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Re: “Anyone Can Teach. It's Easy! (At Least That's What Republican Legislators and the Governor Tell Me.)

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"I cannot stand forward, and give praise or blame to any thing which relates to human actions, and human concerns, on a simple view of the object, as it stands stripped of every relation, in all the nakedness and solitude of metaphysical abstraction. CIRCUMSTANCES (which with some gentlemen pass for nothing) give in reality to every political principle its distinguishing color, and discriminating effect. The circumstances are what render every civil and political scheme beneficial or noxious to mankind." -- Edmund Burke, from Reflections on the Revolution in France

As Betts Putnam-Hidalgo, who knows the local circumstances in TUSD very well, points out, this new policy on teacher qualifications would not have had good effects if implemented, given the CIRCUMSTANCES in this district, a district she has observed closely for more than a decade, a district which serves close to 50,000 students in Southern Arizona. The CIRCUMSTANCES in a district of TUSD's size and regional impact should by itself rule out the policy's across-the-board application in this state. But even in higher functioning public districts with more active, empowered, and highly educated parent populations -- districts where parents would have an easier time recognizing and taking issue with the grave problems that will develop with teacher incompetence and effects on student learning under this policy -- it is not advisable to entrust these districts with teacher training. They do not have the financial resources available to develop the mentoring programs, professional development time, and advisory faculty that would be needed. You can't just ask teachers already responsible for the academic development of a cohort of students to take teacher education on as another responsibility of their already inadvisably overtasked, gravely underpaid profession. Nor can you ask even affluent parents to raise more supplementary funding when they are already fundraising in support of reasonable class sizes and essential supplies for schools.

Arizona has become a veritable Swiftian Laputa of ignorant, abstract policy theories that show no knowledge whatsoever of conditions on the ground in the institutions where they will be implemented.

As conditions continue to deteriorate, it's a mistake for people with dependent children to assume that valid education must necessarily be delivered through public institutions in all the states in the wealthiest, most "advanced" (?) country in the world. State-level mad-scientist-style regulatory negligence and ignorant tinkering with our education systems has brought us to a place where the schools in some states, including Arizona, are in absolutely atrocious shape. They will only get worse with the downright depraved policies (results-based funding, the destruction of teacher credentialing requirements) which state level leaders continue, with no wisdom and no foresight, to concoct in their "meth lab of democracy" in Phoenix. (Jon Stewart hit the nail on the head in describing the character of their operations in 2010. And they're still at it, with the academic preparation of the next generation as their focused target now.)

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Understand conditions on the ground before making policy. on 05/29/2017 at 12:32 PM

Re: “Anyone Can Teach. It's Easy! (At Least That's What Republican Legislators and the Governor Tell Me.)

I ask all of you who think this is a great idea to send your children to a school taught by this new pool of teachers, thats all. If we had had this kind of teacher under HT Sanchez, who co-wrote an article suggesting this very thing with the voucher queen, and HIS district, TUSD, had been allowed to train people with a BA or a BS to be teachers, we would have even more of his minions who mindlessly follow his lead than we have now. He paid close attention to training all of the new principals he brought on, and that hasn't necessarily brought bucketloads of good news to the district. Highlighting loyalty over credentials (even his own!) is not a good leadership strategy and slowly but surely kills the institution. Given how long it will take to clear the deadwood of the district out--that is, the folks, starting at the Board level, who are awfully good followers but miserable leaders--that would probably be educational malpractice towards our students and fatal for the district.

5 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 05/29/2017 at 7:29 AM

Re: “Anyone Can Teach. It's Easy! (At Least That's What Republican Legislators and the Governor Tell Me.)

Well, all kidding aside, I disagree on the premise. The only people with appropriate college education likely to give up their private sector jobs for teaching are ones who really care about teaching and will likely do well.
The exception may be some failures who managed to get a college degree but can't make it in the real world and want the salary (meager though it is) and benefits of being a teacher.

1 like, 7 dislikes
Posted by bslap on 05/29/2017 at 6:50 AM

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