Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Home Front

Dave McCarthy, our favorite Marine Colonel, sent this picture to complement his “Baghdad Update” (4/29/07). With Dave are his wonderful wife Carrie and the “loveable monkeys” Connor and Trevor.
Several readers have asked for Dave’s contact information. Here is his email
and here is his snail mail address

APO AE 09342

Dave asked me to please let people know that he can't always reply in a timely manner. He loves cookies and prayers: “As for cookies or anything else, we are always VERY appreciative of anything and everything that people want to send, and everyone here always shares everything, which is good because some guys never get mail. Please let people know that I - we – truly appreciate the prayers; I personally am a very big believer in the power of prayer. Just be sure and pray not that I'll come home safe or even that I'll come home at all, just that God's Will be done.”

The Post Office provides boxes (roughly 12x14x3.5 inches) that they will mail to our troops for $8.10 no matter the weight. They arrive in about two weeks.

As a follow-up to yesterdays post (“Sensible Education Reform”), I have a suggestion for Recommendation 1: Reduce the barriers to entry into teaching for those without traditional teacher certification. Hire former soldiers.
The Troops to Teachers program is a source of quality teachers for America's schools. John Gantz, Department of Defense, Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) asks:

“Can a tough crusty old no-nonsense Marine Corps Sergeant Major be an effective teacher in our public schools? How about a retired infantry Army Lieutenant Colonel, or an Air Force Special Operations Senior Master Sergeant, or a former Navy submarine commander? Some within the public education community raised concerns about the suitability of career military personnel as teachers. These military veterans, the critics said, would be too rigid, too demanding, inflexible, harsh, and their approach to teaching would be totally incompatible with the needs of today’s students.”

But there are almost 9,000 military veterans who have successfully made the transition from uniform to the classroom and proven the critics wrong. A recent study titled “Profile of Troops to Teachers” conducted by Emily Feistritzer, President of the National Center for Education Information, concludes that Troops to Teachers brings to public education “exactly what the nation has identified it needs”:

• More men
• More minorities
• Teachers in high demand areas – inner cities
• Teachers in high demand subject areas – special education, math, science
• Well educated teachers
• Competent teachers
• Teachers who believe all children can learn
• Teachers who value high standards for themselves as well as for students
• Committed teachers
• Teachers who plan to stay a while

Another study conducted by William Owings of Old Dominion University sought to determine the effectiveness of Troops to Teachers. Among the findings:
• Principals overwhelmingly (over 90%) reported that “Troops” teachers are more effective in classroom instruction and classroom management/student discipline than are traditionally prepared teachers with similar years of teaching experience.
• Principals stated (89.5%) that “Troops” teachers have a positive impact on student achievement to a greater degree than do traditionally prepared teachers with similar years of teaching experience.
• “Troops” teachers teach in high poverty schools, teach high-demand subjects (special education, math, and science), plan to remain in teaching as a career, and increase the teaching pool’s diversity.

John Gantz concludes: The success of the program is due solely to the fact that “Troops” teachers are highly effective in the classroom. Through Troops to Teachers, military personnel are able to continue their service to the Nation on the front lines in public school classrooms throughout America.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is looking for retiring or separating members of the Armed Forces, Coast Guard, Reserves, and National Guard to teach Math, Science, English or Special Education. Officers and enlisted troops holding a bachelors degree with expertise in these subject areas may qualify for the Troops for Teachers program. Servicemembers and veterans who are interested in learning more about opportunities with LAUSD should
click here to fill out an application.

The Department of Defense provides a $5K stipend to qualified participants to help pay for teacher certification programs (a waste). An additional $5K is available as an incentive to attract more individuals to schools serving a high percentage of disadvantaged students.

Schools should be eager to access this supply of men (Over 80% of “Troops” are men), minorities (40%), teachers of critical need subjects of math, science or special education (50%) and teachers willing to accept positions in schools serving disadvantaged students (67% of the “Troops.”)
Tell your School Boards about this great program.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

We absolutely need military guys teaching in schools everywhere. Some of my fondest memories from 9th grade Algebra class are the teacher telling us about his adventures in the Air Force. He had our complete attention and respect.


7:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Demo planners Rob Emannuel and Chuck Schumer have dug it that "ex-troops" adds a significant plus for potential Congressmen & Senators. Will demos become the war party? I don't think so.


10:33 AM  

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