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03 May 2014 @ 10:51 am
Points of Departure  
Three pieces explored the Obama administration plan to implment VAM at the university level as they now will develop a plan to build a better teacher prep program. The New York Times and Huffington Post pieces appeared on April 25, 2014. Here is the link to the Huffington Post piece: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/25/education-department-teacher-training-rules_n_5215233.html?&ir=Education&ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000023. Duncan criticizes teacher preparation programs with rather harsh words: "He has said universities too often treat schools of education as a "cash cow" because they are comparatively cheap to operate, yet attract a high enrollment. He also has said most of the programs "are doing a mediocre job" of preparing teachers for the realities of the classroom." Aside from the fact that he is dead wrong about enrollment increases (who would want to go into education now with the CCSS monster looming?), he is also DEAD wrong about the mediocre job most programs are doing. He is relying the on NCTQ report which has been soundly criticized and debunked and yet still makes its way into articles. Ditto the piece in the NY Times citing the NCTQ report as the chief reason education is so poor these days. Here is that link: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/26/us/obama-administration-plan-seeks-to-rate-teacher-training-programs.html?smid=tw-share&_r=1.

Thank heavens for the blogosphere. This post (http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/2014/04/us-doe-revives-truly-terrible-proposal.html) provides the background missing from the newspapers' coverage: the facts. The fact is that our program here in Texas was criticized after the NCTQ panel did an analysis of our syllabi. Period. Of course, they did not see some things they believe are hallmarks of a good program. One of them is mention of CCSS. Forget the FACT that Texas did not adopt CCSS, it should still be there if we are doing a good job writing oiur syllabi. Forget also that we are accredited with several of our programs being rated as exemplary (inluding the Library Science program). Forget those facts; concentrate on the facts of the NCTQ report.

There is something really wrong when the Secretary of Education relies on a study that has been proven to be unreliable and invalid. But then there is a long history of that at the federal level (CCSS, NCLB, NRP).
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