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

Monday, February 01, 2010

The New NCLB's Demand for Highly Unqualified Teachers

Sam Dillon has a big story on the Oligarch-Obama Plan to make Race to the Trough the new No Child Left Behind. Instead of federal education support based on funding formulas, the Oligarchs are envisioning a system of permanent competition based on the production of test scores as the chief criterion for states and localities to get federal assistance:

“They want to recast the law so that it is as close to Race to the Top as they can get it, making the money conditional on districts’ taking action to improve schools,” said Jack Jennings, president of the Center on Education Policy, who attended a recent meeting at which administration officials outlined their plans in broad strokes. “Right now most federal money goes out in formulas, so schools know how much they’ll get, and then use it to provide services for poor children. The department thinks that’s become too much of an entitlement. They want to upend that scheme by making states and districts pledge to take actions the administration considers reform, before they get the money.”

One section of the current Bush-era law has required states to certify that all teachers are highly qualified, based on their college coursework and state-issued credentials. In the Race to the Top competition, the administration has required participating states to develop the capability to evaluate teachers based on student test data, at least in part, and on whether teachers are successful in raising student achievement.

Educators who have talked to the administration said the officials appeared to be considering inserting similar provisions into the main education law, by requiring the use of student data in teacher evaluation systems as a condition for receiving federal education money. Mr. Duncan has publicly endorsed such an approach, Mr. Cunningham said.

Not only will funding and teacher pay be based on test scores in this brave new world of corporate schooling, but teacher credentialing programs will be approved by the Feds based on a program's history of producing test scores. Implications? Well, as we see in Illinois and New York, two of the states that have made their RTTT intial bribe acceptance packages public, these states have drunk the Dunc's Kool-Aid by undercutting, in one fell swoop, entire teacher credentialing and accreditation requirements in favor of self-certifying permanent temp agencies like Teach for America. Gone are required knowledge of child development, school psychology and sociology, history of education, educational theory, teaching methods courses, student teaching, special populations, etc. Professional teachers? A thing of the past, just like the professional associations they were a part of. From a charterite posting a Huffington a few days ago in celebration of the Illinois RTTT app:

The second, less prominent piece of legislation would help open up the teaching profession by allowing alt-cert programs to increase their impact in the state. Programs like the Chicago Teaching Fellows and Teach for America, which hopes to one day expand to East St. Louis, are currently capped at 260 to 300 teachers per year, an artificial constraint that will now be lifted entirely. The new law would also allow alt-cert programs to issue their own teacher licenses. Currently, these programs must partner with existing education schools, which grant the licenses on their behalf.

And where are the university teacher ed professors and admins, NCATE, ASCD, AFT or NEA as the dismantling picks up steam? Where else--they are working in the back rooms with the dismantlers to make sure they get some of the crumbs from the Oligarchs' table. We know how well that organized appeasement efforts have worked in the past. The only thing remaining for teachers, professors, and others to do is to break out the veal pen and get into the state Houses, the Congressional offices, and into the streets. This will be a fight to the death, and if not, then just death of the profession.

1 comment:

  1. So if I understand this correctly, cert. program licenses will be licenses if they say they are? No questions?

    Wow. I hope there is push back in congress.