Comments about ‘Report notes shortage of high-quality STEM teachers’

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Published: Thursday, July 4 2013 11:15 p.m. MDT

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Sasha Pachev
Provo, UT

Ability to teach is a gift. There are teachers that would very well without any specific teacher training. And there are those, too many of them, that are no good regardless of how many expensive hoops we make them jump through. We need to stop promoting the taxpayer-sponsored "vocal improvement" training to the tone-deaf and start encouraging those with a gift to use it.

The money should be spent not to teaching teachers to teach, but on rewarding the results of teaching. I propose paying each student that scores well on tests that are graded by an outside impartial agency (e.g ACT, SAT, AP tests) a generous amount that would be sufficient to cover the expenses of hiring a private teacher if the student did not use the public system. This will make the naturally gifted teachers come out of hiding and the deficit will be solved.

Steve Cottrell
Centerville, UT

This is not a new problem. In 1963 when I began teaching, there were not enough math and physical science teaching majors to fill all the openings in Utah schools. In the 1990's when I was doing screening interviews for prospective math teachers, there were not enough math teaching majors graduating from all Utah colleges and universities to fill the openings in even the Wasatch front schools. Even including those with math teaching minors, there were not enough qualified applicants for those jobs. When you read this, thank your legislator who thinks we should do better, but does not make that possible.

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