Friday, July 29, 2011

Why Teachers Cheat

 Many city school districts have come under suspicion lately for cheating on standardized tests, including my own fair city of Philadelphia. After the release of a recent report, over 89 schools in Pennsylvania are being investigated due to (1) “improbable gains” in test scores over the years, and (2) highly suspicious numbers of wrong answers on individual tests being erased and changed to the correct answers. My anecdotal experience talking to teachers, administrators, and students, completely corroborates this finding.

The Philadelphia School Notebook recently published this article, revealing the motivations behind cheating for one district teacher:

Confessions of a Cheating Teacher

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Worst-Paying College Majors

Thanks to Mark Morales for posting this on his facebook:

This slideshow, presented by our dear friends at Huffington Post, documents the “13 Worst-Paying College Majors” in the United States. For those of you who are too tired to click the hyperlink (I understand, I had a long day, too), here's the list:
    1. Children and Family Studies
    2. Elementary Education
    3. Social Work
    4. Culinary Arts
    5. Special Education
    6. Recreation and Leisure Studies
    7. Religious Studies
    8. Athletic Training
    9. Public Health
    10. Theology
    11. Art
    12. Art History
    13. Paralegal

What stands out right away is how many of these majors-- 5 out of 13 (not including theology, although an argument could be made for it)-- lead to the so-called “caring” professions. These are the jobs that directly relate to the growth, development, wellness, aging, and general care of people. Among these professionals are teachers, nurses, social workers, caretakers, and counselors. They are some of the hardest working individuals in the country, and their jobs exact heavy emotional and physical stress. The value of their work is immeasurable. Yet, if we were to measure it--- say, by salary-- we see that they are technically the most devalued professions in this country.

Why is this?