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

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Federal Plans to Suck Remaining Air from Teacher Education Classrooms

Last summer corporate lackey, Arne Duncan, acknowledged that  "testing issues today are sucking the oxygen out of the room in a lot of schools."  

In order to make his statement truer still, Gates and the USDOE just announced a 60 day comment period on a plan to use K-12 student test scores to grade teacher preparation programs.  

With student assistance tied to K-12 student test scores where teacher candidates eventually end up teaching, the most obvious effect will be that prospective students applying to university programs that send lots of students to poorer schools will not get their scholarship money--since this is where the low test scores have always been and will always remain:

The regulations would require programs to track data on their graduates that includes job placement and the performance of students those graduates eventually teach. Programs would have to earn ratings of effective or higher for at least two of three years to qualify for TEACH grants, which provide up to $4,000 annually for individual students to put toward their teacher training. In 2014, the department gave out about 34,000 TEACH grants totaling nearly $100 million.

The second most obvious effect is that teacher education programs that depend upon federal dollars will focus their curricula even more on test prep techniques for prospective teachers, thus shoving even further to the periphery the science, history, theory, and philosophy of teaching. Those programs with large endowments that prepare teachers for private schools and the best public schools in the leafy suburbs will continue to prepare teachers who understand curriculum, child development, special needs, and all the other important pedagogical elements that TFA and other alt cert corporate missionaries remain clueless about, even as they ply their test prep trade in schools where children's needs are most demanding.  Here, again, is institutional racist planning on a grand scale.  

Wonder is Uncle Barack will be be called out on the porch to make this announcement? 

No comments:

Post a Comment