Monday, July 30, 2012

Certifying Teachers

Re: the article on Certifying Teachers, More by How the Teach in the New York Times today   by Al Baker, on page 1. 
It is accurate that this assessment is better than paper and pencil tests. And, it is accurate that "teaching is action work."   That is why the proposed new assessment system is not nearly as useful, helpful, nor valid as the present practice of student teacher practice and assessment by professionals.  
In this article, Ray Pechone and Linda Darling- Hammond continue their long practice of only telling the positive. And, the writer Al Baker makes the classic error noted in the prior post on media coverage of "reform".

 " Why then in schools do we allow politicians, lobbyists, and other “experts” who are not teachers and have not worked in classrooms for over ten years, and who have not taught children, to make the basic decisions about schooling.  As a starting point, clearly those establishing our policies do not understand testing and its limits.  (See Bracey, 2009).
  A major problem with our campaigns for a democratic approach to schooling is that most of the media has been sold a mindset or framework of accountability.    Corporate sponsored  networks and “ think tanks” such as the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, the Bradley Foundation,  the Olin Foundation  and their access to the media is not likely to change.  The domination  of the accountability frame within the media and political circles  must be opposed.  "

I worked for a couple of years against this system as it was developed in California.  Here is a report on what is wrong with such assessment. 

Duane Campbell
Professor (emeritus) Bilingual/Multicultural Education.
Cal. State U Sacramento. 
author Choosing Democracy: a practical guide to multicultural education.  ( 2010).
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