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Friday, December 7, 2012

Or Is It Only the Unionized Teachers Who Need Rigorous Vetting?

Posted by on Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 2:30 PM

I don't want to dwell on it, but when the Seattle Times editorializes in favor of a “bar exam” for teachers that assures "only the most rigorously vetted and well-trained teachers make it into the classroom," do they suffer even the slightest twinge of cognitive dissonance from knowing that just nine months ago they argued that Teach for America teachers, with their five-weeks of training, "perform well enough in classrooms to justify continuing, even expanding, their presence here"...?

I dunno. Just strikes me as a pretty glaring inconsistency.


Comments (23) RSS

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@11 - I could see that being an asset, if the folks running the charter were independent, non-conformist innovating teachers. Any chance some of the schools featuring certificateless teachers are kicking ass with educating kids to all new standards? (hard to measure, but the potential and hope could be high)
Posted by JulietteF on December 9, 2012 at 1:16 AM · Report this
@15: you can't compare teachers to other professions; other profesions have significant accountability mechanisms that teachers lack. iow crappy teachers get to stay teachers and often make as much as good teachers. professors must achieve a lot more by way of "performance" to get tenure; lawyers and doctors don't get tenure; laywers doctors and engineers (a) can get sued, (b) can get fired (c) oftem compete in a market for clients, so if you lose or don't do well, ahem, you tend to get fewere clients, or less well heeled clients, or you get no clients. the market fires you.

while most teachers have advanced degrees plus as you say, who cares? our schools are failing. washington state came in in the bottom third of all states graduation wise or in comletion of four year degrees -- we are on a par with WEST VIRGINIA. a/k/a hillbilly land. this is what you guys are protecting? you want more pay for that performance? you can start by not c omparing teachers to profesions that make more, but where it is possible to fail or do poorly in pay based on your merit.
Posted by teachers r insulated on December 9, 2012 at 12:06 AM · Report this
Their coverage of sports is too locally focused. They are great if you want coverage of the Seahawks, Cougars, Huskies, or HS sports, but for anything else, their coverage is limited to condensed wire blurbs about games and super condensed injury reports.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on December 8, 2012 at 11:51 AM · Report this
@19 as a MLB fan I greatly disagree. Baker is garbage and was chased out of his last beat and Kelly is too old school. Stone is cool but doesn't write enough and is overshadowed.
Lastly, their stats are often filled with typos rendering them meaningless.
They could be great at covering other sports and its nifty they cover a bit of high school. But for MLB, they blow.
Posted by CbytheSea on December 8, 2012 at 11:13 AM · Report this
@ 13 but their sports section is magnificent
Posted by Seattle14 on December 8, 2012 at 9:04 AM · Report this
pfffter 18
@13 I agree. What an embarrassment that rag is.
Posted by pfffter on December 8, 2012 at 8:46 AM · Report this

cosmologists and barbers take an exam.
Posted by just so you know on December 8, 2012 at 8:43 AM · Report this
If only the bar exam did that for lawyers.

Being able to show knowledge on a test is not the same as skill in a profession.
Posted by giffy on December 8, 2012 at 4:11 AM · Report this
I also note that the Seattle Times failed to address the fact that the other professions that they cited as having exams (lawyers, engineers) are paid significantly (as in double to quadruple) what teachers are paid even though most teachers have advanced degrees plus.
Posted by Art Hill on December 7, 2012 at 8:06 PM · Report this
Are the Times editorials on other topics as grotesquely uninformed and misguided as their editorials on education topics?

What kind of idiot goes to press with the idea of a teacher test without checking whether or not there isn't already a teacher test?

Also, what kind of fool publishes an opinion about a topic they know so little about that they aren't aware that there already is a teacher test?

By the way, even the Teach for America corps members who want to teach in Washington State need to pass these tests.
Posted by Charlie Mas on December 7, 2012 at 7:28 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 13
I'm ready for the Seattle times to go out of business. It would be less embarrassing to live in a city with NO newspaper.
Posted by Free Lunch on December 7, 2012 at 6:45 PM · Report this
Goldy, it's pretty clear that you read the Seattle Times editorial pages more closely than the editorial page staff does.
Posted by Punditwatch on December 7, 2012 at 6:12 PM · Report this
In Utah, charter school teachers don't even have to have a teaching certificate.... same with Arizona.
Posted by StuckInUtah on December 7, 2012 at 4:45 PM · Report this
TheRain 10
Besides the aforementioned Praxis, there's also the WEST-B and WEST-E tests that both have to be passed.

The pattern from the State Board of Education, and particularly the schmucks over at the Professional Educator Standards Board, has been to raise the requirements both to get initial licensure and to keep your license, and neither one of those moves has done dick-all to help kids.
Posted by TheRain on December 7, 2012 at 4:22 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 9
Not only does the bar exam for teachers contradict the stupid notion of TFA teachers summer vacation training session, but how the hell do you expect anyone to get an education as a teacher anymore? Thanks to the Seattle Times relentless advocacy of spending cuts, tuition at state universities has spiked more than 35% in the last 2 years alone, but teachers salaries have stagnated. Just how do they think a new teacher is going to pay off the student loans for that kind of tuition hike? Where do they think these new teachers are going to come from to take their stupid bar exam?

And will charter school teachers have to pass this bar exam too? (Bonus points if you knew that TFA is literally married to the charter school movement, so the answer is 'no'.)
Posted by Reverse Polarity on December 7, 2012 at 3:51 PM · Report this
MK1 8
Jesus fucking christ. Washington State already has a test teachers have to pass. It's called Praxis II and I had to shell out $110 to take it. I know the Seattle Times loves their corporate school reform, but apparently they're so far in the bag they can't even research the "ideas" they dream up to find out they're already in existence and have been being implemented for years.
Posted by MK1 on December 7, 2012 at 3:50 PM · Report this
Goldy is right; how does the Times square its love of the 5-week training of TFA with a bar exam for teachers?

Also, the committee heads of the GOP Senators are all white guys who claim seniority. This is another thing the Times hates for teachers to do and yet they are okay on the US Senate using the "seniority" line.

I hear a rumor that the Times is actually going to start charging for their content.

Good luck with that; I'm sure you'll do as well as you did with your ads for McKenna.
Posted by westello on December 7, 2012 at 3:20 PM · Report this
We let our Times subscription lapse and delivery stopped this week. My sports loving son is hurting, but the house is neater.
Posted by cracked on December 7, 2012 at 3:10 PM · Report this
To be fair, I think the belief tends to be that teachers who can pass basic skills tests concerning content might not meat other criteria. The party line on the right seems to be that almost any reasonably intelligent adult can teach and that the education lobby as filled the teaching profession with nearly retarded adults who have nothing but an education degree by way of qualification.
Posted by kinaidos on December 7, 2012 at 3:07 PM · Report this
Having high barriers to entry only works in professions that pay well.
Posted by Proteus on December 7, 2012 at 3:00 PM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 3
@1 if we could see their advertising numbers and distribution numbers month over month (that would be a fun leak, if they made their way to the Stranger!) I wonder if that would actually be near to the truth.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi on December 7, 2012 at 2:59 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 2
Given what teachers are paid don't expect to get "only the most rigorously vetted and well-trained teachers" into those classrooms Seattle Times.

And after all the time that piece of crap paper has spent demanding tax cuts that cut teacher's salaries...the ST can go fuck itself.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on December 7, 2012 at 2:52 PM · Report this
Sometimes I think the only people that read the Seattle Times Op Ed page are The Stranger writers.
Posted by ourkind on December 7, 2012 at 2:41 PM · Report this

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