It's been hard to keep up with MNPS and homeschooling fights at the legislature at the same time but in skimming the City Paper's article of last Friday this jumped out:
[Connie Smith, accountability head for the Tennessee Department of Education] told the board that many of the district’s NCLB problems can be addressed with the funding already available, if those dollars are targeted specifically to problems identified by AYP failings and by state audits.
“Math is the issue,” said board chair Marsha Warden on Thursday. “We have deficiencies in math, pretty much [in grades] ‘K’ through 12.”And this doesn't make sense to me:
One challenge Metro schools — as well as many other public school districts across the nation — faces in improving math proficiency is finding staff members. According to Warden, the district was able to significantly improve reading skills by making the “best and brightest” teachers reading specialists, allowing students to receive individualized, in-depth instruction.And creating reading specialists that allowed individualized, in-depth instruction for students didn't create any voids in the classrooms? Why can't those math teachers be replaced? This reads like we've got 'untalented' math teachers. If that's the case--I'm all for swapping out a few untalented for talented and paying the talented more if the going rate hasn't been enough to attract them.
The strategy doesn’t work as well with math teachers, Warden said, because turning a talented math teacher into a math specialist often leaves voids in classrooms that are hard to fill.
“We can’t replace those positions,” Warden said. “[Many of the people] with math skills [are] not teaching.”