OK Ed School Follies

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(Guest post by Greg Forster)

My latest in OCPA’s Perspective is on ed schools as barriers to entry in the teaching profession:

Arne Duncan, the Obama administration education secretary, said in 2009 that “by almost any standard, many if not most of the nation’s 1,450 schools, colleges, and departments of education are doing a mediocre job of preparing teachers for the realities of the 21st-century classroom.” He said education schools are “cash cows,” and he’s right. Teachers who need credentials are hostages to the ed school system, so universities create ed schools in order to collect the ransom money.

In addition to economic rent-seeking, I also cover the ideological side of the problem:

Gregg Garn, the dean of the University of Oklahoma College of Education, lists “politics of education” as his first area of research interest. On his web page, a document full of left-wing political and policy posturing is listed more prominently than his curriculum vitae. I suppose since education schools seem to exist for political propaganda, it’s fair enough that he considers his political platform a more relevant credential to establish his qualifications than his academic track record.

School me on what you think!

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2 Responses to OK Ed School Follies

  1. pdexiii says:

    Precisely why so many teachers cannot or do not instruct content; their credentials don’t demand that proficiency. If anyone argues otherwise, I can pull that juvenile sports move: “SCOREBOARD!” (flatlined NAEP scores).
    In any other branch of government if a law says I must meet a requirement but does not fund that requirement that’s an unfunded mandate; So you require teachers to have a credential, but they must pay out of their pocket to earn it. If that ain’t a gangster shakedown, I don’t know what it is.

    • Greg Forster says:

      Occupational licensing in general is swamped with this kind of self-interested rent-seeking. Alas, protection against unfunded mandates applies only to state governments.

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