacknifetoaswan (2618987) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696703)

Actually, you're wrong. The national debt was roughly $10T when Bush left office in 2008. It's now pushing $16T, three years and six months into Obama's term.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57400369-503544/national-debt-has-increased-more-under-obama-than-under-bush/ [cbsnews.com]

http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/ [brillig.com]

Re:Feh. Obama buys more votes with taxpayer $$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696973)

Actually, you're wrong. The national debt was roughly $10T when Bush left office in 2008. It's now pushing $16T, three years and six months into Obama's term.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57400369-503544/national-debt-has-increased-more-under-obama-than-under-bush/ [cbsnews.com]

http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/ [brillig.com]

Not only that, almost all the debt added under Bush II was done after Democrats took control of the House and Senate in 2006.

The Pelosi/Reid/Obama debt is about HALF the entire US debt.

Re:Feh. Obama buys more votes with taxpayer $$ (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696847)

Obama is trying to do something to improve the lot of all Americans

With Other Peoples' Money, which has a cost to all US residents. This program seems relatively high value for the money spent, but it still might not outweigh the costs.

It's also worth noting that this program puts money into so-called "high need" schools, which I gather is a euphemism for poorly run public schools. That seems to me a rather poor use of public funds and good teachers. I don't have a good solution to the poorly run public school problem except to get the students out of the school, say by paying them vouchers to go elsewhere.

Re:Feh. Obama buys more votes with taxpayer $$ (5, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696593)

It's so much fun spending other peoples money, isn't it?

We are 15 TRILLION dollars in debt yet they keep spending like drunken leftists. Why worry, they can print all the money they want.

And these teachers go on to brainwash the young to be good little socialists such that they vote for more and more big government spending.

We are truly in deep shit if we do not trow these tyrants out of power in November.

Vote Romney for president and conservative in all other offices on your ballot.

Wake up drones!

Yes, the whole program could fund another four days of the US presence in Iraq [msn.com]

Re:Feh. Obama buys more votes with taxpayer $$ (1)

jacknifetoaswan (2618987) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696739)

Or, roughly three hours of federal government operation.

Re:Feh. Obama buys more votes with taxpayer $$ (1)

digitalsolo (1175321) | more than 2 years ago | (#40697007)

A valid point. That does not mean we should keep spending, however.

Speaking from my personal standpoint, if I was 100k dollars in debt, spending 10 dollars on some sunglasses is really of no impact to my debt. That still doesn't mean that I should continue excess spending and instead of working toward resolving my debt. Small steps are often the most effective way to shift policy in the appropriate direction. In reality it probably does NOT matter, since this ship is so far off course it's unlikely to be righted anyway.

FWIW, this may be a very well thought out, effective program that will greatly benefit everyone. Being from the government, I find that highly unlikely.

And to head things off at the pass, no, I'm not a Conservative, or a Libertarian, or any other stupid labels.

Re:Feh. Obama buys more votes with taxpayer $$ (3, Insightful)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696605)

Hey, dumbass. Are you aware that fully half of the deficit is due to the Bush-era tax cuts? You know, those ones that were put in place when Republicans claimed that deficits didn't matter? The ones that turned a budget surplus into a deficit? Yeah, those. The endless money we spend on foreign wars accounts for another 1/4 of the deficit. Spending stimulates the economy, not austerity.

Re:Feh. Obama buys more votes with taxpayer $$ (2, Insightful)

moeinvt (851793) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696663)

If there was any indication that Romney and his cronies were not "tyrants" who would exhibit the same degree of fiscal insanity as the current crop of politicians, I might consider voting for them.

The Geroge W. Bush era clearly demonstrated that we have two parties of big government in Washington DC. There is no longer genuine political opposition on a policy level. The two parties are just fighting over who gets to play Santa for the next few years.

Vote for Gary Johnson, Jill Stein or whomever. The only wasted vote is one cast for Democrats or Republicans.

Re:Feh. Obama buys more votes with taxpayer $$ (1)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696755)

The problem isn't just on the spending side of the books (incidentally, funny how conservatives NEVER criticise wasteful spending on defence or subsidies to business who don't need them). There's a cashflow problem, due to falling tax revenues, due in part to drunken idiots on Wall Street crashing the economy, and drunken idiots in Congress voting for goodies like tax cuts that nobody can afford.

Sounds like a REALLY big version of Greece if you ask me. Too many arseholes sticking their hands out for free money, and not enough people with brains explaining how it's all going to get paid for.

Re:Feh. Obama buys more votes with taxpayer $$ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696921)

"how conservatives NEVER criticise wasteful spending on defence or subsidies to business who don't need them"

Bullshit. You cannot support that. All spending needs to be cut to the bare minimum to support necessary government functions, basically national defense and little else. All waste is up for cutting, this is what conservatives believe. The problem is the spending, period.

"tax cuts that nobody can afford"

That doesn't even make sense. Reduce spending, confiscate less taxes, leave the people the hell alone and keep your statist hands off of my damn money.

Any other questions?

once again, it's the parents, stupid (4, Insightful)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696527)

almost every "smart" kid at school is that way mostly due to parents making sure he does his work and understands everything

Re:once again, it's the parents, stupid (2)

theNetImp (190602) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696557)

Yeah, that's kind of hard for the parents who don't understand things themselves. There are lots of adults who don't understand algebra, yet their kids are in algebra class and need help. Therefore it's up to the teacher to pick up the slack.

Re:once again, it's the parents, stupid (5, Insightful)

DarkFencer (260473) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696677)

Though I think it is helpful when the parents know and can help the children, its more than that. Parents who help and encourage their children and create an environment where their children can succeed is more important than anything.

You can have parents who have very little formal education who can truly be great parents and can help their children do what they didn't/couldn't.

Re:once again, it's the parents, stupid (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696927)

I'm sorry but if you can't help your kid in elementary school then you should be doing the homework with them. There is nothing hard or advanced in elementary school, that by the time your an adult you shouldn't know. If a parent can't assist there child in the courses there being taught then they should be going back to school.

Actually, it would be both (1)

oiron (697563) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696673)

Parents can make their kids work, but if it's not their subject, it wouldn't really be much more than carrot/stick. A teacher is the one who helps most of the kids to understand and develop themselves in the subject.

Re:Actually, it would be both (4, Insightful)

Loughla (2531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696749)

Parents don't have to 'make their kids work,' they have to encourage their kids to work, and teach them the value of an education. I believe that what the poster was trying to say is that if parents don't encourage education, the student won't succeed. That rule stands --regardless of ability--. There's research there - go to ERIC, and search the words 'parental involvement correlation with student achievement'. That's a basic, basic fact about education. Teachers are only glorified babysitters if parents don't teach the kids to value education.

Re:Actually, it would be both (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696817)

Some teachers, sure. But I had plenty of teachers who just made it worse. We started trigonometry in 7th grade, but I didn't understand it at all until four years (and four teachers) later. The first two teachers were utter crap who couldn't explain it in any way other than how the textbook explained it. The third teacher was better, but just couldn't make it click. The fourth teacher was great and I went on to take calculus with her as well. But that's a 25% success rate for math teachers in my school. If I didn't have my parents pushing me at home, even though they didn't understand it any better than I did, I would have given up by the second teacher.

Re:Actually, it would be both (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696991)

These are the teachers we need out of the education system. As a teacher you should be a master at inspiring and training kids. When you can't explain concepts from a textbook in a way that it becomes very natural for kids then you do not deserve to teach. Parents are the icing on the cake, but before you ice it you need a solid base made up and that is the teachers job. You wouldn't let a non baker in a bake shop so why let a crap teacher in a class room.

English. (1)

owenferguson (521762) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696575)

What about English? Teach that better, motherfuckers.

Re:English. (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696839)

but we alrdy knw englsh good u cnt axpect us 2 gt bttr!!!!

It hurt to write the above. Even in jest.

This won't help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696621)

Bold initiatives like this always sound good in theory, but tend to be hollow in practice. The last big federal education interevention was "No Child Left Behind" and that actually made things worse.

Spending lots of money to create "master" teachers isn't going to change much, if anything. If throwing money around was the solution, then the dept of education would be seeing much more success.

Save for desegregation, federal interference in public school education has largely been a failure. Why go down this path even further?

this is evil socialism (0, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696623)

the poor deserve to have stupid children, as god intended

Re:this is evil socialism (2)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696667)

Stupid doesn't mean uneducated.

Re:this is evil socialism (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696963)

is our children learnings? is our children learnings?!

i thought so not so much

Difference between Obama and a drunken sailor? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696627)

When a drunken sailor runs out of money, he has to stop spending.

Re:Difference between Obama and a drunken sailor? (2)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696937)

When a drunken sailor runs out of money, he has to stop spending.

Or he can wait in an an alley, mug a passerby and buy another drink.

How about the low hanging fruit first? (4, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696633)

I can think of many things which would improve the quality of public schools without raising taxes:

1. Tort reform. Serious, hardcore tort reform at the state level which takes an axe to all of the areas where frivolous lawsuits can be brought would eliminate the argument for any policy that is grounded in the fear of what some idiot might sue over.
2. End zero tolerance under pain of imprisonment for anyone who punishes a student for acting in self-defense.
3. Remove any student who is constantly disrupting class. If they become a problem (and don't have a documented mental handicap), simply expel them and kick them out onto the street.
4. Establish a general policy of erring on the side of pacing the class to the speed of the top 50% of the class, not the bottom 50%. If the bottom cannot keep up, offer them tutoring; if they fail objectively, fail them for the year.

Eh - Re:How about the low hanging fruit first? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696715)

2. End zero tolerance under pain of imprisonment for anyone who punishes a student for acting in self-defense.

Eh? Are you saying that there is currently zero tolerance of punishing a student who is acting in self defense (with imprisonment as a sentence) and you want to end this? Seriously I don't know what you'r saying here

Re:How about the low hanging fruit first? (4, Interesting)

Loughla (2531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696795)

Here;s my experience in education talking:

3. Remove any student who is constantly disrupting class. If they become a problem (and don't have a documented mental handicap), simply expel them and kick them out onto the street.

If they are a problem, the parents will just get them diagnosed as something. The kid could just be a little shit, and somewhere, someone will diagnose him/her as having oppositional defiance disorder.

"4. Establish a general policy of erring on the side of pacing the class to the speed of the top 50% of the class, not the bottom 50%. If the bottom cannot keep up, offer them tutoring; if they fail objectively, fail them for the year.

Tried that once - parents lose their minds. Remember - teachers have a class of 20-40 little special fucking snowflakes to deal with. Most parents believe that their kid is the most special, and that if little Johnny fails the teacher has done something wrong. It is damned near impossible to hold a student back - not because of the school, but because of the parents and their propensity to sue at the drop of a hat.

Re:How about the low hanging fruit first? (2)

qbast (1265706) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696893)

[...] and their propensity to sue at the drop of a hat.

And here you have the root cause of many problems currently plaguing USA.

Re:How about the low hanging fruit first? (1)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696807)

> 4. Establish a general policy of erring on the side of pacing the class to the speed of the top 50% of the class, not the bottom 50%. If the bottom cannot keep up, offer them tutoring; if they fail objectively, fail them for the year.

So the slowest students would be stuck at some level until enough of them accumulate to drag the speed down significantly and some of them get into the next year, where the same thing would happen again?

Re:How about the low hanging fruit first? (3, Insightful)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696813)

Better yet, put classroom troublemakers into referral units/borstal/whatever to get them the help they need, while letting kids who want to learn get on it without being disrupted.

And cop to the fact that cleaning up other people's chaotic lives is expensive -- but is just part of the cost of doing business as a civilized society.

Good teachers are fine (2)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696649)

But if they're not going to get rid of the bad teachers then they're just pissing in the wind. Not to mention pissing away a billion dollars.

Its a cunning plan (4, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696653)

The term "corps" gives it away. Once they have signed they will realise that they have signed for military service, and due to a change of plans are due to be deployed in Iraq.

Won't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696709)

Really what does it matter? Teachers can only do so much. The best teacher's hands are tied if the students will not meet them halfway. Yet fewer and fewer students are interested in STEM because their parents don't value STEM, their community (think churches) does not value STEM and their society does not value STEM (think job market). Want to make STEM work? let me suggest taxing capital gains the same as regular income so bankers and "managers" don't get special financial treatment compared to engineers. Want to get communities to value STEM? Limit the value of cults by taxing religious organizations, at least make them pay local property taxes like everybody else. They do not respect the separation of church and state so why should muni's go bankrupt fixing roads for them? Want to make STEM interesting? Enunciate a real national goal for STEM, like the space race only maybe a bit more here and now. Personally, I like a CAFE rule of 40 kilometers per liter by 2020.

will pass their knowledge and skills on? (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696725)

They "will pass their knowledge and skills on"? Uh, how? Why?

The other teachers will be sitting in their own classes. They won't be watching the better-paid one. Teachers have work assigned to them, and after they finish they want to go home to their families or run off and get drunk. They are human.

Getting decent teachers requires two main things. First, the long-term (decades) pay has to look OK. (this isn't long-term) Second, the discipline problems must be solved. A couple bouncers in every classroom might do the job, as long as they actually do drag the disruptive kids out of class with a bit of minor violence.

What's with the militarism, America? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696789)

Teacher corps? What will the program be called, "War on Ignorance"?

No Teacher Left Behind... (0)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696791)

There's no hint at what makes a teacher "elite", but he promises lots of cash after the election. He promised a transparent administration and this is the most transparent attempt to buy votes ever.

Teaching excellence (5, Interesting)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696845)

From everything I've read about successful education systems, the best systems have one feature in common: world class teachers who are valued, and paid accordingly.

I think, given what we know right now, this stands a reasonable chance of being a stunning success.

I think it's a disgrace that teaching isn't as prestigious and hard to get into as law or medicine, given it's extreme importance to the way our societies work.

Re:Teaching excellence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40697037)

Its not prestigious because its government run. These teachers don't have to compete against private schools in a fully privatized education market.

Competing on a level playing field without government monopoly in the way is the real solution, and let the private schools worry about how to incentivize successful teachers without a shared burden.

More Money != The Answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696863)

We've thrown too much money at education in the U.S. already, or, more appropriately, we've thrown too much money at everything surrounding education but not necessarily to improve the actual education of an individual student. The number of people employed in public education has nearly doubled since 1970 while enrollment has only gone up 8.5% [1]. With this much money as is being thrown at public education in the U.S. one would think that we'd be turning out the best and brightest but we're not. So maybe more money is simply not the answer.

I agree in general with providing incentives to be better teachers but how about providing disincentives for teachers that are clearly just not good at their jobs? The first step should be accountability for the existing workforce, not just throwing more money at it.

[1] - http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303734204577465413553320588.html

Another $ Billion to waste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696889)

Another $ Billion boondoggle proposed by a failed President to help bribe votes from a sector of the public (Teacher Union Bosses) that he already has in his pocket. He knows there is no way a Congress facing a 33% annual budget deficit is going to even consider another wasteful spending program, but it will give him something to talk about that keeps left wing news reporters from asking about all the lies he has told, the crimes he continues to conceal behind Executive Privilege, and his many failures to lead.

How about (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696891)

Okay this is actually a really good idea however what is being done about the teachers who don't care and can't teach? Smart kids derive from good teaching, parents, homework and peers have a role but over all good teaching will win out all the time. I think there should be a second committee to fire all teachers who aren't able to teach.

No national governmental role in education (2, Insightful)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696895)

Our Founding Fathers never envisioned a Federal role in public education. Public education is and should be managed on a local/regional level. These attempts to overreach Federal powers need to be stopped.

Ron Paul 2012 - (even if I have to write him in)

Want more money for education (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40696901)

try gutting the useless infrastructure of non teaching bureaucrats in school systems. Our "high" school has a principal, his direct supporting staff, three vp principles their staff, purchasing ( though we also have a dedicated department), etc. etc. Thats just the high school. 29% of the school district staff not teaching. All for a town of 25K. When we tried to trim the bureaucracy the union stepped in an struck.

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