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Peg Robertson is rightfully outraged that the Relay Graduate School of Education received state approval to operate in Colorado.
She was even more outraged that no one spoke out in opposition to this travesty.
This is the story of a fake graduate program getting approved by the Colorado Commission of Higher Education. CCHE has approved that non-educators trained by non-educators can be “certified” teachers who are in charge of the social, emotional, physical, mental and academic well-being of Colorado’s children. Imagine your child in that classroom. I’d like to see all the principals and leaders in Colorado who attended Relay Principal training PUT THEIR OWN CHILDREN IN THESE CLASSROOMS.
These fake teachers must prove that they can achieve one year’s growth via TEST scores in order to graduate from Relay. You can be assured that they will be stellar at teaching to the test. This is all that they know. And in order to make this happen, militant disciplinary methods must be used because children, and adults, ultimately find this form of dog training to be boring, redundant, and insulting. Therefore, it must be enforced – and as it is enforced this conditioning will become normal – it will be accepted as “as good as it gets.” Democratic thinking will continue to erode.
These fake teachers will be led by a fake dean who appears to be 31 years old and is a former TFA. She has two years teaching experience and appears to have some bizarro M.S.T. in which she got her training by speaking to robotic students via video games. Meanwhile her bachelor’s was in sociology.
Daniel Katz of Seton Hall University wrote a scathing article about Relay last year. Of course, Arne Duncan praised it.
Katz described it thus:
It is a “Graduate School of Education” that has not a single professor or doctoral level instructor or researcher affiliated with it. In essence, it is a partnership of charter school chains Uncommon Schools, KIPP, and Achievement First, and it is housed in the Uncommon Schools affiliated North Star Academy. Relay’s “curriculum” mostly consists of taking the non-certified faculty of the charter schools, giving them computer-delivered modules on classroom management (and distributing copies of Teach Like a Champion), and placing them under the auspices of the “no excuses” brand of charter school operation and teachers who already have experience with it.
This is a direct assault on the very idea of teacher professionalism. This alleged graduate school has no Ph.D.s or EDDs on its “faculty.” It consists of charter teachers teaching prospective charter teachers how to raise test scores. No research. No library. No scholars. Of its several campuses in five states, not one has a dean with a doctorate. They are mostly TFA graduates. They will now train and award master’s degrees in test-score raising.
Relay is spreading like kudzu, offering to “train” teachers and principals. It has been approved in New York by the Board of Regents. It was approved in Massachusetts. And most shocking of all, it has been approved by NCATE, which apparently has no standards for what constitutes a graduate school of education. Having a masters’ degree in raising test scores should be about as valuable as a BA from Corinthian Colleges.