Total Pageviews

Search This Blog

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Arne Duncan and the D.O.E don't give teachers anything to be thankful for.

The worst education secretary of all time made headlines again this week. After threatening to gut special education throughout the country implying teachers don't really care about disabled children he has now gone after teacher colleges.

Diane Ravitch put it better than I ever could.

According to, the U.S. Department of Education will cut federal funding to education schools whose graduates have students who get low scores. This could incentivize education schools to direct their students away from urban districts with high poverty, or from teaching children with disabilities and English-language learners. Researchers have repeatedly warned about the danger of over reliance on test scores for high-stakes decisions. It is always wise to think about unintended consequences.

I want to add that this is the same department of education that drools over Teach for America and policies like this result when we have non eductors carrying out education policies.

I wish Duncan would resign because then we would all truly have something to be thankful for.

1 comment:

  1. There are some teachers who may not be the most brilliant, but they don't have to be. Kids learn differently from different kinds of teachers. Not every kid needs a teacher with a genius IQ. My worst teacher in high school was the smartest. I unfortunately had him for 3 years in Physical Science, Chemistry and Physics. Because of how he taught, I barely scraped by and learned very little in the process; I was also in the top 5% of my graduating class. Sometimes, the teachers who struggled in high school and college relate well with average students; they understand how to scaffold whereas the "smarter" teachers just assume students should know or learn the information quickly, because to them, it is easy.
    Teachers who come from education backgrounds have a leg up, because they have been in the classroom for several years through internships. They know what the standards are and how to create lesson plans. The others who are thrown in without the education background tend to struggle more; this, of course, is based on my experience of 10 years in education. Now, eventually, people learn, but I don't have to explain how to create lessons, analyze data, build rubrics, etc., with an education major. I do have to do that more with non-education majors and those who did not major in their subject area.
    Taking any money away from those who want to be teachers in this current world is absurd. We are losing teachers left and right; less than 50% stay after 5 years. My school is a revolving door of teachers.
    What would help as well is giving new teachers kind of like mini-internships. Instead of giving them 6 classes, give them 4, and require them to spend 2 classes out of the 6 with a veteran teacher who has 5 or years more of experience. The knowledge and experience, I think, would truly benefit the teacher and student. God forbid though. Let's keep pumping teachers through CHAMPs, Ethics Training (waste of time; just require a brochure), New Teacher MINT PD, etc. Let's ask veteran teachers essentially to volunteer (we get points, but most of us always go way over for certification requirements) our time to help those who have a 50/50 chance of staying. At one point, I had 4 mentees, seriously! In 3 years, I have had 7 mentees. Out of the 7, 3 left the school and 1 isn't in the subject area anymore. Most leave because they are overwhelmed by the everyday stress of teaching, having no idea when they came that it would be so time-consuming and difficult. Only 1 out of the 4 was an education major, by the way. The education major actually stayed, but in another subject area.