Consider this paradox.
An earlier reform effort that was supposed to solve all the problems we face in schools was teacher certification testing. A baccalaureate degree in education (which also included state mandated classes) was not enough. If we would just test teachers, like we do lawyers and CPA’s and such, it would make a great leap forward in student achievement. It was another hurdle for prospective teachers. This was not a new idea, but it finally seemed to get traction shortly after I started teaching. Many teacher groups opposed testing, but all hoped it might give teacher certification more credibility.
The hoped for boon in student achievement did not happen. (The current round of “reform” will be no better. Hide and watch.) The only improvement was the bottom line of the testing companies that administer the teacher certification tests.
So now we have made it harder to become a teacher and harder to teach. Teachers are held up to ridicule for asking for raises that do not equal the increase in the cost of living. Lets see… Harder to get certified, treated worse, lower pay…
I wonder why we have a teacher shortage. <?> And those that made it harder to get certified and ridicule teachers seem to be the same ones not doing anything about school funding.
If I can reduce this to the lowest common denominator it would be this:
Make it harder for teachers to become qualified.
When this fails to help we criticize the teachers.
Then we deny teachers and schools the tools and support to do your job.
This adds incredible stress to do the job.
Fewer people study to become teachers…
Schools have more problems
Propose solutions (charter schools and vouchers) that do not address the problems of poverty and stressed families
Continue as before until public education is a memory.
For more than you want to know about the history of teacher certification should feel free to read here: