What would we do if there were not enough engineers, we needed to attract more people into engineering AND we felt that too many of the engineers we had were not â€œhighly qualifiedâ€ to be engineers? Well according to Linda Chavez of the Dallas News we would raise the standards for people trying to enter engineering programs, test them more before allowing them into the program and that would take care of the problem of providing more â€œhighly qualifiedâ€ engineers. Does this make sense to you? I mean if you are short engineers and students taking engineering, and you get pickier about whom you take into the program that will solve the problem of not having enough good engineers?
In reality Ms. Chavez says in her article, Schoolteachers of America: Your Homework is Due, that we need to test teachers more and that will solve the problem of obtaining â€œhighly qualifiedâ€ candidates for teacher programs. She bemoans the teacher certification programs in most states:
â€œIt shouldn’t be a surprise that teachers aren’t measuring up. Teacher certification in most states has been a joke for years. In the District of Columbia, for example, teachers can be certified by scoring barely above the 20th percentile on the Praxis test, an exam used by 29 states to test who is fit to teach. The other states aren’t much better, granting certification to teachers so long as they score above the bottom third of all test takers.â€
She doesnâ€™t seem to get it that maybe when working conditions are abysmal and pay is poor you canâ€™t set very high standards for employment.
Beyond that, using my engineering student analogy, wonâ€™t you just end up with even fewer engineering students (although better candidates) when you really need MORE â€œhighly qualifiedâ€ applicants? Let me think â€¦ in the REAL WORLD how do they usually increase the number of people willing to apply to a program and go into a specific field when there is a shortage? â€¦. Test them more and get pickier about who you take? â€¦Â No, youâ€™ll end up with FEWER applicants not more, â€¦ um â€¦ increase salaries and benefits and scholarships in that area? Yes, thatâ€™s it! They throw money at it. They whet peoplesâ€™ appetite and get their attention by making their salaries and benefits much more competitive and that attracts more applicants to pick from and then you have a much better chance of getting those â€œhighly qualifiedâ€ teachers Ms. Chavez is looking for.
We seem to be able to afford $400,000,000 bonuses to retiring CEOâ€™s that were already paid more than $30,000,000 dollars a year. This would be chickenfeed by comparison. I know â€¦ I know â€¦ Iâ€™m being silly. We only TALK about investing in education and using common sense to attract people into the field, itâ€™s not something we really do.