Educate All Students: Larry Miller's Blog

February 9, 2015

Walker Wants Changes to Teacher Licensure

Filed under: Teachers — millerlf @ 2:51 pm

Walker proposes new teacher licensure plan to wide criticism
By SCOTT BAUER – Associated Press
MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Gov. Scott Walker wants to create a new pathway for people with “real-life experience” to get licensed to teach in Wisconsin, but his proposal raised concerns Thursday among those in the education community because it requires no training in how to be an effective teacher.

 
Walker’s plan was one sentence in a news release that detailed other initiatives designed to help create jobs in high-demand fields. His plan would allow someone to forego collegiate-level education courses and instead permit anyone with a bachelor’s degree who can demonstrate proficiency in the areas they want to teach to be licensed.
It would only apply to subjects in grades 6 to 12. The license would be valid for three years.

 
The statewide teachers union and the lobbyist for a group representing school principals, superintendents and other administrators criticized the proposal.

 
“We’ve got some significant concerns about its philosophical underpinning,” said John Forester, lobbyist for the School Administrators Alliance.

 
He said the evidence shows that high-quality preparation for teachers is what really matters for schoolchildren. Forester said Walker’s proposal “bypasses the skill of being able to teach in an understandable way to children.”
Betsy Kippers, a Racine teacher and president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council, noted that there are already alternative paths for licensing that require instruction on how to be an effective educator.

 
“Every child should have a caring, qualified and committed teacher with a solid background in how to teach, along with what to teach,” Kippers said in a statement.

 
Walker’s proposal would require the state Department of Public Instruction to create a competency exam. DPI spokesman Tom McCarthy raised the same concerns that teachers and administrators did.
“You need more than textbook knowledge to be the kind of teacher that connects with students and helps all kids learn,” he said. “Like a skilled surgeon or a master electrician, high-quality teaching requires both skills and content knowledge.”

 
The department’s alternative methods to obtaining a teaching license generally require previous teaching experience or are largely targeted to specific high-needs areas.
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December 10, 2011

Walker: Destroying the Teaching Profession in Wisconsin

Filed under: Scott Walker,Teachers,Teaching — millerlf @ 4:32 pm

Will Anyone Want to Teach in Wisconsin

By Lisa Kaiser ExpressMilwaukee 12/8/11

Milwaukee-area teachers say they would not encourage anyone to pursue a career in education, according to a new survey conducted by the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), which represents educators across the state.

Three-fourths of the 3,800 educators surveyed said morale has gotten worse since February, when Gov. Scott Walker introduced a bill that gutted public employees’ bargaining rights and required them to pay more into their health care and pension benefits.

In contrast, a mere 5.6% of surveyed teachers, counselors, library media specialists and support staff said that morale has improved. That’s in stark contrast to the governor’s assertion that his “tools” are “working.”

The survey polled educators in the metro Milwaukee area, excluding Milwaukee Public Schools teachers and staff.

After Walker’s collective bargaining bill was passed by the Republican-led Legislature, Walker and lawmakers handed public schools $1.6 billion in cuts, thanks to reduced funding and strict property tax caps that limit the amount of local revenue school districts can generate.

According to the state Department of Public Instruction (DPI), 97% of the state’s 424 school districts will receive less school aid for the 2011-2012 school year than they did in the previous year. The median decrease was 9.98%.

Teaching ‘On the Brink of Some Very Serious Trouble’

WEAC’s survey turned up widespread discontent among education professionals:

  • 78% said that schools were not better off this year
  • 76% said that their district had fewer resources this year to meet the needs of all children as individuals
  • 72% said they would not encourage potential teachers to pursue a career in education
  • 57% said they considered leaving the profession in the past year
  • 55% are concerned or very concerned about their job security
  • 77% say they are more stressed because of their job insecurity

Taken together, Walker’s education policies are damaging the education profession now and in the coming years, said Ted Kraig, UniServ Director of Council No. 10 of WEAC.

“The teaching profession is on the brink of some very serious trouble,” Kraig said.

He said Wisconsin is going in the opposite direction of countries with high-quality education systems, where teaching is a desirable profession that attracts top-notch college students.

“We’re not going to be drawing from the top 10% of students when this is an incredibly put-upon, undesirable profession, given everything that Walker is doing to it,” Kraig said.

He said that lowered morale, along with reduced resources and the undesirability of teaching as a career, will damage Wisconsin’s public education system in the long run.

“Research shows that inside the walls of the school, the most important factor is the quality of the teacher,” Kraig said. “If teachers are overwhelmingly saying, ‘This is not sustainable, this makes me really question whether I want to be in this profession, I wouldn’t recommend that anybody else get into it,’ we need to take that seriously.”

DPI spokesman Patrick Gasper said state Superintendent Tony Evers had opposed Walker’s education policies and budget.

“It’s been a very difficult year for educators in general,” Gasper said. “While many of them feel or have felt that they’re sort of under attack, they were the ones who still reported to school on Sept. 1 and were there for the students and are doing standout jobs in providing education to our children.”

He said Walker’s reforms could discourage a new generation from becoming public school teachers.

“But teaching is an incredibly rewarding profession,” Gasper said. “We must continue to invest in education. We have to keep trying to do things to attract the best and brightest to become teachers. That’s what we need in order for our children to succeed.”

Fewer Teachers, Bigger Class Sizes

WEAC’s study is the second survey demonstrating the impact of Walker’s collective bargaining “tools” and $1.6 billion funding cut on the state’s public schools.

Last month, the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators (WASDA) survey, analyzed by the state DPI, found that public schools are employing 3,368 fewer educators and staff this year, compared to the 2010-2011 school year employment levels. That translates to 1,655 fewer teachers, 172 fewer administrators, 765 fewer aides and 776 fewer support staff. About 83% of school districts responded to WASDA’s survey, but it correlates with 4,000 public school jobs lost statewide this year, as estimated by the state Department of Workforce Development.

Nine out of 10 students attend a district with a net loss of staffing in one of four areas surveyed and 59% of districts said they have increased class sizes for some grade levels.

Two-thirds of responding districts said that they will make the same or deeper cuts in the next school year, since federal stimulus funding will have run out, big savings from Walker’s “tools” will have been exhausted and high levels of retirements have already been taken.

Also on the horizon is a potential cut of federal funds for public education in the next year, due to the inability of the congressional “super committee” to strike a deal in November.

“We haven’t heard anything specific or the extent or amount of the cuts,” said DPI’s Gasper. “That’s sort of still in play.”

WASDA Executive Director Miles Turner said Walker’s education policy is part of a long-term trend of decreased funding for public education, which began in the Tommy Thompson administration with revenue caps and the qualified economic offer (QEO) for teachers. As a result, districts have resorted to cutting employees and course offerings and increasing class sizes.

“I sometimes wonder if the citizens of Wisconsin understand what’s happening to their public education system,” Turner said. “That’s not just current [policies]. It’s also historical and future [policies].”

Walker’s office did not respond to the Shepherd‘s request for comment on this article. But the governor has claimed that his “tools” haven’t decreased the quality of public education and have reduced statewide property tax levies for schools by 1%.

But WASDA’s Turner said that the goal of public education policy shouldn’t be property tax relief. He said that state policy-makers need to take a look at all sources of revenue for education funding, including potentially raising the sales tax 1%, to bring it up to the national average and raise $1 billion for schools.

“Why are we looking at property tax relief at the expense of local public schools when there might be better sources of revenue to fund schools and save our programs and serve our children?” Turner said.

September 6, 2011

Michigan Republicans: Privatizing Public School Teaching

Filed under: Privatization,Teachers — millerlf @ 1:11 pm

By Andy Kroll | Thu Sep. 1, 2011  Mother Jones


In Michigan, a state perennially crippled by budget deficits [1], public school districts across the state have already outsourced their bus drivers, cafeteria workers, sports coaches, and janitors to try and save money. Now Republicans in Michigan’s state Legislature want to take the outsourcing frenzy one giant leap forward by privatizing [2] public school teaching.
Michigan Republican Sen. Phil Pavlov, who chairs the state Senate’s education committee [3], is preparing legislation that would allow public school districts to hire teachers through private, for-profit companies. Privatizing the hiring process would presumably allow school districts to bypass compensation packages sought by teachers unions and let private companies compete for contracts with districts.
Pavlov didn’t respond to a request for comment on the teacher privatization plan. But Pavlov has publicly described his plan, which he said was still in the works, this way: “I look at it as offering options. If there is something out there that can offer school officials the same options at a lower cost, schools need to take a look at that. It needs to [be] part of the conversation on reform.”
The Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP) says [4] that teachers from private companies would be required to have the same credentials as existing public school teachers. Public school districts, MASSP notes, would begin soliciting bids from private “instructional services” companies once existing teacher contracts had expired.
Michigan Education Association spokesman Doug Pratt says Pavlov’s plan is a “terrible idea” that would erode the quality of public school teaching because districts will look for the lowest bidder, not the best teachers. “Instead of having teachers who care about their students learning and their personal growth as their top priorities, the corporation’s bottom line would be what they care about most.” Pratt also claimed this is a way to kneecap teachers’ unions in Michigan. “Privatization is a type of union busting,” he says.
Michigan Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, the state Senate minority leader, says she and the Democratic Caucus plan to fight Pavlov’s proposal if it is included in new education legislation. She describes teacher privatization as merely a continuation of Michigan Republicans’ education agenda. “Gov. [Rick] Snyder and Republicans have made no bones about it: they’re trying to dismantle public education in Michigan,” Whitmer says.
Michigan’s teacher privatization scheme comes after Republican Gov. Snyder and Republican state lawmakers passed a budget that shrunk public-school funding [5] by $300 per student, or nearly $500 million overall. (Michigan has 1.65 million public school students [6].) With school budgets stretched thin, many districts already use outsourcing: A 2011 analysis by the conservative Mackinac Center for Public Policy [7], a cheerleader for privatizing public services, also found that 54 percent of the state’s 550 public school districts outsource at least one of three key services—food, transportation, and custodial. If Pavlov moves ahead with his teacher privatization plan, there’s a solid chance it could win passage. Republicans enjoy a two-thirds supermajority [8] in the state Senate and a 63-47 majority [9] in the state House of Representatives.
Pavlov’s plan takes a cue from pro-privatization, free-market-driven outfits like the American Legislative Exchange Council and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a Michigan think tank [10]. (The Mackinac Center has received money from the charities of Charles G. Koch, one-half of the Koch brothers duo; the DeVos family, which amassed huge wealth by cofounding the Amway direct marketing company; and the family of Erik Prince, who founded the war-contracting company Blackwater.) While ALEC and the Mackinac Center have not publicly advocated outsourcing public teachers, they’ve come close. ALEC’s “School Board Freedom to Contract Act” [11] model legislation would grant local school boards more power to outsource cafeteria workers, bus drivers, and custodians. (The co-chair of ALEC’s Education Task Force is a vice president at an online for-profit school company [12].) The Mackinac Center published its own guide, “A School Privatization Primer,” [13] which shows Michigan school districts how to outsource various services and lists private companies ready for hire in districts around the state.
Diane Ravitch [14], one of the country’s foremost American education historians and a former Education Department official under George H.W. Bush, says Pavlov’s proposal is the first time she’s heard of actually privatizing teachers themselves. She adds that such a plan doesn’t make any sense from a cost-saving perspective unless Michigan Republicans, whom she described as a “tea party governor and tea party legislators,” plan to cut health care and pension benefits for public school teachers. “If you’re going to be a teacher, why would you go to some private company selling its services?” Ravitch asks. “Why wouldn’t you go straight to the school districts? I don’t understand this unless it’s a way to increase profits for someone and to increase privatization in education.”

Source URL: http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/09/michigan-republican-privatize-teacher-public-education

Links:
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Do ‘top’ college graduates really make better teachers?

Filed under: Teachers — millerlf @ 1:06 pm

By Valerie Strauss

This was written by Matthew Di Carlo, senior fellow at the non-profit Albert Shanker Institute, located in Washington, D.C. This post originally appeared on the institute’s blog.

One of the few issues that all sides in the education debate agree upon is the desirability of attracting “better people” into the teaching profession. While this certainly includes the possibility of using policy to lure career-switchers, most of the focus is on attracting “top” candidates right out of college or graduate school.

The common metric that is used to identify these “top” candidates is their pre-service (especially college) characteristics and performance. Most commonly, people call for the need to attract teachers from the “top third” of graduating classes, an outcome that is frequently cited as being the case in high-performing nations such as Finland. Now, it bears noting that “attracting better people,” like “improving teacher quality,” is a policy goal, not a concrete policy proposal — it tells us what we want, not how to get it. And how to make teaching more enticing for “top” candidates is still very much an open question (as is the equally important question of how to improve the performance of existing teachers).

In order to answer that question, we need to have some idea of whom we’re pursuing. Who are these “top” candidates, and what do they want? I sometimes worry that our conception of this group — in terms of the “top third” and similar constructions — doesn’t quite square with the evidence, and that this misconception might actually be misguiding rather than focusing our policy discussions.

What do I mean? Basically, I haven’t seen much compelling proof that “top” college graduates are leaps and bounds more effective than their peers. Of course, our evidence in this area is mostly limited to test-based outcomes, such as analyses of the connection between measurable pre-service characteristics (e.g., candidates’ GPA or the selectivity of their institution) and their test-based effectiveness when they enter the classroom.

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Should the starting salary for a teacher be $60,000?

Filed under: Education Policy,Teachers — millerlf @ 12:58 pm

By Liz Goodwin | The Lookout – Thu, Sep 1, 2011

How would the nation’s school system be different if teachers were paid like engineers?

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan proposed last month that a significant boost in teacher salaries could transform public schools for the better by luring the country’s brightest college graduates into the profession.

Teachers should be paid a starting salary of $60,000, Duncan said, with the opportunity to make up to $150,000 a year. That’s higher than the salaries of most high school principals, who are generally paid much more than teachers.

The median salary among all middle school teachers, for example, not just those starting out in the profession, is around $52,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Would paying teachers 2 to 3 times more money mean that students would learn more? We don’t know. But smaller raises of 20 percent or less have been ineffective, and one New York City school that embraced much higher pay has so far underperformed on state tests.

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June 27, 2011

U.S. Teachers’ Hours Among World’s Longest

Filed under: Educational Practices,Teachers,Teaching — millerlf @ 5:10 pm
 June 25, 2011 Wall Street Journal

By Phil Izzo

1,097: Average number of hours U.S. teachers spend per year on instruction.

Students across the U.S. are enjoying or getting ready for summer vacation, but teachers may be looking forward to the break even more. American teachers are the most productive among major developed countries, according to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development data from 2008 — the most recent available.

Among 27 member nations tracked by the OECD, U.S. primary-school educators spent 1,097 hours a year teaching despite only spending 36 weeks a year in the classroom — among the lowest among the countries tracked. That was more than 100 hours more than New Zealand, in second place at 985 hours, despite students in that country going to school for 39 weeks. The OECD average is 786 hours.

And that’s just the time teachers spend on instruction. Including hours teachers spend on work at home and outside the classroom, American primary-school educators spend 1,913 working in a year. According to data from the comparable year in a Labor Department survey, an average full-time employee works 1,932 hours a year spread out over 48 weeks (excluding two weeks vacation and federal holidays).

Despite the amount of time that teachers spend working, student achievement in the U.S. remains average in reading and science and slightly below average in math when compared to other nations in a separate OECD report. That remains a concern as education is one of the most important ways a country can foster long-term economic growth.

“Education is a large item of public expenditure in most countries. At the same time, it is also an essential investment for developing the long-run growth potential of countries and for responding to the fundamental changes in technology and demographics that are reshaping labor markets,” the OECD wrote.

April 14, 2011

The Destruction of Public Education

Filed under: Education Policy,Privatization,Teachers — millerlf @ 4:44 pm

Posted on Apr 10, 2011 By Chris Hedges TruthDig.com

A nation that destroys its systems of education, degrades its public information, guts its public libraries and turns its airwaves into vehicles for cheap, mindless amusement becomes deaf, dumb and blind. It prizes test scores above critical thinking and literacy. It celebrates rote vocational training and the singular, amoral skill of making money. It churns out stunted human products, lacking the capacity and vocabulary to challenge the assumptions and structures of the corporate state. It funnels them into a caste system of drones and systems managers. It transforms a democratic state into a feudal system of corporate masters and serfs.

Teachers, their unions under attack, are becoming as replaceable as minimum-wage employees at Burger King. We spurn real teachers—those with the capacity to inspire children to think, those who help the young discover their gifts and potential—and replace them with instructors who teach to narrow, standardized tests. These instructors obey. They teach children to obey. And that is the point. The No Child Left Behind program, modeled on the “Texas Miracle,” is a fraud. It worked no better than our deregulated financial system. But when you shut out debate these dead ideas are self-perpetuating.

Passing bubble tests celebrates and rewards a peculiar form of analytical intelligence. This kind of intelligence is prized by money managers and corporations. They don’t want employees to ask uncomfortable questions or examine existing structures and assumptions. They want them to serve the system. These tests produce men and women who are just literate and numerate enough to perform basic functions and service jobs. The tests elevate those with the financial means to prepare for them. They reward those who obey the rules, memorize the formulas and pay deference to authority. Rebels, artists, independent thinkers, eccentrics and iconoclasts—those who march to the beat of their own drum—are weeded out.

“Imagine,” said a public school teacher in New York City, who asked that I not use his name, “going to work each day knowing a great deal of what you are doing is fraudulent, knowing in no way are you preparing your students for life in an ever more brutal world, knowing that if you don’t continue along your scripted test prep course and indeed get better at it you will be out of a job. Up until very recently, the principal of a school was something like the conductor of an orchestra: a person who had deep experience and knowledge of the part and place of every member and every instrument. In the past 10 years we’ve had the emergence of both [Mayor] Mike Bloomberg’s Leadership Academy and Eli Broad’s Superintendents Academy, both created exclusively to produce instant principals and superintendents who model themselves after CEOs. How is this kind of thing even legal? How are such ‘academies’ accredited? What quality of leader needs a ‘leadership academy’? What kind of society would allow such people to run their children’s schools? The high-stakes tests may be worthless as pedagogy but they are a brilliant mechanism for undermining the school systems, instilling fear and creating a rationale for corporate takeover. There is something grotesque about the fact the education reform is being led not by educators but by financers and speculators and billionaires.”

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February 2, 2011

50 Organizations Send Letter to Pres. Obama on ‘Highly Qualified’ Teachers

Filed under: NCLB,Teachers — millerlf @ 12:43 pm

Posted By Valerie Strauss 1/2011

Letter to President Obama: Who is a ‘highly qualified’ teacher?

This letter was just sent to President Obama by more than 50 organizations — including education, civil rights, disability, student, parent, and community groups — about legislation in Congress that would allow teachers still in training to be considered “highly qualified” so they can meet a standard set in the federal No Child Left Behind law.

Dear Mr. President:
As organizations concerned with promoting educational quality and equity, particularly for students who have traditionally been least well served by our educational system, we are deeply committed to the development of well-prepared, experienced, and effective teachers for all communities, and to ensuring that every student has a fully prepared and effective teacher.

On behalf of the nation’s 50 million elementary and secondary students, we write to you with a sense of urgency about a critical issue that threatens the welfare of many of them.

We are deeply concerned about a provision inserted in H.R. 3082, the Continuing Resolution for government funding passed in December, which undermined the federal definition of a “highly qualified teacher” in the No Child Left Behind Act by allowing states to label teachers as “highly qualified” when they are still in training – and, in many cases, just beginning training – in alternative route programs.

 

This provision – inserted in the law without notice to concerned public stakeholders and without public debate – codifies a Bush-era regulation that was challenged by parents of low-income students of color in court because their children were disproportionately taught by such under-prepared teachers and because the regulation removed the obligation of states and districts to disclose and rectify the inequity.

 

The provision seeks to reverse the recent federal appeals court ruling these parents obtained, which held that the regulation patently violated NCLB’s unambiguous requirement that only fully prepared teachers be deemed “highly qualified” and that, as such, teachers still in-training must be publicly disclosed and not concentrated in low-income, high-minority schools.

 

Our concern with this provision (and with any federal policy that reinforces the unequal allocation of fully trained and certified teachers to all students) is that it disproportionately impacts our most vulnerable populations: low-income students and students of color, English language learners, and students with disabilities who are most often assigned such underprepared teachers.

 

Further, this provision hides this disparate reality from parents and the public by disingenuously labeling teachers-in-training as “highly qualified” and hindering advocacy for better prepared teachers.

 

Research confirms what logic and experience dictate: that teachers-in training are significantly less effective in supporting student achievement than those who are fully trained when they enter teaching, and that the negative effects are particularly pronounced for students whose success depends most acutely on fully-trained professionals.

We believe that students with the greatest needs should have the best-prepared and most effective teachers to support their success, and that pursuit of that goal should be the purpose of federal policy.

 

In the coming weeks, we will propose specific actions to the Administration and the Congress that can achieve this goal, including repeal of this provision and development of a transparent definition of teacher quality, along with a set of policies that will allow the nation to put a well-prepared and effective teacher in every classroom. We will work tirelessly and in concert to see that policy is enacted that will support high-quality teaching for every child.
Respectfully,
Action United
Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment
Alliance for Multilingual Multicultural Education
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
American Association of State Colleges and Universities
American Federation of Teachers
ASPIRA Association
Association of University Centers on Disabilities
Autistic Self Advocacy Network
Bay Area Parent Leadership Action Network
California Association for Bilingual Education
California Latino School Boards Association
Californians for Justice
Californians Together
Campaign for Fiscal Equity
Campaign for Quality Education
Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning
Center for Teaching Quality
Citizens for Effective Schools
Coalition for Educational Justice
Council for Exceptional Children
Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
Easter Seals
ELC, Education Law Center
FairTest, The National Center for Fair & Open Testing
Higher Education Consortium for Special Education
Justice Matters
Latino Elected and Appointed Officials National Taskforce on Education
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Learning Disabilities Association of America
Los Angeles Educational Partnership
Movement Strategy Center
NAACP
National Alliance of Black School Educators
National Center for Learning Disabilities
National Council for Educating Black Children
National Council of Teachers of English
National Disability Rights Network
National Down Syndrome Congress
National Down Syndrome Society
National Education Association
National Latino/a Education Research and Policy Project
National League of United Latin American Citizens
Parent-U-Turn
Parents for Unity
Philadelphia Education Fund
Public Advocates Inc.
Public Education Network
Rural School and Community Trust
RYSE Center
School Social Work Association of America
Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children
Texas Association for Chicanos and Higher Education
United Church of Christ Justice & Witness Ministries
Youth Together

cc: Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, U.S. Department of Education

 

January 6, 2011

On How Teachers Are The Enemy

Filed under: Right Wing Agenda,Teachers — millerlf @ 9:46 am

The “bad teacher” bogeyman and its consequences

By Valerie Strauss  Washington Post

This powerful post by educator Anthony Cody takes a deep look at what he calls a “systemic” attack on teachers and public schools. Cody taught science for 18 years in inner-city Oakland and now works with a team of science teacher-coaches that supports novice teachers. He is a National Board-certified teacher and an active member of the Teacher Leaders Network. This post appeared on his Education Week Teacher blog, Living in Dialogue.

By Anthony Cody
In the narrative being driven by “education reformers,” the “bad teacher” has emerged as the greatest threat to our future. This threat is being used to justify a wholesale attack on the teaching profession. With our rights and even the institution of public education in danger, why have teachers been so slow to respond?

Educators are unlikely warriors. In our classrooms we depend on the authority of the school as we exert our own authority to maintain order. Accustomed to our place in the hierarchy, we serve “under” the supervision of our principals, as our students work under our supervision. This deference to authority is perhaps one reason teachers have been so slow to understand the systematic attacks we face as a profession. But make no mistake, our profession, our retirement funds, our schools, even the classrooms in which we teach — all are under a systemic and coordinated attack.

In the next 12 months we are likely to see:

* Class sizes increase dramatically

* More public dollars going to privately managed charter schools

* Teacher retirement funds attacked as being overly generous

* Due process for teachers done away with in order to get rid of “bad teachers.”

* Seniority eliminated since expensive experienced teachers do not raise test scores any more than novices proficient at test preparation.

But our foes will never admit they are attacking us. They will smile in our faces, as Oprah did last fall, and sweetly reassure us that they LOVE good and great teachers. It is just the louses responsible for poor test scores that they despise.

One of the academic architects of many of these policies is the Hoover Institute’s Eric Hanushek. Dr. Hanushek authored a rather discredited study in 1992 that purported to prove that class size was not a critical factor in student achievement. Recently Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Bill Gates have both given speeches suggesting that class sizes be increased to cut costs. More recently Dr. Hanushek has been focusing on teacher quality.

In his essay at Education Matters this month, Dr. Hanushek writes,

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