Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Perfect Storm

A main criticism often heard from the education elites against homeschooling is that parents are not qualified to teach, especially in core subjects like math and science because they have not received the proper training and credentials. But it appears that at least in math, the training may not help them.
According to state education officials, nearly three-quarters of the people who took the state elementary school teacher’s licensing exam this year failed the new math section.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is releasing the results Tuesday. They say that only 27 percent of the more than 600 candidates who took the test passed. The test was administered in March of this year.
Of course, this is only going to fuel the funding frenzy in order to increase teachers salaries and attract more qualified candidates into the teaching profession. Something Arne Duncan, Obama's Secretary of Education, is sure to address along with national standards when he testifies before the House Education and Labor committee tomorrow. (Today, the administration is busy tackling national auto standards - only one federal take over in a 24 hour news cycle allowed. )

Along with the dilemma of attracting qualified teachers, Duncan also as the perfect "crisis" to help usher in national standards - a new GAO report to be released today citing widespread abuse of special needs kids in the public schools. Congressman George Miller of California sets up the pitch,
"What the GAO is telling us is that that policy is fairly widespread," he said. "The state regulations about how to handle these incidents don't exist in about half the states, and in other states you have kind of a patchwork of regulations."
It will be Duncan's job when he testifies before the Education and Labor committee to offer up the national standards "solution."

By the way, does anyone else get a little nauseous when they see the words education and labor together in the name of a Congressional committee? Perhaps if we start calling public schools, labor factories, parents will begin to understand exactly how some government officials view children and federally imposed national standards will only make things worse, especially for homeschoolers.

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