"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, July 22, 2005

New and improved teachers?

The ABCTE is one of the preferred solutions of the "change everything" crowd now in power at the Dept. of Education. Somehow, a major in a subject area and passing an Internet test will create the "high quality" teachers called for in No Child Left Behind. Despite plenty of research to show that teacher education programs contribute significantly to new teacher success, the neo-cons would prefer, as former head of NIHCD blurped in 2002, “ to blow up colleges of education.”

Not only does the new education order want teacher candidates “protected from the ‘liberal agenda’ of teacher education programs” (Berliner, 2005), they also want a teacher corps without the bothersome and expensive headaches of collective bargaining units. In other words, they want to bust the NEA. This is part of a larger agenda to turn public schools into corporate welfare schools, or privately-managed charters, that take public education dollars and give them to corporations that hire and fire, make curriculum decisions, and give the tests.

Leaders in the charter movement such as Chester Finn have said as much: "What the charter designation does is create the opportunity to build such schools with less bureaucratic (and teacher union) hassle."

Who is Chester Finn? Among the many conservative causes and think tanks he participates in, is the ABCTE, where he sits on the Board of Directors. Such symmetry.

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