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

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Oligarchs Go After NCATE and TEAC

A new paper by neolib sludge tank hack, Edward Crowe, is now out from the Center for American Regress Progress. Funded by Bill Gates, it is another brick in the corporate wall that is being built to contain and control teaching, schools, and the teachers in the schools who teach teachers.  In order to make room for this new nationalized test-based dystopia envisioned by the braintrust that Gates built, however, the path needs to cleared of the obstructive independent accrediting bodies that have been responsible for widespread standardization and some would say improvement of teacher ed programs.  Apparently, it's not nearly standard enough for the oligarchs.  From Dr. Crowe's paper:
No compelling evidence suggests that program accreditation by NCATE or TEAC leads to (or takes account of) positive academic outcomes for students taught by graduates of accredited programs. In fact, the national accreditors for teacher education do not use empirical data on teaching and learning outcomes to make judgments about program quality. Nor is there any reason to believe that teachers who complete an accredited preparation program are more likely to demonstrate high-quality classroom teaching performance than those trained elsewhere (p. 6).
Now if NCATE follows its past pattern, it will immediately capitulate without an argument and get with the Gates/Broad program.  Moral courage is not NCATE's strong suit, as clearly demonstrated in the face of racist concerns with NCATE's wording on social justice.  Or shall I say past wording.  A little push and a Gates check could definitely have the desired results. 

But here below is the finer example of cheap smear and propaganda from this kind of charlatan Gates-boy bullshit masquerading as academic writing:
Published program pass rates were supposed to be the critical element in the federal reporting system. They were intended to shine a light on programs whose graduates were not well-enough prepared to pass a minimum competency test to become teachers. But shortly after the report card structure was established, a significant number of institutions and state agencies joined with the teacher education professional associations—the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, or AACTE, as well as NCATE—to work out a way to beat the reporting system. The trick they devised was requiring teacher candidates to pass all required teacher tests before being allowed to graduate. This allows programs to report 100 percent pass rates on the teacher tests. They do not have to disclose the percentage of candidates who failed one or more tests (p. 9).
I don't know about you, but it sounds like Dr. Crowe would rather know how many students failed the test the first time than how many students in the end successfully met the requirements of the test.  I wonder if these nitwits would judge law schools by how many of their graduates failed the bar exam the first time.  To follow the analogy to its Wonderland conclusion, every state would have the same bar exam to go along, we may presume, with the same set of laws, and the same highly trained judges and juries to render decisions.  The fact that the Borg is going out of their way to demonize and marginalize the professional accrediting agencies (NCATE and TEAC) says everything about the depth of the efforts to control not only what is taught in the classroom but, now, what is taught to the teachers who teach in the classrooms. 

In the brave new world of education from the Oligarchs, tests will determine what gets taught in teacher preparation programs and what is taught in K-12.  It is the most foolproof way to control knowledge, knowledge creation, and knowledge dissemination.  Cornering the market, you might say.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:21 PM

    Thank the heavens for your blog postings! I came to your site after learning this morning that NCATE is now certifying online teacher prep programs. Now I know why.