Teacher shortages and the state of ed reform on Hitting Left this Friday.

Professors David Otomoso Stovall and Josh Radinsky will be our guests on Friday’s Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers.

We haven’t had an episode of Hitting Left that addressed the issues of teaching and learning in a while, which is odd since we have been criticized for making education an obsession.

It is a big topic and we only have one hour a week on Chicago’s 105.5fm and live streaming on lumpenradio.com.

Professors David Otomoso Stovall and Josh Radinsky were part of a group of education researchers and academic activists that came together in 2015 and formed CReATE, the Chicagoland Researchers and Advocates for Transformtive Education.

CReATE was formed in advance of the Chicago Mayoral election when Rahm Emanuel was running as an education reformer in spite of his massive school closings in the African American community.

It is one of the ironies of Chicago politics that you can close schools and call yourself an education reformer at the same time.

CReATE took a look at the claims of the Chicago Mayor and found they came up wanting.

One issue I have posted about is teacher certification and edTPA.

Recently Illinois state Senator Andy Manar – the same guy who brought us the recent mess of a state funding bill – has complained about teacher shortages downstate.

Yet neither the Senator nor the rest of the Illinois legislature have addressed the state requirement that teachers go through the  terrible edTPA process administered by Pearson.

Back in 2015 I was quoted in Northwestern University’s  Medill Reports:

Klonsky, the retired teacher, said edTPA “bypasses the important relationship between the mentee and mentor” in that it puts more emphasis on the teaching candidates’ test portfolio and single videotaped class instruction, rather than on the dynamic between the student teacher and his or her mentor, who has seen them in action during their student teaching.

“EdTPA says that relationship doesn’t matter,” Klonsky said. “What matters is someone taking a video of you. You send that video to someone who doesn’t know you, doesn’t know the classroom, doesn’t know the kids, and doesn’t know the context.”

Klonsky also said the proponents of edTPA have a vested interest in the test.

“They’re hucksters. They’re selling a program,” Klonsky said.

I plan to bring this up with our friends from CReATE.

Join us live at 11am or download our podcast from hittingleft.libysn.com or on iTunes.




5 thoughts on “Teacher shortages and the state of ed reform on Hitting Left this Friday.

  1. As a student teacher supervisor, I can tell you that the edTPA is a huge stressor for new student teachers. They just arrive in their assigned classrooms and are finding their way as student teachers when they are immediately asked to prove that they are highly proficient teachers ready for their own classrooms. All of the required work and videotaping are going on as they are learning to teach! For most, this in itself is hard and time consuming work. So let’s add another level of high-stakes requirements and even if they do a great job student teaching, if they do not pass the edTPA, they will not receive a teaching license. Could this not be something they are asked to achieve with some teaching experience under their belts? Or, as is already done, leave the observation and assessment of teaching to their district supervisors? This appears to be one more money maker for Pearson. The stress that this causes new student teachers detracts from their student teaching experiences and impacts their ability to learn all that they can during this precious time.

  2. teacher shortages downstate.

    There is no shortage of teachers; in fact – as you well know – many certified teachers are waiting tables and bagging groceries because they can’t find a job. The problem downstate is that teaching positions there do not pay well enough to attract all those candidates. That is the problem to address. I certainly hope you are not advocating for churning out more teaching-school grads.

    1. I advocate for high quality educators in public schools throughout Illinois, including rural downstate public schools, with the right to collective bargaining and without a constant threat to their pensions when they retire. I advocate against a profit-driven certification procedure like edTPA. I certainly am not advocating for teachers-on-the-cheap, who have no quality teaching preparation and who are unable to make a long-term commitment to the profession of education because that would mean they couldn’t support a family.

  3. There is a huge teacher shortage downstate.It’s even worse for subs. I used to sub about 10 years ago. I went in and found out I needed to do all this testing nonsesense and I told them good by and good luck.

  4. The financial rape of Illinois teachers continues.
    1) SB-7. Long term teachers, some just a couple years from qualifying for retirement, can be thrown under the bus at the whim of administrators. SB-7 severely weakens tenure, making it tenure in name only. It makes it easier for administrators to lay off all the teachers at the end of the school year and not recall ones they don’t like. Ones at the top of the pay scale. Phony subjective evaluations by administrators weaken the union’s ability to fight these unjust terminations. The only good news is this has slowed down in the last couple of years BECAUSE of the teacher shortage. School districts are having trouble finding new teachers to replace the ones they have gotten rid of.

    2) Tier 2 pensions. (A negative pension). Most tier 2 teachers will pay far more into the pension system then they will ever collect in retirement. Illinois teachers receive zero social security from their employment as a teacher. Additionally, their social security from OTHER employment is drastically cut as a result of their employment as a public school teacher in Illinois.

    3) Teacher salaries have been stagnant or actually reduced in many districts. Some modest gains have been made in some districts, especially in some Chicago area suburbs. Many other districts, however have given tiny 1 or 2% increases while at the same time reducing district health insurance (co-pays, deductibles, etc.) while increasing the portion of the cost paid by the teachers. When the smoke clears, a 2% “raise” turns into a 5% reduction in total compensation.

    4) Teacher salaries are slightly above the average for all workers. In Illinois, roughly 23% of all workers have 4-year college degrees. 100% of teachers have a 4-year collage degree. In the average salaries for workers with a 4-year college degree, teachers are way down at the low end.

    5) a) The financial cost of becoming a teacher is very high. With cutbacks at the universities, fewer sections of required classes are being offered, students often have to go on a waiting list until the following semester or school year. This can lengthen their time needed to complete what they need by a semester or even a full year. Their expenses continue. With student teaching, it can take 5 or 5and a half years to complete what used to take 4 years.
    b) Scholarships and student aid has been cut. Tuition and fees have increased. Most students and their families are forced to take out huge amounts of student loans that will take decades to pay back, if they are able to be paid back at all.
    c) The student not only has to come up with all the money for college, but also loses 5 years of earnings they could have made working instead of going to college to become a teacher. Well into 6 figures.

    6) Teachers and their unions are constantly being slandered, disrespected, blamed for everything, and used as a punching bag by school administrators, school board members, for-profit charter schools, politicians, and yellow journalists/TV-Radio-Internet commentators.

    With prospects of lifetime impoverishment, constant stress and job insecurity, and a non-retirement, how could we expect anyone to go into teaching, especially in Illinois? And now edTPA by an outside for profit company? Insane!

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