stephanie jones

Common Core for Teacher Education – Go Control Someone Else

In corporations, discourse, professional development resources, teacher education, teacher education resources, Teaching Work on September 11, 2012 at 2:09 pm

The writing has been on the wall for a long time. Policymakers don’t want teachers to think for themselves, to engage students in critical inquiry, to challenge systems of exclusion and privilege, and they definitely don’t want teachers to “wake up” and see how much power they have as a collective force. Controlling teachers in their schools and classrooms is one way to control knowledge, information, and the despicable “outcomes” of our education system. Tying teachers to monotonous tasks, evaluating them based on stupid standardized tests (that are only in place to make publisher friends billions), and keeping them so worried about their individual jobs and livelihood that they can’t possibly have the time or energy to come around a table and share horror stories are all strategies that have been used by politicians and education “CEO”s to ram through their for-profit, pro-corporate agendas.

But the writing I’m talking about is the writing on university walls. The writing that told us we would be held accountable for third graders’ test scores if our graduates taught those third graders, the writing that told us we too would be rated on a Pass-Fall scale based on narrow and submissive standards, the writing that told us that our curriculum would soon be under attack – no more teaching “theory” (God Forbid! Don’t let teachers have access to anything that will make them think more deeply than a state mandated standard!), no more teaching “critical thinking” “multicultural education” “diversity” “social justice” – all that stuff would be perceived as getting in the way of preparing teachers to teach.

And now it’s here. Teacher Education programs are on the track to being regulated by the new Bully on the Block – and of course that bully is anti-union, anti-local control, and as far as I can tell anti-teacher and anti-teacher preparation in universities. Why would an organization about teacher preparation be anti-everything that improves education? Because if they can prove that teacher preparation is “failing” the floodgates for massive for-profit teacher education “charters” will be opened. The same thing happened, and is continuing to happen in K-12. Shift everything from “public” spheres into “private” spheres where more corporations that know nothing about education and pedagogy can slip their greedy little fingers into the cracks and pull them apart to reveal the massive opportunities for money-making.

My response? Go Control Someone Else (maybe your money-grubbing corporate friends), and Keep Your Hands Out of My Mind. You can’t control thought, you can’t control what is taught and learned, you can’t control human beings the way you are trying to. If you keep trying, the efforts will implode, people will wake up and realize that they have been duped and you’ll have a massive problem on your slimy little hands.

The State of Florida has apparently decided that Common Core will be embedded in their entire state’s teacher preparation program. I’m sure there’s push-back from professors and instructors, so I’ll be searching for those to see what’s up. But for the time being I have to mark that state off possible future job opportunities.

Reposted from Susan Ohanian’s website:

No comment. What can one say? Florida Teacher Ed people will now train teachers to be sheep.

This is just stunning. Nor surprising but stunning.

I would point out that Chancellor Hanna began his legal career as a law clerk at Bryant Miller Olive in 1982 and served as Managing Shareholder of the firm for 14 years. He is also Chairman of the Chamber of the Tallahassee Area Chamber of Commerce.

But that doesn’t explain why educators feel the need to act like lawyers.

Press Release

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Aug. 2 — The Florida Department of Education issued the following news release:

The Florida College System Teacher Educator Programs are the first in the nation to voluntarily commit to a system-wide implementation of the Common Core State Standards. The new standards will be embedded in the teacher preparation program curriculum throughout the college system so new teachers who enter the classroom will be ready for the more rigorous standards.

“This is an exciting time for Florida — both K-12 and postsecondary — where major reform on both sides is helping students get ready for success,” said Florida College System Chancellor Randy Hanna. “Our system is embracing the new Common Core State Standards and the teachers we are producing will be ready to teach them.”

“The Common Core standards are designed to ensure that all students — not just in Florida but across the nation — are prepared for success in postsecondary education and the workforce,” said Joe Pickens, President of St. Johns River State College and Chair of the Florida College System Council of Presidents. “We’re proud of the fact that Florida is getting out ahead in training our teachers in the standards that ensure students are receiving a high quality education that is consistent from school to school and from state to state.”

The Common Core State Standards have been adopted by 45 states and 3 territories and outline the English/Language Arts and mathematics knowledge and skills for elementary and secondary instruction. The standards are benchmarked to international standards and establish clear, consistent goals for learning in order to prepare students for college and careers. In addition to training new teachers, the Florida College System is uniquely positioned to offer essential Common Core training to current teachers.

“I applaud the Florida College System for taking the bold step of infusing the Common Core State Standards into their educator preparation programs,” said Commissioner of Education Gerard Robinson. “The next generation of educators needs to be ready to teach at an even higher level to effectively prepare their students for career and postsecondary success.”

Faculty members will have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the Common Core State Standards through lesson demonstrations and implementation planning sessions at specialized training this fall dedicated to higher education faculty. The Florida College System will also make its “Common Core Training Institute” curriculum available to other states interested in following Florida’s lead.

— Florida Department of Education
Press Release
August 02, 2012


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: