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Teacher Preparation Opinion

RHSU Faux News: Fake Twitter Debate on Teacher Residency Programs

By Rick Hess — December 13, 2010 2 min read
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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?

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