The challenge of recruiting and retaining strong math and science teachers – comments from Gradebook

The Gradebook post on SB 1368 has attracted some comments on the problem of recruiting and retaining strong math and science teachers.  These comments are apparently from teachers.

The problem is, the schools do not have teachers teaching math. They have people certified, who can read a text book. A lot of them do not even have a mathematical mind. (from “skafer 1”)

The people who have the brains to take tough science and math classes don’t go into teaching. They go into careers where they will actually be able to make a living. Who wants to work that hard in school and then have a career that pays so poorly? (from “goldengirl”)

This leads me to mention the mass exodus of science teachers at my high school. We have lost 3 already this year, all to higher paying, less stressful jobs. They were all sick of spoonfeeding the curriculum to the students to help them pass the classes. (from “msreasonable”)

The only way to keep math/sci teachers from leaving for greener pastures is to pay them differentially than other teachers in 6-12. Despite the fact that we already have it in FL statutes to pay those subject areas more, there are some who oppose it on the grounds that it pits teachers against each other. Basically it is the unions/associations in FL that are preventing that part of the statute from being implemented. I wonder if the new bill will encourage teachers who have actual degrees in Math/Science/Chem/Physics/Bio to stay in the system, and also pay them more so they do not leave the system? It stands to reason if those are the most failed certification exams(as the DOE’s own stats show) then they would also be the hardest to staff/retain personnel. So the only way to prevent attrition is to keep them with an bonus of more $, if the unions will allow it. (from “teachermom5”)

Teachermon5, the union can’t prevent the paying of differentiated pay, my local has been trying to get our district to pay it for years. The districts don’t want to fork over the money, that’s the problem. (from “murphinsebring”)

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