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Encore--The Ready to Teach Act.

Not content with reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act via the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA), the Bush Administration is now pushing a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). As part of this effort, the House passed H.R. 2211 in the summer of 2003, and the Senate will be considering its own recommendations for the HEA later this spring.

H.R. 2211 is referred to as the Ready to Teach Act. According to John Boehner, chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, the Ready to Teach Act "seeks to meet the call of the No Child Left Behind Act to place a highly qualified teacher in every classroom by making improvements that will help ensure teacher training programs are producing well-prepared teachers to meet the needs of America's students."

A different way of looking at the Ready to Teach Act is that first the federal government creates a "problem" through regulation, then proposes a "solution" that involves even more regulation. The "problem" created by NCLBA is a lack of "highly qualified" teachers; the Ready to Teach Act "solves" that problem by regulating how teachers are trained. In such dialectic fashion, the Ready to Teach Act continues the policy of federalizing the U.S. education system. High lights of the bill include specific certification and licensure reforms; increased recognition of the important role pre-kindergarten teachers play in educating children (whatever happened to the parent's important role?); and requirements for state report cards on the quality of teacher preparation.

The Ready to Teach Act does nothing to address what Oklahoma State Representative Bill Graves refers to as the "defective teacher training" currently commonplace in U.S. education curricula. Graves recommends Richard Mitchell's Graves of Academe, an expose of the historic sources of the mind-boggling "educationist" bureaucracy. It reveals why today's schools are riddled not only with illiterate students, but with illiterate teachers and administrators as well.

If the No Child Left Behind Act should be repealed, certainly the Ready to Teach Act should never be passed, and bears close watching in the coming months.
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Title Annotation:Education
Author:Gilmore, Jodie
Publication:The New American
Date:Apr 19, 2004
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