Monday, July 16, 2012

Where Were the Deans?

The Deans of our colleges of education were apparently absent during the battle at the Legislature over the Governor's education reform package. It made me wonder if the Deans of our Colleges of Education in Louisiana believe there is value in their programs.

One key part of the Governor's reforms was the removal of the requirement that teachers in public charter schools be certified. The only requirement now to teach any subject or grade in a charter school is a bachelor's degree in anything. Amazingly our Deans of the colleges of Education whose sole reason for getting a salary is that of preparing college graduates to be teachers, did not appear before the legislative hearings to object to the hiring of persons without credentials to be entrusted with the future of our children!

A parent recently pointed out that the legislature has laws on the books to protect the public in Louisiana from unqualified landscape designers, uncertified florists, uncertified manicurists, or barbers etc etc. A judge would certainly not allow a citizen to be represented in court by a non-lawyer. You could sue the hospital if they let a veterinarian do surgery on you (although I have one I would trust).

But now with the Governor's desperation to make it easier and cheaper for charters to operate, using our tax dollars, he has dropped all credentials for teachers in those schools. That should be no surprise since he appointed a person with no real credentials to be our State Superintendent. Mr White also apparently has no track record of improving a single school in his short career as an administrator in the New York school system.

Finland on the other hand, increased its certification requirements for teachers and then saw student performance rise to the highest level in the western world. Finland also does not use high stakes testing and does not use student test performance to rate its schools or teachers. The government in Finland actually treats its teachers as professionals. Teachers there are truly "empowered".

Removal of certification requirements for teachers, in addition to putting Louisiana students at risk, is a huge insult to all of our colleges of education! Yet the Deans hid out in their ivory towers while the governor made a mockery of their profession as teacher educators.

This formalized disrespect for the teaching profession in Louisiana will surely drag our educational system down. It is hypocritical that our business community represented by The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) has called for higher standards for our students while they supported the Governor in lowering standards for those who teach them.

When did insanity become education reform? Why should any real teacher have any respect for the Governor, the State Superintendent, or the Legislature.


Kathy said...

Political intimidation? Who hires and fires the Deans?

Mike said...

Mike D. is correct. TFA has the power in the state department and all is set up via ALEC supporting Jindal in his set up of BESE. When you state supt. of education tells the legislature high standards for teachers are not necessary, certification/s, means nothing, degrees mean nothing then it is a direct slam by the Jindal administration on colleges of education not only in Louisiana but nationwide. Our teachers should seriously consider not going to work in August until matters are attended to by our legislators.