My colleague Sean Cavanagh has a great item up on Obama’s speech at the National Academy of Sciences. Here’s Obama on the idea of attracting science professionals into the classroom:
“Let’s create new pathways for experienced professionals to go into the classroom,” the president said. “There are, right now, chemists who could teach chemistry, physicists who could teach physics, statisticians who could teach mathematics. But we need to create a way to bring the expertise and the enthusiasm of these folks–-folks like you–into the classroom.”
He could be referring to “career-changers” who decide to enter teaching full time. But perhaps he was also referring to those physicists and chemists who LIKE their jobs and want to be more involved in schools without necessarily leaving their labs?
I remember that for years the Bush administration had a proposal for “adjunct” teachers, basically professionals who might teach a few high school classes here and there. A Democratic-controlled Congress finally included the program in the Higher Education Act bill, signed last year. But appropriators haven’t doled out funds to it yet.
As far as I can recall, the teachers’ unions weren’t all that hot on this idea when first proposed. It’d be interesting to hear what the president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, makes of the concept. After all, while she was a rising star in the New York affiliate, she taught history part time at Clara Barton High School in Brooklyn. Sounds kinda adjunct-y to me.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.