"Teachers College Oppose Rankings," describes the uproar in TN that US News & World Report has created by deciding to begin ranking Teachers Colleges around the country. It's an excellent article and maintains a neutral POV. Here's where the TN Teachers Colleges stand:
In a letter to U.S. News and World Report, signed by the deans of almost every teacher training school in the state, the Tennessee Association of Colleges for Teacher Education wrote that the planned report card "is not likely to produce meaningful results and possibly could do great harm as it is conceived."And here's a response by the group working with USN&WR on the ranking:
"Tennessee just boycotted us entirely," said Kate Walsh, president of the council, which is planning to evaluate 1,000 schools across the country. "Our intention is to identify the schools that offer the best preparation at the best price. … The good schools will have customers driven toward them."Teachers are at least partly in the business of evaluation. After you cut through all the BS about the "criteria of the evaluation," etc., then you have to see that their refusing to be evaluated is not a good sign.
The inescapable inference to draw from this story is best summed up by this quotation, the last paragraph:
While some schools performed well, in general, the report found that Teach for America, a program that takes non-education majors and places them in the classroom after a few months of training, was achieving better results than the graduates of most Tennessee education colleges.I followed the link provided in the story to the bi partisan Education Consumers Foundation info about Teach for America. Read it, and if you're a Tennessean, make that an American, concerned about the deterioration of public education in the U.S. today, you'll be very upset with these programs that turn out teachers for our public schools. Real reform has to start with Teacher Education programs, with the training of the people who end up teaching our kids.
2. Targeting Muslims? I'm also following the run up to the hearings being held this week by Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., on Islamic radicalization. A Fox News story explains that CAIR is pretty hot about this and is leading the effort to stop the hearings, accusing King of unfairly targeting muslims. Here's a quotation from the story that got my attention:
There has been a string of terror cases involving U. S. citizens in recent years. Justice Department data obtained by Fox News shows there has been a "class one" terrorism case--the highest designation for a terrorism case--involving a U. S. citizen every two weeks, on average, since January 2009.It's pretty clear to me King should go forward with his hearings. I'd say the same if the religion involved were Christian Catholics or Baptists for that matter. If you are suspected of encouraging or subsidizing or assisting in any way, deliberate attempts by individuals or a group to harm the U. S. or its citizens, whether successful or not, then, at the very least, be prepared to defend yourself and your beliefs in a public hearing.