John Kasich and the Republicans in the legislature have decided to go to war with teachers on multiple fronts – all of which have the potential to seriously hurt our state’s education system and impact the quality of education our kids receive.

There is a good deal of analysis out there regarding the damage that Kasich and the legislature will be causing in the name of “reform” but some of the best I’ve read lately has come from Greg Mild, an educator from Columbus who has been fired up by the attacks on teachers and the education system as a whole.

Over the past few weeks Greg has posted his analysis as notes on Facebook and I urge everyone to check it out, especially if you are interested in how the new administration’s policies are going to impact education in Ohio.

Greg has graciously allowed me to reprint some of his analysis here at Plunderbund and I thought I’d start off with his comments on House Bill 21, one of many bills the GOP is trying to rush through the legislature while everyone is distracted by SB5. HB21 seeks to change the rules for certifying teachers to allow Teach for America participants to circumvent the existing teacher certification process and to automatically receive a resident educator license.

Here’s Greg’s take on the bill:

House Bill 21 lowers the quality of teaching for future children by lowering current standards for teacher preparation. Teach for America is touted as bringing the best and the brightest to the classroom, but we have always done so in Ohio through existing state law requiring universities to provide rigorous teacher preparation programs.

House Bill 21 would require the Ohio Department of Education to issue a Resident Educator license to all TFA participants.

A COMPARISON OF THE TFA PROGRAM VS> OHIO’S HIGHER STANDARDS

Field Experience

Teach for America:
Corps members teach summer school students for approximately two hours each day [five weeks long], under the supervision of experienced teachers. For the first hour, most corps members work directly with four to five students to build skills in math and literacy, to gain experience in facilitating group work. For the second hour, corps members lead a full class lesson, which builds skills in delivering lessons and managing a classroom.

Current Ohio Law:
A minimum of twelve weeks of full-time student teaching [7.5-hour days] and a minimum of one-hundred clock hours of field experiences prior to student teaching.

Ohio State University Secondary Math, Science Technology program:
M.Ed. students are placed for field experiences (observation, participation, internship) in schools in fall, winter, and spring quarters for increasingly richer experiences. These placements collectively provide 700 clock hours in the schools spread over 150 days (of the typical 180-day school calendar). The placements are in public middle and high schools in Franklin County with each student experiencing urban and suburban and middle and high school classrooms. STEM M.Ed. students have program classes in fall and winter quarter in the late-afternoon and early evening in addition to being in their schools each morning. Spring quarter is a twelve-week student teaching experience with students in the schools all-day every day. During that spring students complete the action research for their Capstone Project which is then completed that second summer.

Admission

Teach for America:

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • 2.50 Minimum Cumulative GPA
  • US Citizenship or National/Permanent Resident Status
  • The online application consists of: Personal,  academic,  and/or professional information, Resume, Letter of intent

Ohio State University Secondary Math, Science Technology program:

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
  • Minimum 3.0 overall GPA (on a 4.0 scale) in all previous undergraduate course work and a minimum 3.0 overall GPA in all previous graduate course work (may not be combined)
  • Minimum 2.7 GPA in mathematics, science, or technology content courses. 80% of the content should be completed prior to admission. (Include a plan for completing content courses, that are not completed by the application deadline) A plan document is located online at http://ehe.osu.edu/edtl/
  • Experiences working with adolescents in a learning situation
  • Official scores from the General Test of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) taken within five years of application
  • TOEFL score for international students, if required (minimum score 550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, or 79 iBT)
  • Statement of Intent: See “Application Checklist” for format and instructions, located online.
  • Three letters of recommendation (four preferred), from persons acquainted with your academic performance, your experiences with adolescents, and your potential as a teacher. Include at least two letters from professors or instructors who have had you in class. Recommendations written on letterhead stationery should be attached to the Graduate School Reference Form.
  • Resume listing academic accomplishments, paid or volunteer experiences working with adolescents, related extracurricular experiences, and honors or awards (limit two pages for fellowship)
  • The M.Ed. is a competitive program. Meeting the minimum standards does not guarantee admission. Applicants who have completed most or all of the content courses will be given preference for admission. The admissions committee also considers diversity in the range of students related to gender, race/ethnicity, and life experience.

Ongoing Support

Teach for America:
Teach For America provides professional development to corps members throughout their two-year commitments to ensure that they are set up to succeed at helping their students achieve at high levels.

Current Ohio Law:
Ohio teacher residency program, which shall be a four-year, entry-level program for classroom teachers. The teacher residency program shall include at least the following components:
(1) Mentoring by teachers who hold a lead professional educator license issued under section 3319.22 of the Revised Code;
(2) Counseling to ensure that program participants receive needed professional development;
(3) Measures of appropriate progression through the program.
(B) The teacher residency program shall be aligned with the standards for teachers adopted by the state board of education under section 3319.61 of the Revised Code and best practices identified by the superintendent of public instruction.

Ohio Department of Education:
A four-year Resident Educator program of support and mentoring for new teachers will provide Ohio educators just entering the profession with quality mentoring and guidance essential for a long and flourishing career. Each Resident Educator will be mentored by another teacher (trained for this specific purpose) within the school district for the full four-year period and must successfully meet all of the criteria in order to qualify for a professional educator license.

At a time when education in Ohio is under intense scrutiny, why would we seek to LOWER the standards for becoming a teacher?

Evangelize!
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  • IMHO

    Just cheapening things up for his friends at White Hat to start more private/charter schools.

  • Booklover553

    While I agree with 99.9% of Plunderbund postings, I have to disagree with the Teach For America comparison, regarding admissions. Teach for America only accepts approximately 10% of the applicants to the program. Most of those accepted will gradaute cum laude, summa cum laude or magna cum laude from their college. Additionally, these applicants have a wealth of volunteer experience. These applicants are the cream of the crop of college graduates who WANT to work in inner city schools. I think we need to bring them in the fold regarding public education in Ohio. I will save the details of how this is done to others, but surely there is a way to bring in these TFA teachers and keep our credentials high for teachers. I urge everyone to find common ground to make this happen

  • Dsholecko

    They only WANT to work in the schools because some of their college loans will be erased. If they can gut it out for two years, they lose a great deal of debt. I am a teacher and a colleague of mine worked at a school in New Mexico along with TFA teachers. They struggled with classroom management, and creation of effective lessons. Several quit before their stint was up. No doubt, these are some intelligent people, but teaching requires skills that cannot be learned over a 5-week training session. This is highly insulting to teachers.

  • Anonymous

    I wrote about Kasich trying to lower teacher standards last fall (http://ohio15th.blogspot.com/2010/10/kasichs-contempt-for-teachers.html). According to Kasich, anyone can teach. Good luck with that! What background do these TFA people have with students with dyslexia, students with parole officers, and youngsters with other learning disabilities? Maybe Kasich can share how he handled his one lecture/month for $50,000/year when he lectured at Ohio State. He even had an assistant! When I had 6 classes/day (180 students/day) in the inner city with two preps, I never had an assistant, and I wasn’t making even half of that $50,000 Kasich made.

  • tonsofspaghetti

    My colleague has several friends/fellow graduates who recently did TFA. They saw it as a stepping stone to law school (and some cash to get there), and had no investment in the community. He describes them as “good people” — but with no intention of staying in education.

  • Anonymous

    I have to agree here. I haven’t read of any substantial results or achievements from TFA that’s not from TFA itself. I wish it worked, and perhaps the jury is still out, but as it is the program seems to have little impact on schools.

    1) What percentage of TFA students stay in teaching beyond their required service? And when they do leave to launch their “real” careers, what is their legacy — especially when they were never vested in the school in the first place?

    2) Despite the academic prowess of these students, doesn’t the TFA in many ways simply promote the misperception that “anyone can teach.” Not the case. Just look at teacher dropout rates in the first 5 years.

    3) So it appears that TFA consists of a school in need (often dire need) taking in some high-performing college kid and housing them for two or three years before they quit. Any teacher can point out the sad irony in this: You pretty much suck for your first two or three years in the classroom.

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    thx so much for this info –I have been asking for some — after looking into TFA I am not impressed at all. If you go to their website teachforamerica.org and look up all the perks they get — perks that reg. teachers do not get. This seems to me a “smoke and mirror” tactic to be used here in Ohio just because Kasich seems to have a “problem” with teachers. When asked at his town hall meeting why his kids went to private school “he answered ,they go to Christain school because I think they need to hear about God once in a while.” Not once did he say the teachers are better there.Teach for America was not mentioned that day as it was at the State Address.These people only work a few years for TFA–after their loans are forgiven — most cant take the trama of teaching in poor schools( thats what the web site says the do “place them in low income schools”. Take a look at their core values– NO new teacher can have those values — they havent even been in a classroom yet. Those values come with experience. My child was LD how in the world will even recognize this. Like I said experience !!
    This is going to be talked up as the “cheaper way ” to have good teachers. ( its not cheaper!)
    I say its time to write congress people and say no to this bill.
    Look up “reports on teach for america” theres all kinds of stuff there to read.
    #3 of JamesIam says it all.( experience!)
    Booklover553 says these kids are cream of the crop? then why arent they in Kasich eye as wonderful teachers ? simple — he has a dislike for some reason against teachers– no not all are great — but whos to say thats true also– maybe my kid wont relate to one teacher but will with another– so I ask you……………….
    What makes a good teacher? and What makes a good Governor?

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    TFA ? I am not impressed at all. Oh does Kasich know they are cream of the crop — he doesnt seem to care for teachers or education of any kind .
    You disagree? with what — the facts are laid out there look them up your self if you are in doubt.

  • http://twitter.com/Quackers48 Linda Myers

    You beat me to it. I think this is the real end game, and busting the teachers unions is a twofer…..no pesky union to help elect Democrats, and no strong united voice to oppose privatization.

  • Anonymous

    Is there a teacher shortage in Ohio? No. There are plenty of qualified, certified, teachers available and ready to teach. For every teaching job, there are at least one thousand qualified, certified teachers applying. There is no need to bring in TFA if we already have qualified teachers living in this state, ready and willing to fill classroom positions. I agree that this is just another way for Kasich to disrespect the teaching profession and an attempt to destroy unions. Which districts would hire these TFA people? Most school districts would not hire lots of these unqualified individuals unless there was some incentive behind it. Since these TFA candidates have no instructions on how to do lesson plans, maintain order in the classroom, work with children with disabilities, would principals force more seasoned teachers to provide academic and behavioral support? Teachers have enough to do without having to babysit and problem solve with someone who isn’t qualified to be in a classroom.

    How would parents feel about having an unqualified person teach their children?

  • Anastasjoy

    Don’t they also get funding for grad school? It’s like serving a two-year term of good works to shine your halo a little bit before trotting off to law or business school. No matter how bright and elite a student is and how accomplished their college record, that doesn’t necessarily make them equipped to teach — especially in schools where most will be undergoing severe culture show. And they are radically undertrained to do so. In addition, kids in poor schools often have little stability and the more long-term teachers there are that understand and relate to the community, the better. Teach for America teachers are expensive, they are undertrained and underequipped, and they don’t stay do they get the experience under their belts they need to become effective or to help make a difference in the community.

  • http://twitter.com/MVBTown MVBtown

    More scary stuff for Ohio teachers with H.B. 21 ** LINK REMOVED **

  • Kasich Bad, not TFA

    Teach for America is not inherently a bad program and is disappointing to see so many people disparage it in the comments. As a current member of the sister program Americorps VISTA, I can tell you how hard it is to give up a year (or two) of your life to go into service and get paid poverty wages (I should probably add that I am an extremely qualified individual in my late 20’s with a Master’s degree who gave up a much higher paying job to do what I am doing now; also the daughter of two public school teachers). It was not designed as an insult to teachers; it was a designed as a way to attract more people to the field and to help take some of the pressure off of teachers in districts that are overcrowded and underfunded (also remember, all teachers are new and inexperienced when they start out). So please do not take out your frustrations with an idiotic governor on people who are just trying to do some good with their lives and get some sort of employment in what has been the hardest economic time since the great depression. That being said, Teach for America was designed to supplement areas that had extremely hard times recruiting new teachers. It is supposed to fill in gaps in areas that are in desperate need, NOT be the main recruiting system for a state. For a governor to basically say that Teach for America is how he wants to recruit new teachers in preposterous. Teach for America only exists at all because we have such an underfunded school system, with teachers that are so over worked and underpaid, that teaching is often seen as a difficult and undesirable profession. The answer is not to recruit new teacher through Teach for America. The answer is to fund our public schools and to pay our teachers what they are actually worth. Again, let’s keep our anger aimed a the appropriate place. There is no reason to be angry and nasty towards young people in Teach for America; they are often making the best of a tough economic situation themselves. We should be angry with the A-holes (such as Kasich) that put our country in this situation in first place.

  • CDR Jan

    As a recent AmeriCorps VISTA alum, I have to admit that Teach for America participants don’t interact with or remain in their assigned communities.

    But King John’s desire may be all for naught, as his successors in Washington DC are trying to kill AmeriCorps VISTA and all of the other Corporation for National and Community Service programs.

    Just what we need in tough economic times.

    Recent college graduate: “Would you like fries with that?”

  • CDR Jan

    As a recent AmeriCorps VISTA alum, I have to admit that Teach for America participants don’t interact with or remain in their assigned communities.

    But King John’s desire may be all for naught, as his successors in Washington DC are trying to kill AmeriCorps VISTA and all of the other Corporation for National and Community Service programs.

    Just what we need in tough economic times.

    Recent college graduate: “Would you like fries with that?”

  • Anonymous

    Well, there ya go …16.6 percent remain beyond their two-year commitment.

    Sounds about right. Because isn’t it only about 30 percent of “regular” teachers who remain in the profession beyond five years? I made that up, but I think it’s close.

    Add this to the other well-made points about the fact that new teachers are very high-maintenance/expensive in their first few years (they are humans performing a very difficult job, so no judgment here), and the fact that Ohio already has tens of thousands of unemployed teaching professionals looking for jobs, and I think the conclusion is clear: TFA is not really necessary.

    At “Kasich Bad – not TFA” (comments at the top):

    I appreciate your ambition, but I’m not really in a position to feel too sorry for highly-educated grad students scraping for jobs or wanting to show how charitable they are by slumming it for a couple of years. Right now my sympathies lie with current teachers who were called to the profession and intend to stay, to become part of their community, to nurture kids for decades despite the fact that most people think they’re leeches — not with someone simply willing to tough it out until the law firms or banks or the Procter & Gambles come calling.

    And not to be snide, but re: “poverty wages”? Welcome aboard. This job’s rewards certainly aren’t on that pay stub, so it’s best just to get direct-deposit and not even look.

  • Anonymous

    I responded more below, but wanted to point out that there are thousands of qualified education professionals in Ohio who would kill “to help take some of the pressure off of teachers in districts that are overcrowded and underfunded.”

    From strictly a numbers standpoint, bringing TFA into Ohio on a large scale (or any scale) would be like bringing thousands of journalism graduates into Ohio in order to “help take some of the pressure off of” newspaper reporters and editors and layout artists while unemployed journalists beat down the door begging for jobs.

    MORE:

    I admire anyone’s drive “to give up a year (or two) of your life to go into service and get paid poverty wages” but try doing it for 35 years then come talk to me.

    ONE MORE AND I’LL STOP:

    “I should probably add that I am an extremely qualified individual in my late 20’s with a Master’s degree who gave up a much higher paying job to do what I am doing now.”

    That’s wonderful. You should be proud of this. I am an extremely qualified individual in my late 30’s with a Master’s degree who gave up a much higher paying job to do what I am doing now. So I understand your frustration when people don’t appreciate what you’re doing.

  • Anonymous

    This is where we need to educate the parents if it comes down to this. Start with the PTA_PTO_PTG’s but do it before your contract is up and principals can fire you for what ever the reason because by then if a teacher talks against something the board is for your job will be gone to a TFA wanna be.

  • Anonymous

    Go DC! I really have a hard time wrapping my brain around TFA. They are not serious or they would have went to school for teaching. They just think its easier than it is.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe he had some old nun who rapped him one to many times on the head. That would explain it all!

  • Anonymous

    Ok. As soon as I heard of TFA I looked them up-did my research and then thought.Really? In my school they would never last. I went back to school to teach when I was 36. Most of the students were way young, when they had to do the different in class room hours all in inner city building ,they could not handle it . A lot dropped out. Or went other avenues. They thought how cute working with young kids. But in inner city it is not often cute. or easy. TFA teachers will be like this. They will be overwhelmed. They will not be able to put time into things that are helping improve out schools like Critical Friends -Inner district and out district Rounds- Ready for School-and the mandates for Race to the Top if their schools has the grant. They will be overwhelmed by all the professional development offered Not mandated but expected.(well by that time maybe mandated) If they want to stay they will need a masters degree to be highly qualified.But seriously? It’s all just a bad joke.

  • Anonymous

    Let me just say they are not qualified. Ohio teachers have much more than 5 weeks of additional help. They have 4 years of mentorship from highly qualified and trained teachers in the area of mentoring. Get real there is no shortage of good teachers in Ohio who want a job We have no problem finding them They find us. What TFA is paid is often more than new teachers in some districts. Really a good thing? NOT

  • Kasich Bad, Not TFA

    Considering that I never said TFA was a good thing for Ohio, just not the completely horrible program that everyone is saying it is, I’m a little unsettled at the amount of anger here. There are areas in this country (rural Nevada for instance) that do not have enough teachers. My very good friend (with a Masters in education, the full requirement of student teaching, etc.) joined TFA and went to Rural Nevada. The school she went to was on a reservation and had a very hard time recruiting teachers. She is still working there now. Considering my parents are both teachers, as well as all but 2 of my aunts and uncles (and the uncle in question is actually a journalist for a newspaper), I am thoroughly aware of the abundance of teachers in Ohio. 4 teachers in my mom’s department were just RIF’d, and she is next on the list if another round goes through. TFA is not the solution for Ohio. As I clearly stated, actually funding our education system and paying our teachers is the solution for Ohio. TFA, however, is a good program when it does what it is intended to do. Just because idiots are abusing the intent of the program does not make the program, or those in it, inherently bad. So again I say, direct your anger where it belongs i.e. at Kasich and his GOP/big corporation cronies who are trying to ruin our state (and nation), not at a program that is intended to help provide services in low-income, underserved populations.

  • Kasich bad, not TFA

    Considering that I never said TFA was a good thing for Ohio, just not the completely horrible program that everyone is saying it is, I’m a little unsettled at the amount of anger here. There are areas in this country (rural Nevada for instance) that do not have enough teachers. My very good friend (with a Masters in education, the full requirement of student teaching, etc.) joined TFA and went to Rural Nevada. The school she went to was on a reservation and had a very hard time recruiting teachers. She is still working there now. Considering my parents are both teachers, as well as all but 2 of my aunts and uncles (and the uncle in question is actually a journalist for a newspaper), I am thoroughly aware of the abundance of teachers in Ohio. 4 teachers in my mom’s department were just RIF’d, and she is next on the list if another round goes through. TFA is not the solution for Ohio. As I clearly stated, actually funding our education system and paying our teachers is the solution for Ohio. TFA, however, is a good program when it does what it is intended to do. Just because idiots are abusing the intent of the program does not make the program, or those in it, inherently bad. So again I say, direct your anger where it belongs i.e. at Kasich and his GOP/big corporation cronies who are trying to ruin our state (and nation), not at a program that is intended to help provide services in low-income, underserved populations.

  • Anonymous

    Why do we need to make it work? There is no need for TFA in Ohio. Like I said there are to many good teachers chomping at the bit in Ohio wanting to work. We do not need to import anyone. And believe me the smartest people are often not the best when it comes to teaching those who do not get it. They often have a hard time understanding why you don’t get it thus they have a harder time leading those students to understanding and learning what they need to know to pass those state required tests. But that doesn’t matter because we really do not have a need for this in Ohio. Go to Navada I hear they need you there. Here in Ohio we have people I for one who loves teaching innner city students.

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    maybe she didnt rap on him hard enough — lol
    I am really sad that this passed and lowering the standards just makes me mad
    I know a gal her kid is in near Chicago with TFA — he says all his time is spent trying to keep order in the class– no time left over to teach
    so if cleveland lays off 650 teachers just who do you think will take their places ?
    Kasich Bad not TFA cant be to old — if she ws she would get the picture better —
    I woulda thought the requirements would have been ramped up not down scaled

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    well ramped up according to Kasichs attitude

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, KB: I really do appreciate your input, although I may not sound like it. We’ve got a lot of frightened people right now in this profession, so it’s certainly a loaded issue: financially, professionally, emotionally. People don’t like political hacks f*cking with their families, their livelihoods, the jobs they love.

    I do wish you the best. You seem very bright, and driven. If you do decide to teach as your profession, I bet you’ll make a great one.

    Take care,

    J

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