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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Florida’s latest attempt to end teaching as a profession

Steal 3% of their pay, subject them to odious teacher evaluations, end tenure, double down on high stakes testing, tie their salary to test scores and the list goes on and on. Florida has been downright unfriendly to its teachers.

The latest blow to the profession kind of just sneaked in and that was the raising of certification scores, now the tests that teachers have to take to keep their jobs will be harder. That’s the set up.

With the appointment of Rebecca Fishman-Lipsey to the state board of education Teach for America now has unprecedented access at the state level and do you know what Teach for America recruits will never have to do because the vast majority only stay two years is? Take and pass a certification test that’s what.  

Typically teachers get a temporary certificate which gives them three years to pass their certification tests and often times satisfy other requirements too. Teach for America teachers won’t have to worry about it because they are off to law school or Wall Street by the time year three rolls around.

Now here is the rub, since there will be fewer and fewer professional teachers do you know what that makes room for? More teach for America teachers that’s who. Hobbyists who think I will give that a try and who go through five weeks of training and then into our most needy schools where they will be replaced by another batch in 21 months.

Friends Florida’s leadership is doing all it can do to end teaching as a profession.

1 comment:

  1. You know, the thing that gets me more than anything? Half of teachers in Duval quit after 5 years; it's not like people are lining up in droves to become lifelong teachers. Seriously, if they are going to do this, how about they make everyone get a professional certificate before they even begin, so it will discourage the TFA movement. To get a temporary certificate, all you have to do is pass the subject area exam. To earn a professional certificate, you have to go through many classes and take the general knowledge test and professional education exam (1 of the exams that now requires a higher score). When I was in the English Education Program at FSU, I committed to becoming a professional teacher, not a 2 year TFA or "I'm out of a job in my field, so I may as well teach" substitute. In my department this year, our average teacher has taught less than 2 years. In fact, only like 3 of us have more than 3 years of experience. Can you imagine a construction site full of apprentices trying to build an entire home or a hospital filled with novice doctors treating the chronically ill? I would avoid both locations like the plague. This is what our most struggling students encounter on a daily basis.