Diane Ravitch gives two stats here that show the urgency of stopping for-profit, corporate-dictated public school "reform" in it's tracks:
In 1988, teachers had about 15 years experience, today it's ONE year.
That wouldn't be bad if it was just from a bunch of old farts retiring, but in conjunction with a 40% drop in new teachers credential over six years and a 50% decline in enrollment in education majors in California shows students are seeing teaching as a risky choice at best as a major.
Those who want to beat up traditional public schools with endless standardized testing to prove they are failing then replace them with for profit charter schools or education management companies can stuff their pockets with cash, pat themselves on the back, and get all the amens they want from the media, but they have made the teaching profession radioactive with their constant teacher bashing, micromanaging, and mass firings.
That is not a recipe for future success. Ravitch quotes after jump.
Are We Decimating the Teaching Profession?
An earlier post described research showing that experienced teachers are leaving the profession in droves. In 1988, the modal number of years of teacher experience was 15 (meaning there were more teachers with 15 years experience than any other cohort). By 2008, the modal years of teacher experience was ONE. There were more first-year teachers than any other group. This can't be good for children or for the quality of education as every study I have ever seen says that first year teachers are the weakest of all because they are brand-new and just learning the ropes (sorry, TFA). There are anecdotal reports that enrollment in teacher education programs is plummeting. Here is more:
This was in my local paper on September 11, 2012: “The number of teaching credentials issued from 2004-2010 dropped by 40%, while the number of college students in teacher training programs plunged by 50% This comes from the Task Force Report on Teacher on Education Excellence (State of CA) which also stated, “The state has focused too heavily on holding teachers accountable for standardized test scores without properly equipping instructors and schools. This dangerous combination has driven many accomplished educators out of the profession.” Does this surprise anyone? I personally know of first and second year teachers who have bailed because of pressure applied by their site principals. Instead of supporting them, they have been overbearing in their expectations causing potentially wonderful teachers to second guess their choice of careers and leave. Not just move to another school, but leave the profession they worked so hard to join. We are losing a generation of students to the almighty test score. Do we want to continue to lose great teachers as well? Our children ARE our future. Invest in their future by investing in their teachers who are highly trained professionals.
dianerav | September 18, 2012 at 8:05 am | Categories: Education Reform, Teachers and Teaching | URL: http://wp.me/...
UPDATE: From the Los Angeles Times story on this task force:
The advisory task force, which was brought together by state Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and the state Commission on Teacher Credentialing, also rejected making any link between students' standardized test scores and teachers' performance evaluations.