There are times during a debate when the candidates are bantering back and forth on their platforms and issues, where one can expect what their position is going to be. But there was a small, almost unnoticeable statement from McCain last night that made my hair stand on end!
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John McCain was explaining his education plan in response to a question posed, in which he wrapped it up with this remarkable statement:
"We need to encourage programs such as Teach for America and Troops to Teachers where people, after having served in the military, can go right to teaching and not have to take these examinations which -- or have the certification that some are required in some states."
Excuse me??? What??? You mean to tell me that I spent four years, thousands of dollars to earn a degree in education, spent a year in student teaching, spent additional dollars to take the Certification tests so that I can apply for teaching jobs within my state. And, like all other aspiring teachers, they are all asked to do the same. But, a returning veteran, who has no teaching training whatsoever, is not required to meet this requirement before standing in front of a classroom filled with our children? This is one of the most ludicrous, irresponsible notions I have ever heard!
I popped over to Teachers.net this morning to gauge their reaction or to read more about this program, Troops to Teachers. While the immediate knee-jerk reaction is to envision a 20'ish returning Iraq veteran handing out homework, there are those veterans who have Bachelor degrees before entering the forces who would and should think about entering the teaching field. I'm all for helping find careers for our veterans who return, it is the right and thoughtful thing to do.
I am attempting to familiarize myself a little more on this, and read that Troops to Teachers provides an alternative certification of some sort. In theory it sounds like a wonderful plan, but I'm still not clear on whether or not this is correct. Per what McCain stated last night, his view is quite alarming and should be as well to many employed teachers in this country. I for one do not feel this is exactly the right direction we need to be taking for our struggling education system!
Here's one of the reactions that I read on the teachers.net to McCain's comment last night:
"I cannot believe that McCain thinks the solution to education
is Troops to Teachers & Teach for America and NOT having
teachers have to pass certification tests!!! That is so
disrespectful to those of us highly qualified teachers who are
well trained in our professions.
Maybe he'll want his next doctor's visit to be with someone
who became a doctor through alternative certification: how
about Troops to Doctors or Medical Care for America???"
If anyone here is familiar with this program, do they require certification? I would like McCain to explain to me and the teachers of this country, how he plans to implement his non-certification version of the Troops to Teachers program!
Update: Thanks so much for Rec status! Now let's nail McCain on this!