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

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Will Missouri Take a Leap Backwards on Teacher Quality?

I have posted a number of pieces here on ABCTE, that ED-sponsored effort to gut professional teacher preparation programs and the teaching profession by offering a de-skilled and de-professionalized version of teachers with a credential earned solely on the basis of having a Bachelors degree and passing a test. No teacher training, no methods courses, no student teaching.

If you doubt that ABCTE is aimed to bust the profession at any cost, read these linked posts above to see how then-Sec. Rod Paige approved ABCTE as a route to being "highly qualified" before ABCTE even had developed a single test. Ah, those were the days, weren't they! Well, they haven't gone away, I am afraid.

At a time when teachers are leaving the profession because they refuse to abuse children with constant testing while neglecting real learning, at a time when those teachers are leaving the profession in the greatest numbers from the poorest schools that need the best teachers the most, at a time when politicians give constant lip service to a living wage for teachers and extra incentives for the best teaching in the most challenging schools, will the Missouri House go along with Senate to align themselves with another Bush Administration pet project to eviscerate the teaching profession, while turning their backs on the children who need the most highly qualified teachers? All in the name of addressing a teacher shortage created by an NCLB steamroller that has pushed out those teachers who refuse to become test factory guards.

Will they approve a model of teacher non-training based on passing a Pearson-administered test and paying a fee? Will they tell poor parents that courses in child development, history of education, methods courses, student teaching, educational psychology, don't matter for teachers of their children? That their special needs child is taught by a teacher who became a special ed teacher by passing a test? Because surely if this scam passes the Missouri legislature, it will not be the parents of the middle class or the wealthy who get those teachers who become highly qualified by paying to pass a test.

Here is a link to a story from the Post-Dispatch by Lee Logan, who was punked, I'm afraid, by someone who told him that ABCTE requires applicants to complete methods courses and 60 hours of observation to get their miracle credential. Chris Bale, with ABCTE, assures me that this is not a requirement, so bring your $750.00 test fee and come on down!
JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Senate gave final approval to a bill that would make it easier for people to switch jobs to become teachers, after hours of debate Wednesday evening.

Sen. Joan Bray, D-University City, had been postponing a final vote on the bill, saying she feared it would lower the quality of the state's teachers.

"It's degrading to the teaching profession," Bray said. "We give up, as a state, our rights to determine the quality of our teachers in the system."

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Luann Ridgeway, R-Smithville, said the measure addressed a critical teacher shortage.. . .

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:36 PM

    Doesn't anyone understand that educating our teachers is just as important as educating the student?