In discussions with our CTU course, schools continue to have several general issues. First, copyright artistic license always starts of debate over who owns the intellectual property. Second, reward systems cause distance and separation among staff. Third the opportunity for technical training is very limited. The technical dissemination continues as just a shot in the hand without any scaffolding or follow up. Lastly, transactional costs tend to burden the educational entity.
Copyright artistic license creates two major issues in education. First, many teachers do not understand copyright laws. Many assume that since they are in education that fair use applies to everything. Hence, they use images, video and quotes without referencing the author. Additionally, they photocopy entire works without giving proper acknowledgement or payment. Most of the cause revolves misunderstanding and lack of knowledge regarding copyright law. The second issue that involves copyright artistic license pertains to ownership of intellectual property. Does the school own the work or does the teacher? If the work is created after hours but for class presentation, is it the school or teacher’s property.
Currently, Pennsylvania is trying to construct a teacher scoring rubric for teacher evaluation. Most teachers are against the movement, while others want to make sure they are held accountable. The battle has been raging in our state government for quite a while. This battle also pertains to the rewards system in education. Should core curriculum teachers who must have students pass state core standardize tests be assessed similarly to the teachers who teach electives that are not under the same amount of stress? Should teachers receive differentiated pay based upon their student test scores or the subjects that they teach?
The next major concern deals with technical training. Teachers have very few in service or training days, because they have summers off. Some teachers have as few as two days of training for an entire year. In those two days, they must learn all the changes involved with their curriculum standards, learn new technology, new school policies, and much more. They receive a quick shot in the arm and don’t receive any reinforcement training. This lack of training has caused a real divide in teachers’ ability involving technology. Some teachers develop a phobia for technology while others excel. The ones who pay the ultimate price for lack of teacher training are the students.
The final item for discussion involving school issues has to do with transaction costs. Transaction costs consist of expending limited resources. Time, focus and money seem to always be limited resources within schools. School days are shorter than the average eight hour work day and school only lasts for 10 months. With limited administration staff, typically the squeaky wheel always gets the attention, regardless if it’s the best idea, solution, or student. Focus usually goes to the student who requires discipline and not the student who wants to do well, but needs a little extra assistance. Finally, with budget cuts administration staffs are shrinking and the student to teacher ratio in the classroom is growing.