Unqualified, Uncertified Teachers: Where is the Outrage?
To make sure your summer does not go untested, here is a multiple choice question for you boys and girls:
When faced with unprecedented teacher shortages, state education policy makers should do which of the following?
a. Raise salaries
b. Improve teacher working conditions
c. Give teachers more say in what is taught and how it is taught
d. Stop trying to remove teacher job protections
e. Allow anyone with a Bachelor's degree to teach
The Utah legislature has chosen "e." That's right, when faced with teacher shortages the state of Utah has decided to join Kansas, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Alabama in declaring that preparation for a teaching career doesn't matter. Education reformers like to say they are following a "business model" in their reform plans. I would like to see the business model of any successful company that says, "Let's forget trying to make the job more attractive to top candidates, we can just hire someone who is unqualified for the job."
The move to get unqualified people into the classroom gives the lie to the real goal of education reformers. On the one hand we hear that "the teacher is the the most important single in-school factor in student achievement." This is generally followed with breathless treatises on how teachers suck and how we need to improve teacher performance in the classroom, get rid of bad teachers and measure that performance with standardized tests. On the other hand we hear, "Well everybody has been to school, so everybody should be able teach. Let's pass legislation that makes it easier to get warm bodies in the classroom."
All of this "who needs qualified teachers" baloney, of course, began with Russ on Reading: Unqualified, Uncertified Teachers: Where is the Outrage?: