... the timelines for meeting so-called "highly qualified" status are such that more and more universities transformed into certification factories, churning out highly qualified teachers the way a South East Asian factory produces plastic toys. I should know: I got my credential from one such place.
To fix the problem, TMAO says, ed schools must move away from a linear teacher-preparation system and instead use a two-tiered system. His ideal plan would involve one year of teaching, then a year out of the classroom doing content-specific degree requirements, followed by another year of in-classroom teaching. But, in TMAO’s opinion, the most important goal of teacher prep should involve attitude:
In the end though, the most valuable knowledge ed schools and certification programs could instill is the fact that as a teacher it is your responsibility to promote student achievement, and any failure to do so is your failure. It's not the fault of parents, young people, society, Grand Theft Auto: San Andres, neo-conservative economic policies, peer pressure, the events that occurred last week at the corner liquor store, or myspace. As a teacher you are more powerful than any of those things, and it's high time to start acting like it.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.