Thursday, May 30, 2013

Wannabe Professionals

You know how sometimes you're cruzin' the web looking for a good pizza recipe and something catches your eye and you wind up very hungry but somewhere completely different? If you're hungry and want something new, fresh and doable then cruise on over to The Truly Educated Never Graduate where you will find quite a few food categories sporting dishes that never fail to please.


If you happen to click on the word above "Food" you will find yourself reading a few very good pieces on the "Education". Whatever that is. 

One of the more interesting pieces, both for the original blog and the comments* is The Disgrace of the GACE. Rather than belabour the points made by the original poster (it's worth a read in and of itself) it is another exposition of appearances vs reality when it comes to public school educracy.

We read and hear all too often about and from educators who want to be treated like "professionals" though educrats are extremely selective about just what they think "professional" means. Most often it means they want more money and administrators have been particularly successful in arguing that they, isolated from accountability by boards and accrediting agencies, should be paid like business managers based solely on budget size. Just because education is modeled after mafiosos who  skim off the top does not mean that is the way business works. And when you point out the absence of anything like tenure outside education or stack ranking or employee funded, sometimes matched 401Ks (not defined benefit pensions) then, well, they just don't want to talk about that.

To help their propaganda cause they have put in place the appearance of a professional structure mimicking real professions. Teachers created the title of "para-professional" for their underlings to give the impression that the teachers themselves must therefore be "professionals". Therein lies a clue to just how dedicated educracy is to being a real profession. They have certifications and professional standards boards to convince the public they are self monitoring and self regulating but these are only a superficial charade.

And as the other poster points out, they have the GACE which the poster compares to the MCAT or LSAT based mostly on testee age, academic preparation and reasonableness of the test and probability of passage. However, it could be compared to the Medical Boards or the Bar Exam which must be passed in order to practice as a doctor or lawyer. On the surface that is the comparison that educracy wants you to make.

But only on the surface. While you are led to believe this test represents a minimum, baseline hurdle to clear before leading a classroom, in reality passage is not a requirement. Apparently there is not even a probationary period or time limit on passage--the Susan Lucci line is priceless. Despite this sad circumstance educators are clamoring to be lauded as "professionals".

Perhaps if we adopt their practical definition that an education professional is someone paid beyond their credentials and their capabilities we have a gracious plenty.

* No, this does not justify a return to allowing comments on this blog and if you read the comments on the referenced post you will see one of many reasons: a pre-emptive ad hominem attack on the author. So much for intelligent discourse by an educator about education.