Patricia H. Hinchey & Karen Cadiero-Kaplan: The Future of Teacher Education and Teaching: Another Piece of the Privatization Puzzle
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, Volume 3, Number 2 (October 2005)
Recent concerted efforts of government and business to privatize public education are well-documented, but less attention has been paid to what these trends are likely to mean for the future of teaching and teacher education. Based on a review of two reports offering recommendations for reshaping teacher education, of a variety of relevant financial data, of efforts to implement scripted materials in classrooms, and of overt hostility toward the NEA, the authors argue that efforts to undermine teaching as a highly-skilled profession with union support are already well underway. Much evidence suggests that current "reform" strategies are intentionally driving well-educated professionals from the classroom and that once a teaching shortage has been exacerbated, teaching will be virtually fully deskilled. At this point, "teaching" will be provided by alternate "delivery mechanisms" that make teachers virtually obsolete. These developments are desirable to business and government first, because privatization of education will not produce maximum profits until labor costs are reduced, and second, because professional teachers largely oppose the lie that standards and accountability as they are being implemented will benefit poor children. Stakeholders—most especially the education community—need to understand, publicly name, and then oppose current threats to the teaching profession which play a role in the privatization efforts that threaten not only public education but democracy itself.
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