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View Diary: A Funny Thing Happened to Me on the Way to the ALEC Protest in Phoenix... (32 comments)

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  •  Sometimes, you have to put your political identity (0+ / 0-)

    .. aside, and take a look around you.

    Now I was perplexed by this, trying to understand how someone without any teaching experience or accreditation or licensing could be qualified and acceptable for teaching K-12 students - and do it in such a manner as to "allow the students a better chance of learning."  But I could not fathom how such a system removing licensing requirements of teachers, benefited state educational curriculum - or would actually benefit students.

    You seem to think that a certificate from an Ed School has some bearing on whether or not you'll be a good teacher.

    It does not.

    All that certificate means is you spent a year listening to a professor lecture you about crackpot theories of psychology from the mid-20th Century, and that you smiled and nodded, and signed your name to essays in which you falsely implied that those theories have some relation to real human nature.

    If you want to know why math and science majors don't go into teaching, I can tell you first hand: it's not the money, and it's not the aggravating work of dealing with the young. It's ed-school. I've seen friends of mine go to great lengths to avoid it. They took teaching posts in an Indian reservation. In districts too short staffed to demand certificates. In private schools that paid them a pittance and no insurance. All because they could not bear the thought of enrolling in ed-school.

    •  Don't you agree that the certification and/or (5+ / 0-)

      lack of such is simply one piece of the entire Education war being fought by the Right?  The attacks upon teacher's pay, salaries, the legislation basing teacher salaries upon percentage of graduated students - or grade averages - and the efforts to end collective bargaining by teachers (and others), represent a comprehensive across the board attack.  With those pursuits we have to add in ALEC's model legislation addressing special needs students and mandatory completion of one or more "long distance" learning (or digital) classes.

      Looking at the issue in its entirety, one has to look to what ALEC has done regarding our legislative processes in the U.S.  They have worked to alter one of those processes to concentrate the input on state legislation in the hands of companies, corporations and business.  The voices of constituents are drowned out by the money of lobbyists and this has tilted the table in favor business - all the way up to and including the Supreme Court.

      My concern here, ocschwar is not really whether those teaching my grand-kids are certified or licensed by state authorities - rather it is that I don't want ALEC or their ilk teaching them (certified or not)!  What kind of phony reality are children going to learn from those representing the views of deniers of climate change or supporters of trickle down economics?

      Want evolution replaced with creationism in the teachings of our young?  Or that the earth and the existence of man dates back only 6,000 years?  I don't mind if alternatives are discussed and proposed in school, supported by science and established fact.  It is when such science and facts are not just ignored, but supplanted with an ideology held by a minority of our society that I object that such be taught to our children to form their vision of the real world.

      We have seen what ALEC and Koch have done to our democracy and very environment - and I would not like to see the same thing happen to our education system.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

      by Bob Sloan on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 05:55:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Jiu jitsu time. (0+ / 0-)

        When the right wing is actually right on an issue, embrace their talking point, co-opt it, and move on.

        The problem isn't that ALEC is setting up schools where they hire people without M.Eds. The problem is that public school require those certificates. That's what gives these organization an opening.

        I don't think you grasp the enormity of the problem. I'm an engineer. I am ethically obliged never to sign my name to something I don't believe in. I cannot maintain that obligation, and graduate from most schools of education.

        •  are you a licensed professional engineer? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          If so, what documents are you likely to sign in your professional capacity that do not involve certifying compliance with standards? (ISO, ASTM, SAE, whatever?)

          Are you saying that compliance with educational standards is BAD and compliance with engineering standards is good?

          Are you saying that we should have NO educational standards, or that we need better ones?

          Peak Oil is NOW! Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:22:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not yet. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Passed the FE. Gonna take the PE (in EE) in a few years.

            "Are you saying that compliance with educational standards is BAD and compliance with engineering standards is good?"


            For the simple reason that ed school theories are mostly horseshit. And for an engineer, it is unethical to sign one's name onto a crock of horseshit.

          •  As for standards. (0+ / 0-)

            My personal feeling is that there is no reasonable way to certify competence as a teacher, except by through a probationary period.

            Teachers should be certified and trained in set procedures (things like how to spot abused children and what do once you've spotted them, first aid, state laws, etc).

            But edschools should just be scrapped.

            •  I think your views are skewed and thankfully (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              not shared by most.  Your vision and assessment of our ed system ignores how successful they have been throughout more than a century.  Through them our engineers, technicians, economists, scientists were taught and excelled.

              The push to now privatize that system for purposes of profiteering is simply deplorable.  There are two primary government responsibilities that should not ever be profit based - corrections and education.  They have chased after privatized prisons for more than 20 years and look at the mess they have created (and vast wealth off of imprisonment).  Now they are pushing to take our education system down the same road.

              The entry into this fray by large foundations and companies indicates there is a vast amount of money to be made off of privatizing education.  These "philanthropists" see a way to skim huge amounts of tax dollars from private education - and that is why they are involved.  That includes the Gates Foundation.

              "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

              by Bob Sloan on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 07:53:17 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  O RLY? (0+ / 0-)

                Go to an IEEE gathering some time.

                "not shared by most.  Your vision and assessment of our ed system ignores how successful they have been throughout more than a century.  Through them our engineers, technicians, economists, scientists were taught and excelled."


                A scarily large portion of our engineers and scientists are immigrants who went to grade school in other countries. For example, ocschwar.

                That's like saying Boston has a wonderful athletic system because we host the Boston Marathon.

                Look, I don't want to dismantle public schools or teacher unions. But the ed schools have got to go.  Our literacy rates and math test scores have stagnated precisely because of what ed schools train teachers to do.

                •  This complaint fails to acknowledge that those (0+ / 0-)

                  behind the push for privatization of education have worked long and hard to make public ed appear to be failing.  They did the same thing when going after privatization of prisons...and have done the same thing with the US Postal Service.  First they cut funding and make the governments cut beneficial programs so they can step up and claim "See they're inefficient and wasting tax dollars.

                  An example of this is happening right now in Florida.  Last year Governor Scott cut education funding by $1.2 billion.  This decrease made the schools systems appear to be floundering in their inability to perform properly without funding.  Then the Republican legislature passed several bills addressing privatization, vouchers, mandatory completion of at least one digital class, etc. (mostly ALEC written bills).  Now that the bills have passed, Governor Scott's 2012 budget includes and increase of $1 billion in education funding.  Much of that money is going to go into the corporate coffers of corporations providing the charter and digital classes and facilities.

                  You have to acknowledge that over the past 20 years funding for education has been declining year by year with legislators cutting subsidies for schools.  At the same time Koch and similar foundations have stepped up with funding to offset the cuts - seeking and securing a say in both curricula and instructors.  In this way our education systems have been compromised and infiltrated.  Without putting proper funding into education, no one can expect the outcome to be acceptable.  We as parents, grand parents and responsible citizens, have no control over the actions of lawmakers who continue to reduce education subsidies in the face of our objections.

                  Back when teachers were well paid and had our respect education was top of the line.  Since there has been a steady effort to remove both the respect and financing, the outcome has been predictable.  Privatization isn't what's needed - rather a return to proper salaries, smaller classes and restoration of respect.

                  "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

                  by Bob Sloan on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 08:56:06 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You still fail to acknowledge the problem. (0+ / 0-)

                    And if you won't admit the problem, and won't try to solve it, you give an opening to the other side to do it.

                    "Back when teachers were well paid and had our respect education was top of the line. "

                    Back then, there were also no ed schools. To get a teaching post, you majored in something close enough, got a bachelor's, and went to work.

                    Today, you not only have to waste a year of your life listening to complete horseshit, you have to affirm that you actually believe (for example) that group work is better than individual work in class, that kids don't need to learn how to do long division on pen and paper, and that phonics methods are worse than whole language. You have to write long form essays about how "rote learning" is so awful, how a body of factual knowledge is not important, and you have to look yourself in the mirror afterwards.

                    THAT is why it's hard to recruit teachers. Not the money. Not the work.

                    The left created this problem. The right is exploiting it for its own purposes.

                    A pox on both your houses.

                    •  Simply said, I disagree with your descriptions of (0+ / 0-)

                      requirements for teaching today.  I experienced none of that while in school or college or since.  The "problem" as you call it was not created by the left.  There was no real or perceptible problem until the right created one in an effort of capitalizing off of it.  Every pot with tax dollars has become a target of this cabal; senior home equities, USPS services, imprisonment, public service workers and of late education.

                      All of these are for the good of society and provided/supported by tax dollars.  That is the pool they are after - profits off of that pool.  

                      These are the same people who claim no climate change, global warming or impact from carbon dioxide and other harmful emissions.  Not because it is true - rather that it impedes their profit streams.  Believe them and their ideologies if you like, it appears you have already begun to enjoy their branding.

                      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

                      by Bob Sloan on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 09:24:31 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  "of late education. " (0+ / 0-)

                        Of late?


                        Charter schools and other reform measures have been in the works for decades. The left's refusal to look at the problem head on is to blame.

                        You say you experienced none of that? How long have you been teaching? Are you one of the teachers whose been putting out students utterly unprepared for engineering majors? I suspect you are.

                        All of these are for the good of society and provided/supported by tax dollars."


                        Well, let's see you put out more literate and numerate graduates. Then talk.

                    •  I went to public schools in the 1950's and 1960's. (0+ / 0-)

                      EVERY public school teacher was required to have earned an education degree, have additional educational requirements in the specialty area in which they were teaching, all algebra and higher level math courses were required to be taught by teachers with Master's degrees, the teachers had to be certified for elementary or high school level teaching as a Basic Occupational Qualification in order to get the job.

                      This stuff about there never being Ed schools in the past is just horseshit.  In Arkansas, the university now known as Arkansas State University was Jonesboro Teacher's College.  Lyndon Baines Johnson, who just happens to have been a former president who died 40 years ago had his only college degree from a teacher's college.

                      Let's face it, you just don't like Ed Schools, and that's your problem, not ours.  If you wish to send  your children to a school populated with unqualified teachers, who don't meet any standard, I expect you can find one like that.  Look in Arizona or Florida.

                      Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

                      by Ohiodem1 on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:22:49 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  How to judge teacher quality. (0+ / 0-)

                        Very simple method:

                        find out how many Kumon or other private tutoring businesses are operating in your town.

                        My town, Medford, MA, supposedly has a very nice school system. All the teachers are certified. And the tutoring businesses are prospering.

                        The neighboring town of Winchester, same deal. Well funded school system. And very, very well funded private tutoring businesses in the center of town.

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