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The paper chase

I recently read an article “AFT Moves Forward with Bar Exam for Teacher Candidates” and was struck by a few things; equating teachers to doctors and lawyers and the continued push toward all things standardized.

“Teaching, like the medical, legal and other professions, must have a universal, rigorous, multidimensional entry assessment to ensure that a new teacher possesses the required knowledge and skills to be a caring, competent and confident classroom professional. The report outlines such an assessment’s components, which include completing a yearlong clinical experience, knowing one’s content and basic teaching skills-like classroom management and differentiating instruction-and demonstrating that knowledge in real-life clinical classroom situations. It makes clear this ‘bar-like’ process is for prospective teachers and in lieu of, rather than in addition to, the processes that exist today.

“After a great discussion, the AFT officers and executive council embraced the report’s recommendations and agenda for action. AFT teachers and teacher educators will now move forward with other invested parties as we work with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to design the standards and assessment prescribed by the report. Development and implementation of this assessment will give educators at all levels real ownership of their profession.”

I am not a teacher so I cannot speak to the appropriateness of this decision, but I have to wonder…

The expectation that is being set and the level of professionalism and commitment needed to pursue a career in teaching is admirable, yet we are unwilling to pay these professionals what they would earn using their skills and knowledge in other fields. I fully understand that teaching is a public sector profession and by definition will not be compensated at private sector levels. However, after sitting through yet another public meeting recently and hearing the tax payers of the district denigrate the teachers, demand that they hire in less experienced “cheaper” teachers, it is disheartening. I agree that all of us should raise the bar in our professional and personal skills and knowledge, but I also believe that these should be respected. What is the incentive for teachers entering the profession or those seasoned teachers in classrooms today to meet these expectations? Does the conversation need to evolve into one of respect and parental commitment in conjunction with higher standards for teachers?

The quotes above were taken from Core Education


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