March 14, 2010

A Baker Qualified to Sew

Justin Katz

Add this to the strange insights into the way things work that explain more than the immediate context to which they apply:

While state officials have described problems in the qualifications of teachers at the Rhode Island School for the Deaf, the Web site of the state Department of Education lists most of them as "highly qualified" in accordance with federal law.

State Education Commissioner Deborah A. Gist said the teachers are highly qualified, just not necessarily in their current assignments.

Bet you haven't known, in the past, that when somebody in government told you that some employee or other was "highly qualified" the statement did not inherently include an implied "for the job that she's doing."

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I have a family member who is a teacher of the deaf with a masters in deaf ed.

It is quite typical that these teachers teach other things than they are specifically qualified for - because communicating with the students is more important than perfection in the subject matter.

This is particularly true with the younger students, who are often a grade or two behind their hearing peers anyway.

To put it more clearly, it is very possible that an English Major who is also a masters of deaf education will be teaching 5th graders mathematics.

That is not a big problem, as math at that level should be well understood by anyone with any educational and masters degrees.

Make sense?

Posted by: Stuart at March 14, 2010 5:24 PM

In the law we call that "malpractice."

Posted by: Dan at March 14, 2010 5:42 PM

I am in basic agreement with Stuart, particularly as it concerns students in the lower grades.

But it requires the question of why are we paying them for qualifications which they do not use?

I am very dubious about many of the Masters Programs for education people. Knowing that it results in a mandated pay increase, many are simply diploma mills. I recall a friends wife who took a Masters Degree for the pay raise. In "literature", at the Master's Level, they were reading Stephen King.

How many tax payers will be with me on "St. Crispins Day"?

By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.

(I am wondering if my friend who studied "Masters Level Literature" would recognize that one?)

Posted by: Warrington Faust at March 14, 2010 9:18 PM

Well, if it makes you feel any better, my kin with the masters makes less than 32K per year for full time work.

Now you can sleep easy. 7+ years of college and top of class in high school, and making those big bucks draining you and the other taxpayers dry!

I'm glad the conservatives are doing a "Pol Pot" over here in the USA....the new cultural revolution is here!

Posted by: Stuart at March 14, 2010 9:41 PM

"Well, if it makes you feel any better, my kin with the masters makes less than 32K per year for full time work."

Stuart, you fail to say where he/she is employed.

I have a friend in Mass; 14 years exp, Masters in educating the blind. She makes 67K and benefits which would make us all sit down. Smart gal, taught herself enough Braille over a weekend to pass the state exam. She is aware that her job in the "private sector" (the job exists) would pay about 27K.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at March 14, 2010 10:13 PM

It's long been recognized that colleges of education are mostly diploma mills (Congress even held hearings on this once).

It's also well known that the enrollees in education programs tend to be from the bottom quartile of college students.

Garbage in. Garbage out.

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at March 14, 2010 10:40 PM

Ragin, speaking of Diploma mills, did you rage about the story 5 years ago that hundreds of Bush admin and Pentagon officials had mail order diplomas?

My family member worked in the public sector (32K) and now in the private sector (32K).
I'm sure many make more. However, once again I hear the assumption that is some kind of giveaway these days, when it puts you squarely in the mid-range of New England salaries - what we call middle class. Her spouse works in insurance and makes 120K - does that sound better? Is one more valuable to society than the other?

I think everyone just likes to complain about things they have little or no power over.

So, ragin, it has been proven that teachers are dumb, eh?

If you want to talk truisms, it HAS been proven that conservatives are dumb - I think 97 IQ or lower is the norm.

That has some science behind it. How about your stat? Can you point me to the science?

Posted by: Stuart at March 15, 2010 9:08 AM

"If you want to talk truisms, it HAS been proven that conservatives are dumb - I think 97 IQ or lower is the norm."

And it HAS been proven that liberals are even less intelligent with an IQ of exactly 85. And gentlemen named Stuart have an IQ of 72. It's proven fact. Indisputable.

Posted by: Patrick at March 15, 2010 9:25 AM


That your kin makes 32k is irrelevant w/o further information. Are they just starting out? Are they working in their field? What is that field?

Moreover, gross salary is not gross compensation. In the public sector the typical employee gets: fewer working hours and more holidays / vacation (raising per hour compensation); gold-plated healthcare with little or no copay, which is not taxable income; and fabulous pension benefits -- which with early retirement ages means that their actual compensation for working time is probably double their current gross salary figure.

The media has recently run several stories describing the compensation differential between public and private sector workers.

--"So, ragin, it has been proven that teachers are dumb, eh?"

Here's one source:

You claimed that conservatives have lower IQ's. Without citation.

But hey, I'll stipulate that Michael Moore, Jeneanne Garafalo, Barbra Streisand and RI's own Pat Crowley are raving geniuses ... ha, ha, ha.

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at March 15, 2010 9:26 AM

Anyone noticing that the nitpicking liberals here like Stuart or Jeff will NEVER tell us what they do for a living.Nor does Rhody.
They DEMAND a lot of answers and justifications from conservatives without revealing anything about themselves-they remind me of "Donovan's Brain" floating in a vat of saline.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 15, 2010 9:42 AM

I think it is well settled, and known to anyone who cares, the Education Schools and there students do not rank high in academic achievement.

I think part of it is "collateral damage" from Women's Liberation. A generation, or two, ago smart women had two choices teaching or nursing. Now that they have more choices, many are not selecting teaching. (No particular criticism intended here).

Many years ago, I taught in one of the schools I had attended. The teachers were every bit as bad as I remembered them. They let the air out of my tires because I parked in another teacher's space. They would hide my coffee cup in the teacher's room, etc., etc. The smarter teachers self selected and grouped together.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at March 15, 2010 1:00 PM

Warrington, maybe they did those things to you because you are a pompous windbag who thinks he knows it all. I mean really, blahblahblahblah. Holy crap Warrington get a life.

Posted by: Bigolpolesmokerkat at March 15, 2010 2:43 PM

I expected you to pick me up for using "there" when I meant "their".

Posted by: Warrington Faust at March 15, 2010 6:25 PM

I didn't think that the dumb conservatives thing needed citation, because it is quite common knowledge. But since you asked, here you go -

Basically, conservatives have more of a caveman mind - you might consider that natural, but in the modern world the ability to not be frightened at every stimulus and also not to spread your seed to everything that spreads it's legs is a good thing. In other words, as mankind gets smarter, he gets more liberal.

Those who fight against advancement and change are called Conservatives (big C). Those that advance ideas of freedom, peace, education, advancement and cooperation are called liberals. I didn't make those definitions up, they are firmly rooted in history.

Actually, the modern conservatism has very little history. It is mostly made up recently as a reactionary outlook.

Posted by: Stuart at March 15, 2010 8:31 PM

"I expected you to pick me up for using "there" when I meant "their"."

Some of us noticed, Warrington, but didn't want to be so tactless as to point it out ...

"And it HAS been proven that liberals are even less intelligent with an IQ of exactly 85. And gentlemen named Stuart have an IQ of 72. It's proven fact. Indisputable."

Not so fast, Patrick. Let's see some back up to ... wait, what were we talking about???

Posted by: Monique at March 15, 2010 9:24 PM

I think threre's a simpler distinction between conservatives and liberals than the arrogant,snotty comparison Stuart makes.
Conservatives basically want to be left alone and liberals want to stick their noses into everyone's life,allegedly for the "common good".
Now those distinctions are a little simplistic,and I know many conservatives like to push for "morality"laws.I would rather the law stay out of relations between consenting adults.
I realize we can't have a totally laissez-faire system.Some reasonable regulation is necessary in many fields.
It doesn't always have to be the government that does the regulating,but in most cases it is.
The liberals want to micromanage the lives of individuals.That's a little different than regulating banks,health providers,etc.
Most conservatives take the attitude"if it ain't broke,don't fix it".
Sometimes change has to happen,as in the civil rights era.Some things are just wrong.But most aspects of American life haven't been wrong.
Education is a great example.The quality of public school education in NY where I grew up has deteriorated over the decadess.That wasn't because of conservatives.Education has been the laboratory of "progressives" for a long time now and they have little success to show for their efforts.They really are "regressives" if you think about it.
I don't champion big corporations either,particularly nowadays when they seem to have lost whatever sense of responsibility to their employees and the public they had at one time.
The health care legislation debate has become so bitter because liberals are saying in effect:it's our way or the highway.If a more piecemeal and sensible solution were presented,I think health care reform might materialize-such things being able to purchase health insurance like auto insurance and having a regional appeal authority that would handle complaints for any company's actions.
Some degree of tort reform.I know that is anathema to liberals because the trial lawyers in this country have co-opted the liberal agenda.
Reform of the pre-existing condition exclusions and the elimination of retroactive cancellation of coverage.
It won't bother me if insurance companies make less profits for theur stockholders.
Insurance companies in all fields hold themselves out as "protectors",but they try to weasel out of as much of their responsibility as they can.
Replacing insurers with an all-government system makes appeal of a decision much more difficult.
Just try appealing a decision in the VA healthcare system,which I am in.The care provided is almost always excellent,but the administrative bureaucracy is definitely not.
Now expand that a millionfold and you realize how difficult total government health care would be to provide at the standards people expect.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 16, 2010 6:27 AM
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