Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Let's Review, Kids

Supposedly, tomorrow is the opening of Public Comment on the radical rewrite of teacher and principal licensing rules for Indiana. At the link below (or somewhere near it) there should be a way for folks to formally comment on the changes. Let's review a few points of contention:

Who should be concerned?

Parents--how can we support a proposal that limits the amount of training our teachers get (particularly when it comes to students with special needs or coming from poverty)?

Citizens--Lowering standards in the name of raising standards? This is not just disingenuous public policy, it's playing politics with Indiana's children.

Teachers--what do think about a piece of policy that discredits not only your credentials but the work you do? If you don't think that this will effect your job....you're not paying attention.

Parents pt.2--this is a radical step backward for Indiana in the training of teachers (we used to do this but it didn't work). Will it work this time? Well, we don't know (note the lack of any real data behind these decisions) but it'll be tried out on your kids.

Proponents of Data-based Decision Making--why exactly is there no data on these targeted problems of teacher training, superintendent credentials, and principal preparation? It's 2009, people.....if there was data, they'd show it. This is politics.

Accountability Advocates--how does lowering standards for superintendents who hire principals based on lowered standards who hire teachers with lowered standards ensure highly-qualified educators? (seriously, this is the plan....take a look)

Anyone paying attention--make no mistake, this is all about taking our public education system and turning it over to "market forces"......Read the paper lately? Deregulation has caused the greatest economic crisis since the Depression; Yeah, let's turn our kids over to market! Really??

More to come but, as of tomorrow, its up to you ask these and other questions of the Indiana Professional Standards Board. Comments?




  1. "The National Council on Teacher Quality gave Indiana a "D‟ for its policies effecting teacher quality. Indiana ranks low in our ability to identify and retain effective teachers as well as our ability to weed out the worst teachers." (REPA: Why we need to revisit current licensing regulations)

    Please tell me how lowering the standards for teacher education will help to retain effective teachers because I don't see the relevance? Effective teachers may be leaving the teaching position because of the high stakes standardized testing obsession that is forced upon the classroom curriculum. It goes against many of our beliefs as parents and educators, yet. Pacing guides, test preparation, quite frankly, it takes all the fun, the passion, and authenticity out of teaching. I left the classroom after two years for this very reason, and many of my friends still in the profession struggle with this, too.

    Do I think education needs reform? Absolutely! Let's provide more MEANINGFUL and high-quality professional development for teachers in the field, let's bring the passion back to teaching with innovative and creative approaches, and let's create more relevant coursework for pre-service teachers to better prepare them for the classroom. However, I do not believe this proposal, which is an utter hypocrisy of our beliefs in education, is the answer. Let's go back to drawing board and reconstruct something that will actually make a powerful impact in student lives, rather than just giving them more of what we know doesn't work.

  2. Excellent points here! This proposal is loaded with hypocrisy, unanswered questions, and faulty logic (some call this the bait and switch). As for the National Council for Teacher Quality, it's a ideology based think tank, not a research center. The DOE has no business citing them for anything.

    Thanks for the Comments!

  3. NCTQ actually complimented Indiana for the mentoring program for beginning teachers. But that has not been funded for the past four years and is optional in the proposed rules. I'd look at data from the Education Trust, not ideology from NCTQ.

    If you look at IAC 515, you will see that the Indiana Professional Standards Board ceased to exist as of July 1, 2005. Also, there is no longer a Division of Professional Standards at the DOE.