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Teacher Training Meets Wisconsin


Teacher Training Meets Wisconsin

Christopher Brauchli

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.
—Henry Brooks Adams, The Education of Henry Adams


Sometimes I think that the Republicans are purposely putting on a sideshow, for reasons that escape me. The nature of the sideshow seems to be that of the blind knife thrower.

I’m not a Democrat, but I’m damned sure not a Republican.


“We have spent years developing licensing standards to improve the quality of the teacher in the classroom. . . Now we’re throwing out those standards. . . . This motion presents a race to the bottom.” That race, of course, is exactly the race Wisconsin is offering the country by giving us Scott Walker as a possible candidate. Were he to become the Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election, Wisconsin would clearly win the race to the bottom notwithstanding the fierce competition provided by most of the other Republican wannabes.”

The “WE” that spent years developing teachers’ licensing standards is hardly the same WE–in the form of Wisconsin’s H.S. drop out cum benevolent dictator and enablers–that is undermining these standards.

Still, I appreciate Mr. Brauchli’s humor… particularly in his concluding statement. How apt!


It’s about product branding. Sarah Palin, Scott Walker, Rick Scott… all of them are white Christians that appeal to the similarly poorly educated, Bible-believing, authoritarian-trained fundamentalist church sect.


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Obviously this is just a way to allow increased profit for private schools by allowing them to hire people who some in society feel should not command a living wage due to a lack of higher education. Kind of the “you didn’t earn it by working hard and going to college” mentality. My brother tells a story of his orientation into engineering school in which the speaker told the incoming students to “look at the person on your left, now look at the person on your right. One of the three of you will not be here to graduate” and so his indoctrination into being a special and more deserving individual began. I feel like college grads should get paid less than people who went right too work after HS due to the simple fact that the grads got to go to school while other people made it possible by providing their kitchen with the tomatoes they did not have to go plant, prune and pick themselves, which in turn gave those students the time to study.,
I am a HS grad with some college, no degree, and lots of training. I spent 25 years repairing automobiles and one of the things that you notice is that if you put a starter in someones car they think it should actually start. In fact, people felt so strongly about this that whatever I repaired I actually tested to make sure it functioned the way it should whether it was A/C (better blow cold) a tune up (car better run) or starter (car better start) before I declared the job a success.
Now I have taken a job with a company and work for college educated managers as old as I am. We needed a dedicated e-mail address and phone for customers to contact the business I was setting up. It took over two years to convince them that the business needed a phone number and now we have customers trying to reach us at extensions and e-mails of people who have moved on to new jobs. We finally agree to set up a permanent email for the business that customers could contact after existing customers complained how hard it was to find us again, and we set it up to forward to whoever was in charge this year, so they could over see it, and to me, so I could handle questions and to a third person who was managing accounts and money.
But here’s the thing. My managers manager who was over seeing the project called IT to set up the email, which they did. When they emailed us to tell us it was good to go both my supervisors replied with a “thank you and great job!”. However, due to my training I did not reply with an enthusiastic thank you and great job, exclamation point! Instead I sent the new email address an email too see if it was forwarded to all three of us the way it was intended too. Sadly, it did not, and now I have to tell everyone it does not work after my supervisor said “great job” without checking to see if it was a great job. That was uncomfortable. After four years with this agency, this kind of result is more typical, than unusual where things do not get done expediently or correctly but thank you’s go all around anyway. We put out flyers for distribution to the public with typo’s and misspellings all over them. With conflicting times and dates on the same page. It’s nuts. And very few seem to give a sh*t.
Even though I do not have a college degree, I feel like I have something to offer that college degrees do not provide and at least our agency’s environment does not provide.
Of course none of that means I can teach.
But maybe I want to teach, maybe I can be a pretty good instinctive teacher, and maybe I know I can be a better teacher through training. But what I read is the college educated saying you have to have college and the drop out saying you don’t even need training, A better solution is probably to require training in how to teach than to require a degree, because from my perspective the college educated have a narrowing perspective not an expanding one.
Sometimes I think that as progressives we don’t know how far we have moved away from our ideals.
You do not go to college to get trained for a job, you go to college to learn. Job training is your employers responsibility and not an expense or risk that should be passed off onto the public school system or students. As long as we talk about getting better paying jobs through education, is as long as the pay of those jobs will drop toward menial labor or non-paying jobs not valued by the educated who were able to sit still for three hours.