# Teachers with Math and Science Degrees

The president has said that math and science breakthroughs are the way out of this economic crisis, but U.S. math and science scores are low among developed countries.

This begs the questions...

Research has shown that a great teacher is the most important factor in boosting student achievement for any subject. This includes such factors as socioeconomic status, class size, curriculum design, and parents’ educational levels. It has been showed that students of these highly effective teachers make about three times the academic gains of those with less talented teachers, regardless of the students’ demographics.

With research stating that teachers with academic majors in the subjects they teach have better results, I feel a sense of justification. There is no substitute for an expert in the field. Through the experiences that I have observed throughout my seven years of teaching with different colleagues, I have noticed that there is a difference.

Rather than have merit pay (which is backed up by little data), could there be a distinction between merit pay and teachers that have minimum requirements to teach? Teachers can increase on the pay scale based on their increasing knowledge attained involving a major in the subject they teach. Getting my first master's degree in educational leadership increases my level on the pay scale even though I was not an administrator. My second master's in math (which I teach) also increased my level on the pay scale although I feel as though it is much more justified (because I teach that subject).

This begs the questions...

- Is U.S. math and science education failing our students?
- What can be done to help math and science teachers to better educate students?

- Do the Praxis tests that teachers take prove that teachers are literate in their subject?

Research has shown that a great teacher is the most important factor in boosting student achievement for any subject. This includes such factors as socioeconomic status, class size, curriculum design, and parents’ educational levels. It has been showed that students of these highly effective teachers make about three times the academic gains of those with less talented teachers, regardless of the students’ demographics.

- Why aren't teachers with low qualifications let go?
- How can the competence level of teachers be improved?

With research stating that teachers with academic majors in the subjects they teach have better results, I feel a sense of justification. There is no substitute for an expert in the field. Through the experiences that I have observed throughout my seven years of teaching with different colleagues, I have noticed that there is a difference.

Rather than have merit pay (which is backed up by little data), could there be a distinction between merit pay and teachers that have minimum requirements to teach? Teachers can increase on the pay scale based on their increasing knowledge attained involving a major in the subject they teach. Getting my first master's degree in educational leadership increases my level on the pay scale even though I was not an administrator. My second master's in math (which I teach) also increased my level on the pay scale although I feel as though it is much more justified (because I teach that subject).

- Could this model work with other teachers?
- Should academic master's degrees in the subject be worth more than some other master's degree in education?
- Would student learning improve?
- How can we find out what teacher should know and be able to do and reward them for it?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that content knowledge trumps context knowledge. Pedagogy and practice is just as important (if not more) than content knowledge. I'm more speaking on the teachers with equal training in pedagogy and content (not just pedagogy or not just content).