Saturday, August 18, 2007

Licensed to Teach: What Does It Mean?

Doesn't take too much in the way of "critical reading skills" to determine the source of the story in this article.

The "no Chinese spoken here" theme is interesting, but only as a part of the agenda, which is "qualifications and licensing,"--that is to say, Union control.

Meanwhile, Falk and some leaders at the Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association, the teachers union, said they worry that too many teachers at new small high schools scheduled to open in the fall are not licensed to teach at the high school level or are to teach subjects for which they are not licensed.

Charter schools - which in Milwaukee are chartered by MPS, the city or the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee - have more flexibility when it comes to scheduling and teacher licensing than traditional schools. Teachers can get charter school licenses that allow them to teach outside their subject area and grade level.

The author doesn't bother to tell us about Falk's background--which is all-MTEA, all the way.

In fact, one gets the idea that the article was written at MTEA headquarters.

Donald Ernest, assistant executive director of the teachers union, said the union supports charter schools and believes that some students do better in small high schools. He worries, though, that licensure requirements have become too loose.

Well, now. Is a license the end-all and be-all?

Others note that the Professional Learning Institute, a small high school where students direct and design learning projects themselves, has no high school-certified math teacher but math scores are going up.

"Let's focus on our students rather than our licenses," said Danny Goldberg, a School Board member who strongly supports small high schools. "I respect the need to have content experts working in the schools, but I think we should actually trust the teachers to solve those problems."

What you see here is the Union taking a shot at an environment that they do not control. That is perfectly clear from the content of the article, which uses the Chinese problem as a foil.

It's results that count, not "licenses."

Looking for the Union Label is not a guarantee.

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