#Duncan coming after Teacher Education.

According to Arnie Duncan, teacher education programs are “part of the problem.”

What problem?

  1. Does he mean the fact that in the last 15 years public schools have been turned into test prep factories and that students now receive less instruction in art, music and physical education prior to NCLB and RttT?
  2. Does he mean the fact that veteran teachers are leaving the profession in droves because of the demeaning atmosphere fostered by the “competitive” environment resulting from RttT?
  3. Does he mean the fact that more public schools that serve the most economically disadvantaged kids have been closed and replaced with sub par charter schools that divert public tax dollars into the hands of private Education Management Organizations?
  4. Does he mean that the most economically disadvantaged kids are now taught by “teachers” with 6 weeks of training?

I am a teacher educator in a teacher education program and I’m positive we had nothing to do with the problems listed above?

So what about the solution?

some sort of competitive initiative to foster innovation in schools of education.

Huh?  The last time I checked the RESEARCH, the entire reform movement based on the corporate ideology of competition has been a disaster. And what the hell would competition in schools of education look like anyway?  Bulletin Board design competitions? Smart Board trouble shooting competitions?  Three-legged directed reading lesson races?

I’m starting to think Friedman might have been onto something.  It might be time for a little Race to the Top for the State Department.

Follow Timothy D. Slekar on Twitter: www.twitter.com/slekar



  1. LAura Chapman says:

    Arene Duncan is the echo Chamber for Bill Gates. In addition to unprescedents data gathering onK-12 teachers, The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) a non-profit with startup funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is trying to obtain course syllabuses from every teacher education program in the United States. The NCTQ is supported by funds from three anonymous donors and fifty-six foundations. The organization has established criteria for rating teacher preparation (by passing all other accrediting agencies) and has a relationship with US News and World Report for publication of these ratings. NCTQ successfully sued public institutions in Minnesota for these documents, based on open records and fair use laws. The NCTQ rating criteria require teacher education programs to forward the agenda of the Common Core State Standards, and make assessment strategies and “delivery” of instruction central in teacher education.
    The NCTQ criteria assert that elementary classroom teachers should be responsible for all subjects, and that a liberal education, with one course in art history and/or one course music history (preferably both), is sufficient for them to teach art in grades K-5. If a teacher education program does not conform to the course requirements listed in detail by this self-appointed council, it will be given a low rating. The criteria for evaluating programs is available at: http://www.nctq.org/p/edschools/support/index.jsp and http://www.nctq.org/standardsDisplay.do?include=I I
    In 2012, NCTQ was recruiting persons to gather and review teacher education course materials and to make judgments about the quality of teacher education programs for a payment of $20 an hour. Sawchuck, S. (2012, November 7). Teacher colleges told to release syllabuses. Education Week, 32(11), 4.

  2. Innovation – yes, but not at any price. Especially the price of retiring experienced teachers who do not catch up with the latest technology, sometimes being merely gadgets.

  3. Arne says some of the craziest things. (To bad no one is there to fact check him.) I say data and evidence please. (That should shut him down.) I cringe at his targeted focus on schools of Ed in the next four years. (I hope there is a lot of professorial and academy push-back) But what shocks the mess out of me will be his emphasis on early childhood education. I can only speculate at what it may look like. The first lesson no doubt will be on a child holding a pencil. The follow-up lessons not doubt will include sharpening said pencil and filling in the bubble without any stray lines. This is sad, scary, disturbing, and troubling- all at the same time.

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