Sunday, March 7, 2010

Nashville schools offer Vanderbilt degrees for top teachers | | The Tennessean


Teachers willing to work with some of Metro Nashville's toughest-to-reach middle schoolers for at least five years could earn free master's degrees from Vanderbilt University.

This year, the university will admit 24 teachers into a special graduate program paid for by Metro Schools but offered at a deep discount by Vanderbilt. The degree will focus on urban middle school education and require teachers to select a focus in literacy, math or science.

The goal is to increase the number of top-quality teachers in Nashville's lowest-performing schools and make Metro a more attractive place to work. It's also one more way the district is trying to engage students in learning during the critical middle school years.

"The single biggest factor of successful student learning is the classroom teacher," said Camilla Persson Benbow, dean of education and human development at Vanderbilt University's

Peabody College.

U.S. News and World Report named Peabody the No. 1 graduate school

in the nation last year.

Educators say it's hard to find high-quality middle school teachers who understand adolescents, can work with a diverse population, and have the skills to teach higher-level courses such as algebra.

Metro Schools' look at middle-school education comes as others across the nation look for similar reform at that level, realizing that it's a critical time that determines whether students will graduate.

Incentive for teachers

Veteran educator Pamela Ross, who teaches sixth grade at Wright Middle School, said the master's program shows officials are serious about trying to improve urban education.

"It's a boost for teachers, it's an incentive, and it's letting us know education is being taken seriously," she said. "That an institution such as Vanderbilt would be willing to do that is just awesome."

Applications are being accepted now, with classes slated to begin this summer and work in middle schools to begin in the fall. Teachers probably will be assigned to one of four middle schools, though Metro officials haven't settled on the number of schools or which ones they'll be.

how quickly they forget!

In what Universe does this make sense...????If this policy is intended to open the door to all students, then why does the University require students to disclose their parent’s income? The last time I checked, the application to the graduate school required a financial statement of disclosure-- not just from students, there parents too. This always seemed odd, especially for graduate students over the age of 18.

If financial need is no longer a factor, then presumably the University has waived all fees associated with the application process, right? Perhaps this statement was issued in anticipation of the HUGE, HUGE, loss of the endowment fund???

I guess that makes some people believe the University is more focused on learning than with earnings, well, then...I hope you have a more convincing argument than this! Who knows, maybe they might even cut you a little slack in light of the disastrous financial disclosures. I truly hope you do call me when you launch your next “giving campaign. “ I would personally rather donate to sharks.

To say that “hard working, great kids ...who want to be at Vanderbilt," will be able to attend for free, makes you sound like an idiot. It also sounds like a public relations disaster just waiting to happen.

Now c'mon, Zeppos-- I thought you were one of the good guys? Don't be saying stupid things like that!

No wonder you guys are going broke!Originally published 2/9/09... I was making $10.46/hr at Jere Baxter. Vanderbilt sued me for $3000. I can't even afford the application fee....

Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.
Unemployed & Angry as Hell
Nashville, TN USA

Posted via web from ElyssaD's Posterous

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Elyssa D. Durant, Ed.M.