Weekly Math Updates
January 9 , 2008
I apologize to those of you that may have emailed me in the past month or so. I try to respond to every email I get in a very timely manner, but I've gotten a little slack due to family and personal health concerns. It now appears I've got my first ulcer (bacterially caused, not by stress :)) and so I've felt a lot like I had morning sickness and have come to appreciate my wife all the more. I also had a case of the flu, a cold, and possibly food poisoning. All in all, it was a Christmas to remember. So there's my excuse, I know it's weak, but...I guess it's the only excuse I have. I just got on a pack of anti-biotics so hopefully I'll be a little better able to respond and have the energy I used to pretty soon.
As we prepare for the next legislative session about to start in just over a week, there are some bills we'll be watching closely. Some of them have been posted and you can go check them out so here's quick summaries and links:
Math Task Force Bill sponsored by Senator Howard Stephenson
(1) The task force shall first review and make recommendations on the following
Differentiation Pay for Teachers by Senator Stephenson
requires a school district or charter school to provide a salary supplement of $5,000
Extended School Year Incentive by Senator Stephenson
The substance of this bill is designed to have professionals who are well qualified that want year-round employment, be enticed to become a teacher and have greater pay by working year round as professionals in business do. Districts would be awarded sizeable sums of money to shift to such a program and I think this has been happening in Jordan or other districts right now in some respects. It's not that kids go year round, it's a mix-up of children's schedules so that highly qualified teachers don't have 3 months off in the summer and can be paid for more teaching (at least I think that's the idea in my preliminary reading and prior conversations with the Senator). I'll
Coupled with this last bill is one of interest to me. I am aware that Alpine School District has turned down people that have volunteered to teach classes for free. For example, I am aware of a retired rocket scientist that offered to teach an applied mathematics class for free as an elective in one of the high schools, but he was turned down because he didn't have his teaching certificate. He wasn't about to go back to school and take a class to get a certificate, but he was ready to give students a REAL WORLD experience in mathematics. The problem there is that districts aren't really interested in such a class because it doesn't allow all students to stay at the same level with each other and might make someone feel bad that can't do that work. :) That said, here's something this fellow may be interested in learning about.
Resolution Encouraging the Advertisement of Alternative Routes to Teaching by Senator Margaret Dayton
The cat is out of the bag on this bill. It turns out that districts can hire professionals without teaching certificates if they have a competance based license. I don't know details about that, but the Senator's bill is designed to give greater exposure to this bill WHICH ALREADY EXISTS but needs advertised more heavily to districts and admins so they know people without teaching certificates can in fact get a job and teach in a district.
WHEREAS, the state, school districts, and charter schools need to maximize strategies
I'm curious if anyone on this list can send me an email about a teacher whose class meant a lot to you where that teacher didn't know the subject material. In other words, every teacher I ever had that I learned a lot from and pushed me to excel, was specifically because that teacher knew the content as an expert and expected me to learn it.
School Financial Disclosure by Representative Ken Sumsion
This seems like a great idea to me. It's back to basic public accountability.
For a full listing of educational related bills, go here:
You will find a number of other bills relating to charter schools as well. This could shape up to be a great session for education items.
Voucher backer inspires challenge
Till next time,
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