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G. F. Brandenburg, a fearless blogger who taught math for many years in the schools of D.C., writes here about the hypocrisy of reformer rhetoric.
If you look at the lingo used to justify all the horrendous crap being imposed by “Ed reform”, you’ll see that it’s all couched in lefty-liberal civil rights language. But its results are anything but. Very strange.
He takes, for example, the flowery language used to recruit college students to join Teach for America. They are led to believe that their presence will reduce the achievement gap and bring us closer to the day when all children, regardless of zip code, get an excellent education.
GFB: However, the way TFA works in practice is that the kids who need the most experienced, skillful teachers, instead get total newbies straight out of college with no teaching experience, no mentoring, and courses on how to teach whatever subject they are they are assigned to. Their five weeks of summer training are mostly rah-rah cheerleading and browbeating. Their only classroom experiences during that summer are a dozen or so hours teaching a handful of kids, **in a subject or grade level totally different from whatever they will be randomly assigned to**.
What underprivileged students do NOT need is an untrained newbie who won’t stick with them. If anything, this policy INCREASES the ‘achievement gap’.
He then proposes 17 ideas that would actually improve the lives of children and their education. Begin, he says, by getting non-educators out of the drivers’ seat.
Get people who don’t have actual, extensive teaching or research experience out of the command and control centers of education except as advisors. So, no Michelle Rhee, Andre Agassi, Arne Duncan, Billionaire Broad at the helm.
Read his other good ideas, and add your own.