Well, since 60 Minutes has bought into the most recent con-du-jour, the Khan Academy, let's consider how people become educators.
How about Secretary of Education Arne Duncan?
Peter Smagorinsky puts it best:
"Let’s trace his path to the presidential Cabinet. One of Duncan’s childhood friends, John Rogers, appointed Duncan director of the Ariel Education Initiative in Chicago. Duncan’s directorship led to Ariel’s reincarnation as a charter school, following which Duncan was advanced in the Chicago Public School system from deputy chief of staff to chief executive officer. Note that he worked exclusively at the executive level, never stooping to teach classes or learn about schools except from an operational perspective."Or how about Bill Gates? This one is easy, to become an education expert or education reformer, amass billions of dollars.
And Michelle Rhee? Bypass the education establishment by not receiving any degrees in education, become a leader by entering the classroom through TFA, teach three years, and then attain your credibility by firing teachers and creating an education system built on fraudulent test data.
This brings us back to Sal Khan—whose wikipedia page identifies him as an "American educator."
Pretty impressive considering he, like Rhee, Duncan, and Gates, has no degrees in education, and like Duncan and Gates, has no experience teaching.
But he got tired of his day job, started tutoring his relatives, made some videos, and now is a full-fledged educator. And according to CBS, he may be the future of education.
I don't see myself grabbing billions any time soon, or having the connections Duncan and Rhee have to get on the appointment train.
So like Khan, I think I'll just announce what I am and go from there...
I am a nuclear physicist...
[waits patiently for CBS to call]
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