Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sharing an article on teacher prep April 1 2014

There are a lot of opinions out there when it comes to teacher prep, and unfortunately a lot of them are very strong, pointed, and political; not conducive to a good conversation.

From time to time I find articles which I personally think make good points, but inevitably someone gets rude and mean because they disagree.

Anyway, I am sharing one today and I think the author makes some good points. Please just remember to read the whole thing and be polite with comments or opinions you might have.

“Teacher Prep Led By (Drum Roll, Please)...Teachers”

“As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton made a pragmatic argument for empowering women in developing countries: "You cannot move on a path to democracy and open economies if you isolate and marginalize half the population."”

“The same principle applies to opportunities for teachers to lead change in our educational system: You cannot move on a path to excellence if you isolate and marginalize half the professionals involved in education.”

“Our system needs the other half, too: university professors, researchers, administrators, and any other professional who genuinely cares about student needs more than status or profit.
The problem is that these groups, despite notable exceptions, tend to be pretty dismal at partnering with teachers.”

“Testing companies will bring in teachers to provide feedback on a new test, but teachers had no hand in designing it on the front end. Policymakers will scramble for teachers to speak in favor of a new initiative, but teachers weren't in the room when the initiative was crafted and key decisions were made.”

“The implicit assumption is that we need teachers to implement everything--new standards, new curricula, new tests--but teachers aren't capable of the thinking that goes into creating these reforms on the front end.”

“Justifications for this teacherless approach to reform are so inane they don't pass the "giggle test."”

“"Teachers are just so busy--they wouldn't have the time."”

“"Teachers understand pedagogy, but they're not content or policy experts."”

“For a rebuttal of the three most common excuses I have heard, read the post I wrote after an author of Common Core tried to justify to me why teachers weren't included on the team writing the ELA standards.”

“Where teachers have a hand in shaping policy, schools work better for students. It's no coincidence that in states like Colorado and Kentucky where Common Core implementation has been successful, teachers were involved early in a meaningful way. In states where teachers are seen as golems--necessary for the labor involved but too dumb to make any real decisions--implementation has been a train wreck.”

What are your thoughts?

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

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