#ncga: Senator Berger PREACHES IT.

philbThe state Senate’s big kahuna went in front of the biggest, most-prominent Common Core-loving, spend-more-and-more-and-more money crowd and told them a few things I am SURE they didn’t want to hear: 

Republican Senate leader Phil Berger made blunt remarks about public school reform at a recent gathering held by Best NC, a business-backed education advocacy group.

He suggested “scrapping schools of education” and likened investing in teacher assistants to investing in manual typewriters.

“The stakes are too high to be risk and conflict adverse when it comes to education policy,” he argued. [..]

Right on, right on.  Okay, Mr. President pro tem.  Tell us some more:

[…] Berger explained the state should either try to improve the programs that aren’t working or no longer invest in them. He pointed to the UNC schools of education as an example.

“[They] need to do a better job of preparing teachers for the classroom,” he said. “We either need to fix our schools of education in North Carolina or scrap them in favor of new, different approaches to teacher preparation.”

Berger also talked about cutting back on teacher assistants. This year, the senate budget called for cutting thousands of teacher assistant positions – up to 8,59745623500 by some estimates – in favor of smaller class sizes.

After long negotiations, the final spending plan kept money for TAs intact. Still, Berger argues that TAs don’t have a meaningful impact on student performance.

“We will spend almost $400 million on TAs next year,” he said. “I equate it to an office supply business that chooses to continue to invest in manual typewriters.” […] 

He is so right on Schools of Education.  Those are nothing more than leftist indoctrination centers.  Rarely do you have new teachers graduating from college with some expertise in a teachable subject.  Education Schools on our university campus focus on all kinds of liberal gobbledy-gook like diversity, self-esteem, and feelings. (The last time I checked exactly NONE OF THAT will get students into college or qualify them for a productive, paying career.)  Want to teach math?  Get a math degree. 

It’s troubling to have folks teaching K-12 without actually specializing in the subject matter they teach.  Teaching these days — after all of the red tape administrative crap is done — is a whole lot of leaning on the answers in the textbook’s teachers manual. 

I have a friend who took an early retirement from a major international accounting firm.  He wanted to teach high school math.  He got turned down by the local school system.  He didn’t have an education degree or “certification.”  *Never mind his TWO masters degrees and over two decades as a leader in the world of high finance.*

And teacher assistants?  To listen to the media — and some of the whiners in the linked story — teacher assistants are absolutely vital to educating our kids.  Listen to this — likely — education degree holder:

“Manual typewriters don’t give hugs, dry tears, work one on one with struggling students, run copies, relieve teachers for whatever reason,” wrote Heather Robbins.

Nope. Giving hugs, drying tears and helping students with homework IS A PARENT’S JOB.  Unfortunately, way too many alleged grownups have surrendered parenting duties to the local DSS, law enforcement agencies, and the public schools.  In my early school years, we had parents and grandparents (and the occasional student teacher) helping out in the classrpboom. 

Albert Einstein taught us that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.  Public education, for far too long, has involved pouring a lot of money into a tried-and-not-so-true process that has been steadily failing our kids.  Berger is right.  In business, when things aren’t working well, you make adjustments to right the ship.  Why not in public education?