Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Globalization Steamroller has No Brakes

Today the Courant reports that Connecticut teachers who could have had their jobs put in jeopardy by new bureaucratic educational quality metrics are safe.

U.S., State Reach Accord, Feds Approve Local Procedures For Evaluating Educators, June 21, 2006, By ROBERT A. FRAHM, Courant Staff Writer

Earlier this spring, Sternberg said she feared the federal law might require teachers to undergo testing or further training to demonstrate their competence. Now, however, U.S. officials have agreed that they can establish their qualifications in job reviews conducted by local school districts.

Betty Sternburg did a nice job with this as she continues to impress me with the job she's done. She's recently resigned and I will miss her because it may go downhill from here at the State Department of Education.

Of course this crisis in teacher qualifications is wholly manufactured by a Federal Department of Education that's being run like Abu Ghraib prison. The idea is to punish older teachers by creating a bureaucratic double-standard that essentially puts their jobs at risk [you know, to save money].

In Connecticut this is a nasty business. Teachers are required to teach after death to receive their pensions, so harassing twenty and thirty year veteran teachers is about as low as the Federal government can stoop. Actually, they've stooped much lower but I get sick thinking about that part.

A subplot to this story is Margaret Spellings's Magical Mysterty Tours to our global competitors. When she is not acting as Laura Bush's hand maiden, Margaret is learning about -cough- improving education. More and more states are importing inexpensive teacher stand-ins and implementing virtual classes delivered from overseas.

Teachers should be afraid. Be very afraid. Ask anyone who works with computers. When a Washington politician says they want to learn something in India, China, or a third-world competitor they come home with cash sticking out of their shorts and a new plan for outsourcing in their legislation.

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