Last week, Mike Petrilli posted in the Education Gadfly an amusing Twitter debate between him and Diane Ravitch. I quite liked it. But, since I don’t Tweet, I couldn’t go there. And I doubt I’d have the patience anyway. Happily, I realized I could pen a fake Twitter debate--which seems an easy alternative. Herewith:
Rick: What’s up w all these tchr prep programs jumping on residency bandwagon after NCATE report? First sign of a fad?
Fictional Ed School Dean: I’m excited to announce our new teacher residency program, like NCATE commission suggested.
Rick: If it’s such a great idea, why wait until the bandwagon’s rolling? Why didn’t you do it earlier?
FESD: We’re very excited about this.
Rick: Any reason to believe it’ll be any good?
FESD: Hello! Didn’t you hear me? It’ll be a tchr residency program.
Rick: But your stu tching bites. You’ve got mediocre mentors. You’re not selective. What will change?
FESD: First, that’s just mean. Second, you’re not paying attn. It’s going to be clinical pgrm. So we’ll pick good mentors and be selective.
Rick: Why? You’ve been stu tching forever. Weren’t you supposed to be selective, provide good mentoring & instruction already?
FESD: That’s cynical. We’ve got expert faculty. They’ve needed the support and resources.
Rick: Wait a minute, now. You want MORE money for tchr prep? In this budget environ?
FESD: Not saying that. We’re for off-setting cuts.
Rick: From where?
FESD: Districts will save $ bc our folks are better prepared. They’ll need less. Maybe cut testing?
Rick: What about selectivity? Good programs like BTR make a point of being selective. You, not so much.
FESD: We’re going to be more selective.
Rick: Won’t you have trouble training enough bodies? And pressure to generate tchr ed dollars?
FESD: No worries. Remember Field of Dreams: “If you build it, they will come.”
Rick: Still don’t get it. Right now, the handful of good residency boutiques cream skim. If you all do this, not enough cream to go around.
FESD: Remember Field of Dreams: “People will come, Ray, people will come.”
Rick: Gotta say. Even if your faculty are doing good research, and not just penning enemies lists, not convinced they’re ready to be clinicians.
FESD: Many of our faculty were tchrs or schl leaders just 10 or 20 yrs ago. And they know all about social justice and bullying.
Rick: Not sold. Why not have candidates trained and screened out by real, expert tchrs? What do you really add?
FESD: Our faculty are the experts. They know all about Giroux & Freire, Marzano & Danielson. And what’s so wrong w enemies lists?
The opinions expressed in Rick Hess Straight Up are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.