California: Who will teach our children?

December 14, 2010

During the last seven years, the number of Californians becoming teachers has dropped 45 percent, even as student enrollments are expected to rise by 230,000 over the next decade and another 100,000 teachers are expected to retire. [California Watch]

Teaching, according to state experts, is becoming less and less of a desirable profession. One report indicates that the number of college students enrolled in teacher preparation programs declined from 77, 705 in 2001-02 to 42,245 in 2008-09.

“The report puts its finger on a more urgent problem than the need to push out the very small number of teachers who are not as good as we would like them to be, and that is where we are going to get the best quality teachers in our schools that we will need in the future,” said Richard Zeiger, chief of staff to incoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

Multiple reasons are being given for the teacher shortage. Budget cuts to the California State University system, which awards half of all teacher credentials in the state,  has had to cap enrollments in teacher training programs.

Also to blame: Horrendous “market forces” that have led to 30,000 teachers being laid off in California over the last two years alone, with novice teachers being the most likely to have gotten their walking papers.

Don’t forget budget cuts. Teachers are expected to do more with less, typically teaching in larger classes, with fewer counseling and other staff to help out with hard-to-teach children. All this comes on top of reductions in salaries and benefits in the form of unpaid furlough days, increased health care premiums, and other cost-saving measures.

Experts worry that local school districts will respond to the crisis by raising class size.


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srichison

After 39 years in the business as a teacher, coach, counselor, and administrator I came to the conclusion that money is not the problem. There’s plenty of money in education. The problem is the politics at the federal and state level. Want to know why we can’t buy school supplies but have millions to build more classrooms and administration buildings? The money a local school district has to spend is MOSTLY restricted in its uses by the federal and state governments. Get the politicians out of the business of thinking they know better than your local school board, local administrators, and local teachers and the quality of education can improve with no increase in cost (maybe a decrease due to efficiencies). THEN, if you don’t like what’s happening in your schools, you have real accountability, not just a bunch of us complaining about “those” politicians that we never do anything about. Local boards are truly accountable at the ballot box – federal and state pols are not. But, good luck to us in getting the fat cats in Sacramento and Washington to let go of their “influence.”


danika

Unions are the problem. Fat cats in the unions, in bed with politicians. California owes it’s soul to the Unions. Get the special interests out of California and then see what happens to our schools…


easymoney

“The problem is the politics at the federal and state level. Want to know why we can’t buy school supplies but have millions to build more classrooms and administration buildings? The money a local school district has to spend is MOSTLY restricted in its uses by the federal and state governments. Get the politicians out of the business of thinking they know better than your local school board, ”


Nail on head!


“Unions are the problem. Fat cats in the unions, in bed with politicians. California owes it’s soul to the Unions. Get the special interests out of California and then see what happens to our schools…”


Another homerun!


For a real eye opener, do a web search on monies per student per state and the numbers will surprise you. And then you will be asking where does all that money go…

Then do a search on student test scores per state and you will be shocked to see how low most schools are in CA…


willie

If my daughter wanted and liked to pursue a career being a teacher and told me that the future of being a teacher looks bleak, I would tell her to continue following and pursuing her true heart “regardless” or she will be sorry in the future!


willie

I am kind of CCN put this community article up because it is an important eye opener for me. I am so bent based on my experience and belief that when my daughter goes to college, if she picks a curriculum for practical projections Vs a curriculum that is congenial to her heart and true nature then she must pay for her own education. However if she has the insight to follow her heart, that which she loves then the bills covered! She happens to loves music, singing, and teaching with excellent teaching logic. I hope you have the courage and insight to not allow your children to be begiled!


zaphod

“I hope you have the courage and insight to not allow your children to be begiled!”

so you are telling you ??

if not you, who?


willie

During Thanksiving, I spoke with some CalPoly students, one was not sure whether his major was correct for him looking at the future, the other switch majors twice, is this the type of circle you want your kids to go through i college? Thess kids don’t have a whole lot of time to waste (although they may not realize it) and their parents have no money to waste (its expensive)!


willie

Zaphod

The moral of my point is, if someone truely wanted to be a teacher, they should not change course because of this discouraging cloud of smoke.


ds_gray

Simple truth: There is so much regulation, manipulation, and restriction coming from the Dept. of Ed, and state officials restricting actions in the classroom, reducing the level of control teachers have with their students, the increase of requirements on teachers to get hired, etc. its a wonder ANYONE would enter this field, especially with the overhead of the teacher’s union on top of it.


Teaching our kids needs to be a priority – not a money source for bureaucrats who have never taught a child or run a classroom. In this state, education is a huge, legally mandated cash-cow, and there’s too many at the top of the food-chain, too many layers of bureaucrats, and not enough teachers. I think the ratio is something like 3.2 administrators for every teacher in a classroom, when viewed from the federal level down – that’s too top-heavy to be workable.


We’re starting to see the same thing on the medical front – no doctors pursuing a general practice because the bureaucracy has run amok. There’s just no incentive to be a teacher nowadays.


easymoney

“Teaching our kids needs to be a priority – not a money source for bureaucrats who have never taught a child or run a classroom. In this state, education is a huge, legally mandated cash-cow, and there’s too many at the top of the food-chain, too many layers of bureaucrats, and not enough teachers.”


HOMERUN, give ds_gray a cigar…

That is the crux of the problem, starting with jack o’connel and working down to a school district office near you. The amount of money thrown at the school districts in CA is huge yet we have one of the lower success rates based on that dollar amount taken in each year. When teachers have to buy supplies out of their own pockets and the county is upgrading admin buildings there is a serious problem. Cut the fat at the top and spread it around on the system…


easymoney

“Teaching, according to state experts, is becoming less and less of a desirable profession. One report indicates that the number of college students enrolled in teacher preparation programs declined from 77, 705 in 2001-02 to 42,245 in 2008-09.”

Now lets ask that question about administration…

Why are there more administrators and management than ever before and where is the money coming into the school districts going? It sure as hell is not going to the students…

Back when I was in school there was one teacher for 30 kids with no aids and only one principle with no assistants. Today the parents or other kids do the grading and every admin department head has at least one assistant, sometimes several…


danika

I have to say, the caliber of some teachers today has to be questioned. Today I came face to face with this reality with one of my employees. I was at her desk during a training session. A call came in on her cell phone and she recognized the number as being the school where her twins attend. They are 8 years old. The teacher called for an urgent matter. Now, you would think it would be a critical matter, such as the child is ill or injured in some way…nope. This teacher called to advise my employee her 8 year old refuses to dance as instructed in class. He wouldn’t dance. He was refusing to dance!


In my day, the teacher would have handled the situation and that be that. This teacher disrupted my time, my employees training and disrupted my office because the child wouldn’t dance. I was quite shocked. In my opinion, this reflects on the teacher and not in a positive way…I hope this is an isolated incident and not what parents are experiencing as the norm…


Bert

Seems like you aren’t getting the whole story from your employee. Your employee would be reluctant to tell you if the child was in trouble or something of that nature so she probably decided to make the teacher look ridiculous and omit part of the reason for calling.


danika

Bert, nope. I got it straight from the conversation. I heard every word my employee said as I was literally sitting in the next chair during the entire conversation. I could hear the teacher speaking clearly as well (she spoke loudly). I know for certain this is the whole story.


Gsan

Poll: Most want easier way to fire bad teachers

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_ap_poll_teachers


Bert

Why don’t we worry about firing bad politicians/ government workers before firing those who try and help the youth.


racket

Perhaps we have the ability to worry about both, concurrently …


danika

Bert, you know what they call a teacher who finished last in their class??? Teacher. There are bad teachers as well as good teachers. Bad teacher should not be teaching. It’s just that simple.


mancha

OK Racket- That comment is more rational and well stated….I see your point but market should dictate the higher salary then with higher standards-thereby resulting in more credentials that are more qualified to as you state, bring about well adjusted well educated kids to become adults as such…we agree!


whatdouno

Perhaps, Just Perhaps! Reforming the education process; so the children would want to learn, is the solution to the problem. It is time to stop teaching only left brain, right handed children and understand that there is more than one type of intelligence. If the children are engaged in the learning process they will become better students, with fewer behaviour problems. The lack of desire to become a teacher is not just about the money.


racket

Supply aligning with demand. Nothing to see here, just the free market at work.


mancha

our nations future generation’s success is nothing more than “the free market at work? There is more demand and yet NO money /priority for the most important job on earth-YOU are the problem-fat bankers, attornies, developers real estate scammers and corporations are all that counts to the ignorant uneducated want to be upper class….tea party hard at work against their best interests-lead by rusbo and beck and Hannity-sad….sounds like education is whats needed here!


racket

Mancha, you can tear my head off if you want to, but let’s look at the situation rationally:


If we make teaching positions worth more money, that is an incentive for more young people to earn teaching credentials. Not sure it’s worth lumping me with your nemeses for making that observation.


What you may want to hate me for, is questioning whether we want more teachers. What I believe we want is educated, well-adjusted young kids. What we have shown with the current glut of teachers is that more teaching credentials does not equate to more educated children.


Smacks Forehead

This is nit the free market at work this is socialism at work. The state is controlling the quality of the product. If it was free market you have true competition and product quality would rise thus creating the need for higher quality teachers.