Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Only 8 Percent Aware America Spends $11,000 Per Student Annually

Only four countries spend more money on education per student than America. Despite being a ravenous consumer of taxpayer funds, a Rasmussen Report released Friday revealed most Americans are oblivious of the hefty price tag:

 Voters continue to agree that taxpayers are not getting a good return on their investment in education and are not inclined to think spending more will make any difference.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just eight percent (8%) of Likely Voters are aware the United States on average spends about $11,000 on education per student per year. Forty-five percent (45%) believe the country spends less than that amount, including 36% who believe it spends $7,000 or less. Another nine percent (9%) believe the country spends more than $13,000 per student per year. A sizable 38%, however, say they're not sure how much the nation spends on the average student.

The $1.1 trillion omnibus bill recently passed by Congress provides $71.2 billion to the Department of Education. An increase of 3.1 percent from 2012. The spending increase is largely linked to President Obama’s push for major K-12 reforms.


Drug taking British teachers can return to class

Teachers with a criminal record for drug taking or theft could be allowed to keep their jobs in the classroom, according to official guidance.

Convictions for smoking cannabis, taking amphetamines or shoplifting does not prevent them from continuing to work in schools, the guidelines state.

It also means that some gambling, alcohol and driving offences will not bar a teacher from their post, the National College for Teaching and Leadership said.

Campaigners warned that allowing such offenders to continue in positions of responsibility to teach children would set a bad example to pupils.

“The job of a teacher is not just to impart knowledge to learners, it is to give them moral guidance,” David Green, from the Civitas think-tank, told the Daily Mail.

“You can’t give moral leadership if you yourself don’t set an example. If you’ve been found guilty of the possession of drugs, it implies you at least use them.”

The NCTL’s official guidance is sanctioned by the Department for Education. It has been updated following a consultation document last year which was backed by around nine-in-10 people who responded.

It was prompted by Government concerns that the NCTL needed further help when deliberating on cases of misconduct by teachers brought before their professional conduct panels.

Criticism had previously been directed at the old General Teaching Council for England – which was scrapped by the Coalition – for failing to crackdown on bad behaviour by teachers.

Between 2001/02 and 2009/10, just 115 teachers were barred from the classroom for misconduct or poor teaching.  Numbers increased to 99 in the final two years of the GTC in 2010/11 and 2011/12.

But in the first year of the new NCTL-led disciplinary panel, some 98 teachers have been banned.

A DfE spokesperson: “These are not new rules. It is wrong to say that teachers won’t be barred for these offences.

"Obviously teachers should be strongly disciplined if they have committed theft or used drugs. We are absolutely clear that teachers can be banned for life for these offences. Heads are responsible for considering whether a lesser punishment, such as suspension or dismissal, is more appropriate than seeking a life ban.”


British teachers 'are too poorly qualified': Children's education in maths and science under threat from teacher who fail to achieve top degrees

Children's education in is under threat in some subjects from teachers who fail to achieve top qualifications, an independent report has concluded.

Barely half of trainee science and IT teachers hold a 2:1 degree or better, while the figure is around 60 per cent for maths.

This compares to 83 per cent of history trainees, 78 per cent in English and 88 per cent in classics.

The University of Buckingham's Centre for Education and Employment Research's Good Teacher Training Guide warned there was a lack of good quality qualifications `where arguably subject expertise as measured by degree class is especially important'.

One in ten of the 36,898 people in their final year of teacher training in 2011-12 were also found to have failed to achieve Qualified Teacher Status.

A quarter were without a job six months after qualifying, although the report noted the `wasteful loss' was a five per cent improvement on the previous year.

Almost 81 per cent of those who trained in schools - a route growing rapidly under Education Secretary Michael Gove - found employment, compared to 76 per cent who took university-led courses.

The government has been trying to attract more top graduates into teaching with bursaries worth up to œ25,000 for high-fliers.

Report author Professor Alan Smithers said: `There are already major shortfalls of maths, physics, ICT and modern languages teachers, which school-led programmes show no sign of ameliorating.'


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