Are you in the mood for a mystery?
Education Secretary John King recently came out with the intent to kill university teacher prep programs. His predecessor Arne Duncan, who never taught a day in his life, cheered him on.
They will do this by denying future teachers TEACH grants to go into teacher preparation programs. So even if you want to be a teacher, if you can’t afford college, you won’t be able to realize such a dream.
Isn’t this strange during a teacher shortage?
If anything, King should be canvasing the country to bring back teachers who are no longer teaching due to draconian reforms. There should be incentives aplenty for real teacher prep programs in our colleges of education.
Instead, King is yapping about how bad those old college programs are, and how they better check on the graduates after they graduate and evaluate teachers accordingly.
It never stops being hostile does it? But why?
If you skim the document about teacher preparation regulations you don’t find the words “teacher shortage” once.
And be sure to check out the link to the President’s Testing Action Plan which is all about ongoing testing by technology.
I think that’s a big clue!
King himself has education credentials, but his experience was with uncommon schools and charters. We all know about his controversial background leading education in New York. He supports Common Core and is all for what he is directed to do.
Today that means privatization through technology. Common Core is a step in that direction.
O.K. I just solved the mystery for you, if you didn’t know–you probably did.
Today’s privatization is online, digital, personalized, or competency-based instruction—teacherless classrooms.
The other incentive programs–Investing in Innovation Fund (i3), the Teacher Incentive Plan, and the Race to the Top Fund try to mask this reality. But look hard enough and you will find where they lead–to alternative teaching routes–future facilitators–while talking teacher leadership and transformation. Teachers, it looks like, will lead themselves right off the cliff!
King makes grandiose statements. He claims teachers graduate from university teacher preparation programs and don’t feel prepared. Who are these teachers and why don’t they feel prepared?
At the same time he is on board for fast track alternative programs like the Relay Graduate School of Education which figures prominently in this plan.
Relay has never demonstrated superior teaching. Relay will prepare tech supervisors—also facilitators—who collect data and make sure students are disciplined accordingly. They will be ready-made temporary employees for charters—tech charter warehouses.
If you still don’t believe that there is a huge push to get rid of teachers for all-tech charters or sitting children home on their computers, just consider the Huffington Post’s recent list of possible education secretaries after the election.
This is a HUGE clue!
And who is Julia Freland Fisher?
Fisher is the director of education research at the Clayton Christensen Institute. She is all about the power of so-called “disruptive innovation” for K-12 through higher education. She used to work with the NewSchools Venture Fund, so she is a privatization darling. A lawyer, I don’t know if she’s ever taught a child, or done any useful research about how children learn developmentally, or what makes them tick. But there she is, being considered for education crown of the nation.
I find it also interesting that the Huffington Post title is not about a U.S. education leader but one who is “global.” Marketing tech is a world venture.
So in the age of a so-called teacher shortage with a concurrent attack on professional teacher programs in higher education, it doesn’t take much to figure out what’s going to happen next when we turn the page. Mystery solved.
And, thus far, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be a happy ending for the students, the teachers, and the parents.