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

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Teacher Education Minus Degrees, Professors, Research, or Accreditation

One may quibble with details, but the bottom line is that this bill defangs the U.S. Department of Education; it no longer will exert control over every school with mandates. This bill strips the status quo of federal power to ruin schools and the lives of children and educators. . . .This is a far better bill than I had hoped or feared. --Diane Ravitch

The neoliberal elites over at Brookings are celebrating the arrival of ESSA for a number of reasons, all having to do with new business and social steering opportunities that have never existed until now.  

For instance, ESSA makes those unwieldy alternative certification programs at universities so old school.  With the new and improved states rights version of ESEA, charter corporations can create their own teacher "education" programs and market them all over the country with help from the Title II.  Not only that, but states have to accept those new "teachers" at a Masters level on the pay scale, even though they have been "prepared" to teach without benefit of a college, professors, libraries, research, degrees, seat hours, or accreditation.  

But, hey, let's not quibble.  

Here is a clip from the Brookings gush (my bolds):
Aligning business models with student outcomes

An alternative way to improve teacher preparation is to build new institutions from the ground up with entirely different business models that are aligned with student outcomes. A few examples of new institutions that have done this include Match Teacher Residency, Urban Teachers, Aspire Teacher Residency, and Relay Graduate School of Education. New institutions can design their business models with strong incentives to prioritize practices like establishing selective admissions requirements, setting competency-based graduation requirements, creating close partnerships with local schools, designing high-quality curricula, and supporting graduates during their induction into the profession.

Along this vein, ESSA has a new provision that encourages states to foster new teacher preparation programs with innovative business models. Whereas the “alternative certification” provisions from prior versions of the law have resulted mostly in new programs within existing education schools, this provision gives states funding to authorize new “teacher preparation academies” that have very different business models from those of most established education schools. Section 2002(4) of Title II of ESSA requires states that authorize these academies to eliminate “unnecessary requirements” for state authorization, such as requiring that faculty hold advanced degrees or conduct academic research, that students complete a certain number of credit hours or sequence of coursework for graduation, or that preparation academies receive institutional accreditation from an accrediting body. Instead, the law specifies that states must ensure that each academy gives its prospective teachers “a significant part of their training through clinical preparation,” awards “a certificate of completion to a teacher only after the teacher demonstrates that the teacher is an effective teacher,” and “limits admission … to prospective teacher … candidates who demonstrate strong potential to improve student academic achievement.” The law also requires that states recognize the certificates from these academies, “as at least the equivalent of a master’s degree in education for the purposes of hiring, retention, compensation, and promotion in the State.”

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