One of the dumbest teacher-bashing headlines ever, appears on the front page of today's Trib. "Teachers may not know the subjects they cover". Are you kidding me?
The assignment of teachers not properly trained and credentialed to teach a specific course — a practice that has come under fire nationwide — is facilitated by loopholes in state laws and rules as well as by district hiring practices. It has occurred even when applicants with the required qualifications were available, the newspaper found.Teachers teaching out of their subject area? Well duh! Here's a flash for you. This isn't about incompetent teachers not knowing their subject area as the headline suggests. It's really about educational equity (not mentioned in the Trib article). It's about full and equitable school funding and an end to budget slashing. And it's about sub-contracting and privatization, including non-union, privately-run charters, where certification of teachers isn't always required.
|Duncan applauds Vergara decision.|
Similar policies in Chicago have lead to a sharp decline in the number of African-American teachers. As the district's teaching force grows smaller and whiter, it is also becoming less credentialed. When Rahm and BBB fire hundreds of experienced, certified (even Nationally Board Certified) teachers, including dozens of special-ed, art and music teachers along with librarians and school social counselors and social workers, who do you think is going to perform those roles?
The Trib story continues, quoting Univ. of Penn prof. Richard Ingersoll:
The oft-cited reason officials give is that they can't find or afford educators who have the proper credentials for a particular position, in part because of teacher shortages in certain areas, Ingersoll said. Yet the practice is common even in disciplines in which shortages do not exist and in states with a surplus of teachers for available vacancies, he said. "It might be because of favoritism or poor planning or some principal who wants to get around the rules," Ingersoll said.Ah, now we're getting somewhere. Yes, district leaders and principals are guilty of favoritism and poor planning to get around rules. What rules? Well union contracts, seniority and tenure laws to name a few. As collective-bargaining agreements are increasingly trashed, what you end up with is hiring on the cheap and the debasing and pushing-out of talented veteran teachers.
And don't forget dozens of charter schools which often pride themselves on hiring non-certified teachers or having an inexperienced TFAer filling in wherever needed.
Even if IL and other states begin an overhaul of teacher licensing to close the "loopholes" it will just mean that kids in poor communities and resource-starved schools won't have access to the same courses as those in wealthier communities. For example, a recent Sun-Times article reveals that only about half of the 577 schools run by CPS have an arts teacher for every 350 students, while less than a quarter of district-run schools even provide the recommended 120 minutes a week of arts education for every student.
Rahm's plan is to increase the sub-contracting and privatization of arts education as well as other academic areas to companies and non-profits that aren't required to hire certified instructors.
|What about Segrue's credentials?|
Now is Sugrue supposed to enforce strict adherence to credentialing and have her teachers only teaching in their subject area?
She would have to start by firing herself.
Oh, and speaking of CPS credentialing, I almost forgot "Dr." Terrence P. Carter sent to us by Chicago’s New Leaders for New Schools.