Friday, April 21, 2006

Bad math

by Laura Michaels, DI editorial writer

Who knew that math and science teachers were worth more than educators of other subjects? This is news to me, but apparently the Des Moines Register knows something I don't.

Their staff editorial on Wednesday completely missed the mark and instead succeeded in diminishing any sort of credibility the Register had on the subject of education.

Yes, math and science are crucial to a well-rounded and knowledgeable education. However, they should not take priority over reading and English, which are equally, if not more important, to a school's curriculum - and I'm not just saying this because I'm a journalism and English major. Being literate in our society is not an option; it is a requirement for success. Without the ability to read and thus write effectively, students face nearly insurmountable difficulties in other areas of academia.

Teachers of certain subjects should not be singled out to receive an increase in pay simply because they teach math instead of English. Rather, the state legislature needs to address the needs of ALL teachers when deciding the 2006-07 budget. As a state that claims to value education and yet sits at 41st in the nation for teacher salaries, Iowa needs to put its money where its mouth is.


UI Student said...

Yeah.... no.

The problem with your idea is that loads of people want to be English and reading teachers... but far fewer propective teachers yearn for life in the science lab or math room, and, thus, the thinking is we ought to be motivating people to consider these areas and to stay in them because of high demand and low availability of potential teachers.

Besides, science and math are both critical areas--indeed much more so than English, in my mind--for creating a stable future job market. Think about the number of students who show up here on campus thinking "I hope I'll never have to take a serious math class!" This is the technological age--we need people (in the form of qualified math and science teachers in our high schools) turning this tide and convincing our students to pursue educational pathways that lead to tomorrow's jobs...not an English/waiting tables degree.

average_joe said...

You're not gonna be crazy about what I have to say but.... in my experience, math is more valuable than those other subjects. I certainly don't consider all subjects equally important and I happen to consider math the most important. People who can do math well can figure out how to do most anything else....I'm not saying they can do a variety of taks better than the average joe, but the can achieve moderate success with much less effort due to the fact they've exercised their critical thinking skills more.