This morning Ms. Collins column is on the GOP's big push for privatization of "public" education. Texas is always held out by GOP politicians as a shining example of a state that is "Open for Business" due to the acumen of Governor Perry and the Republican legislators in the Lone Star State. Gail Collin's column on educational reform in Texas (and Ohio) is here.
Now let’s take a look at Texas, which has been leading the way in putting for-profit companies in charge of certifying teachers.
“Very interesting and very disturbing,” said Linda Darling-Hammond, a professor of education at Stanford who studies teacher certification issues. Darling-Hammond says that when the federal government began demanding certified teachers in every classroom, Texas was among the states that responded by creating alternative certification programs, some of which have requirements slightly less rigorous than those for the trainers at neighborhood gyms. Most of the new teachers in Texas — particularly at schools in poor neighborhoods — come from alternative certification programs.
The $4,195 Texas Teachers program (its ubiquitous billboards read: “Want to Teach? When Can You Start?”) is a little opaque. For instance, Reaser assured me in a phone conversation that his students were required to have a variety of in-person interactions with their instructors even though the Web site says you can opt for “fully online instruction.” “On our Web site, we intentionally don’t say everything,” Reaser explained. “It’s basically to get you to call us and ask us.”This is where the Republican party is taking us with privatization. To a bright future where we entrust our children to new teachers that have never had to first student teach with experienced teachers. "God bless us all, and God bless the United Corporate Donors of America!"