Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Which of these things is not like the other?

Finally, something from this US Department of Education (US DOE) infographic that I can agree with. [In prior posts, I: (1) pointed out that it was unclear what "unprepared" meant to new teachers; (2) wondered how the ease of an exam could be determined simply by the pass rate; and (3) explained that it is impossible to completely prepare new teacher for every school-specific situation.] We do need to increase the diversity of the U.S. teaching force. Unfortunately, a recent Supreme Court ruling makes it difficult for colleges in Michigan to take intentional actions to address this issue. 

And the US DOE is not helping. Instead, Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, is focusing on "accountability" for education schools.
The goal: To ensure that every state evaluates its teacher education programs by several key metrics, such as how many graduates land teaching jobs, how long they stay in the profession and whether they boost their students’ scores on standardized tests. (Politico, 4/25/14)
A possible consequence will be that education schools will be more selective in their admissions, thereby reducing the number of teachers they train.

How does this help to address the lack of diversity in our teaching force? It doesn't. Perhaps, this panel of the infographic was never meant to be included in the US DOE's latest policy push. They simply needed something to balance out the picture. The result is a warped game of "One of These Things is Not Like the Others."

Sadly, in this case, the "thing that doesn't belong" is the thing that is most important.

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