Scott Walker And ALEC Allow High School Dropouts To Teach High School

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This column has wasted enough space on the “breathtaking stupidity” of an inordinate majority of the American people. However, although one would hope, and actually expects that politicians would possibly be slightly above the “breathtaking” point of stupidity; it is certainly not the case in Wisconsin. It is true that Republicans typically contrive some seriously stupid agendas and policies, including banning other politicians and state employees from even uttering the words “climate change,” but Wisconsin Republicans have exceeded that stupid rule. Of course, anything ‘stupid’ Republicans conceive of is always at the behest of their funding machine the Koch brothers and their legislative arm the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC): the latest Wisconsin stupidity is no exception.

According to an ALEC template, Wisconsin Republicans have proposed an ALEC rule change that allows high school dropouts to “be licensed to teach” in public high schools. It is something that critics, and likely every conscious American, have labeled as “breathtaking in its stupidity.” The ALEC measure was slipped into a 1:30 a.m. Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee along with other underfunded K-12 budget items during a late-night session by Republican state Representative Mary Czaja. Koch Governor Scott Walker has tried to ‘sneak’ the ALEC legislation into the state budget for the past three years, and it appears that this year will be the year when high school dropouts will replace University-trained educators in teaching Wisconsin public high school students.

The previous ALEC legislation only allowed  high school dropouts with no education background to teach only in the states already failing charter school system, but they upped the level of stupid and will allow any untrained, inexperienced, and high school failure teach other high school students; it is part of ALEC’s Alternative Certification Act and Koch Governor Scott Walkers “education reform” agenda.

The Republican Walker and the Kochs must have enticed Czaja with a promise of campaign contributions to introduce the rule change at the eleventh hour. Mary Czaja said the ALEC law was crucial to Walker’s education reform agenda. Unbelievably, Czaja also said with a straight face that “the new requirements were absolutely necessary to give rural school districts more leeway when hiring staff.” One wonders if rural school district parents believe it is a good idea to have people who failed to complete high school are qualified to teach their students in anything other than how to fail at a fundamental task like completing high school. Obviously, Scott Walker believes that dropping out, and not finishing, an educational program is a mark of excellence, or he is just committed to destroying Wisconsin’s public school system for his puppet-masters the Kochs and their legislation-factory ALEC.

The response from educators was, besides calling the rule change “breathtaking in its stupidity,”  a giant step backward for education, and according to State Superintendent Tony Evers, “it is a policy that would drop the state’s teacher standards to the lowest in the nation.”  While Czaja, Walker, and ALEC claim it is a gift to rural schools, Jerry Fiene of the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance complained that the ALEC rule change “totally destroys any licensure requirements that we have in Wisconsin.”

However, what Fiene or Evers failed to say, and they know it is true, is that destroying Wisconsin’s public school system is precisely what Walker, ALEC, and the Koch brothers are aiming for; this incredibly stupid rule change is the second step in the process. Walker and Republicans have already taken the first step of slashing public education to the bone while increasing taxpayer funding for privatize religious failures they know and love; private for-profit corporate charter schools.

According to State Superintendent Tony Evers, the new ALEC rule essentially takes the licensing system out of the state’s hands and puts it in the hands of 424 local school district principles’ hands. Evers said the new rule will allow any criminal  half-wit, or “buddy of the principal to go in and say, ‘Gosh, I want to teach here,’ he or she says yes, you’ve got a license.” The new law is also breathtaking in its stupidity because as the Department of Public Instruction pointed out, the state is forever “banned from any additional,” and universal in every state, “requirements on school staff, including criminal background checks and fingerprinting.” It basically removes any protections students once had from predators and criminals. But since the state is run by criminals, it makes sense they like the idea of criminals, and public school failures, teaching and interacting with young impressionable high school students.

There is a reason school teachers in every state, except Wisconsin now, are required to be University educated not only in their field of pedagogy, but in how best to teach. According to the chair of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Julie  Mead, the rule change, along with many other ALEC-Walker proposals, “has the potential to radically change public education in the State of Wisconsin.” Mead continued that, “Teaching standards have evolved the way they have because research shows a high-quality teacher not only needs a background in the subject they are teaching, but also that they are schooled in pedagogy and classroom management. Teaching standards and training have evolved as a minimum way to guarantee to public and parents what they can expect when they enroll students.” With this ALEC rule change, parents can expect the worst education for their students in the nation.

Mead is also rightly concerned about the bigger issue of public accountability under taxpayer-funded schools with teachers who could not manage to graduate from high school, but can ‘ask’ for a job teaching Wisconsin students and get licensed. She said, “The Supreme Court has held that students have a constitutional right to a sound, basic education. If that is not provided, parents can press their policymakers to make improvements and satisfy that right.” Or, and this is Walker, the Kochs, and ALEC’s goal; parents can simply move their failing children into the failing for-profit private religious school systems. They would endear themselves to President Obama then.

All of this “education reform” is ALEC-driven and something Scott Walker had pledged as part of his “strip policy and pork projects from the state budget.” For the past three years Walker has lusted to include the ALEC proposal limiting local school board oversight for charter schools, expanding “voucher” programs, and creating new teaching licenses for individuals who could not manage to graduate from high school. The rule change is also a means of completely abolishing the public school system and deleting, once and for all, any qualified teachers and their unionization. Mead said it was interesting how an ALEC law that “created a new educator effectiveness evaluation system, which ratchets up state oversight over teachers by creating performance criteria based on student performance and other standards while simultaneously reducing requirements for becoming a teacher.

“They are lowering standards on one side while raising standards on the other,” and their Koch stated goal is wiping out public education by creating failing public schools.

To label this latest ALEC-Koch abomination as breathtaking in its stupidity is the epitome of understatement. Sadly, since it was ‘slipped’ into an eleventh hour budget along with other abominable cuts to K-12 public education is beyond devious; it is literally criminal. In what universe is it a good idea to put high school dropouts without a criminal background check in a position in and around high school students for six-seven hours a day? Only in the Koch universe to advance their ‘vision for America’ of a population of breathtakingly stupid people.

However, Wisconsin voters chose Walker, and by extension the Kochs and ALEC, to “reform education,” and although one grieves for the students, their parents will get exactly what they deserve; a new generation of failed students. Any real, University-trained and educated teacher knows that impressionable high school kids are going to emulate teachers who have no regard for public education; like the Kochs, ALEC, and Governor  Scott Walker.

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59 Replies to “Scott Walker And ALEC Allow High School Dropouts To Teach High School”

  1. So will this piece of crap finally disqualify crooked Walker from running for President? There is a reason that all the candidates on the right except Marco are Governors: they already have knowledge and full support of ALEC and the Kochs, and a master plan to destroy the United States.

  2. Alright, puttin’ my teacher hat on…

    I can’t believe Walker is setting up a law so that a HS dropout can hop off of his skateboard at a public school or college and go in and teach. Doesn’t pass the smell test. So I look up and…oh; It’s Rmuse, the worst writer on this site. I have no faith in anything he writes. But…let’s look why there might be a germ of truth in the article…

    Let’s start with the basic premise: There is a huge and GROWING lack of qualified, certified teachers in our country today. When I started teaching 34 years ago, even substitutes had to have a teaching degree to set foot in a classroom. After a while, it became any college degree. Later it became a HS diploma. Now? A substitute has to pass a criminal background check! If they can manage that, they are in our schools teaching, or at least babysitting. (cont.)

  3. Give them young’uns a teabagger edumacuation. That’ll make them easier to fool and more likely to vote for kochsuckers.

  4. I was born at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison on July 2, 1950. My Family moved to California in September, 1950.
    I have never ‘seen’ Wisconsin, but people (used) tell me it is beautiful. I always wanted to make a trip there, to see this beauty.
    Since Walker and the Kochs took over this beautiful State, I have a feeling I can take visiting Wisconsin off my bucket list.
    Sigh…..

  5. The town where I live has a university with a reputation for their education program. (They are known as “teacher colleges”) I have heard many stories from the faculty about students who are failing their chosen major, go to the college advisors, and are told a variation of: “Well let’s not quit school. Change your major to elementary education. The standards are not as hard.” Oy.
    For many years now, public schools cannot find qualified applicants, especially in rural states and towns, for math and science. What does a school do when it’s the first day of school and you don’t have a math teacher in the building? State laws suddenly got very creative.

    I took the time to look at the Alt. Cert. Act that Wisconsin is currently looking at. What this act is trying to do is deal with the fact of chronic shortages in particular teaching subjects. (cont.)

  6. (cont.) If, and I really mean IF, Walker is allowing prospective teachers, even those who lack a hs diploma, to apply for a teaching post, here’s why. Does anybody remember in school the kid who couldn’t pass any class but math? The kid who could take apart and put together your lawn mower but couldn’t sit still in class?

    The most important part of this is that the Alt. Cert. Act requires all applicants to pass a series of tests to prove they have the skills to teach in Wisconsin’s schools. If they are still doofuses, they aren’t getting in. Who knows, we might catch a bright kid who didn’t have it together as a teenager, but got his GED degree and got his life together and has something to offer 5-10 years later. At this crisis point in American education, we have to look under every rock to find people wiling to join the teaching profession.

  7. You aren’t addressing the WHY of the lack of teachers. The GOP has dismantled their unions to the point where it is not even possible now for a teacher to raise a family on his wages. GOP Governors have gutted the teacher pensions to provide tax breaks for successful corporations, who use the money to enrich the CEOs instead of hire people. The GOP refuses to raise taxes, so when things are cut; schools are first. My town used to have stellar schools…we have closed 6 of 13 elementariness and one of three middle schools in the past five years. We have hired ONE music major to teach orchestra in the last 10 years, and one part-time vocal teacher for elementary schools, while we have lost 5 great teachers to retirement. Our bands and orchestras are not losing students: over a third of our students are in music at our two high schools. But as good teachers leave, they are not being replaced, because it’s more cost-efficient not to. The hell with the kids.

  8. I will agree that the teachers unions are weaker, but I’m not blaming the GOP. I was a union member for about half my career, then I stopped. I found personally that my union could not help me with any problems I had with administration issues, etc… but spent an awful lot of my dues on promoting political candidates whose positions were the opposite of my own.
    Everything you said happened to me. My salary was stagnant for years and years because my union bragged that we all got “health insurance for a dollar a year.” Well, one day that bubble burst and my salary has been dropping in relation to the cost of living ever since.

  9. Teachers are now forced to “teach to the test.” The Common Core Standards are killing the teaching profession. If your classroom of 5th graders does not improve its standardized test scores from last year, no teaching bonus for you, AND it reflects on your evaluation.

    “But, it’d not the same set of kids!” Don’t care.
    “80% of my kids are on free and reduced lunch! Four of them are homeless!” Teach them anyway, that’s your job.

  10. Really quite simple, they want to destroy public schools. That way they can privatize education and give lucrative no-bid contracts to their donors to make billions! Then we will. Have crappier education and it will cost us more. privatization always does a worse job and costs tax-payers more money!

  11. So Rmuse IS correct. I looked it up, and yes, even HS dropouts can teach, though not in core subjects. This isn’t the first time or place this has happened. It IS designed to lower pay and undermine qualification requirements. It’s one thing to give college grads temporary – TEMPORARY – access pending successful completion of their credentialing, but it’s quite another to give people permanent placement without that.

    Rmuse is not wrong, and you confirmed it.

  12. Common Core is NOT the problem – it just started. I agree about overtesting, but lots of teachers really like it compared to what YOU are noticing which is Bush’s legacy of “No Child Left Behind”. Get that all clear – it’s fine to critique the testing, but Common Core is vastly different in that respect, teaching HOW to think, not rote data designed to fill in the test bubbles. We can’t even evaluate Common Core – it’s not been around long enough. This is its first year.

  13. Are you happy now WI? You now have the dubious honor of being a northern state with a distinctly Rethuglican southern mentality! Damn!

  14. Walker will be able to create even more Walkerbots to vote for his and the Kochs’ policies. “Get ’em young and train ’em right.”
    Qualifies teachers will not work for the prevailing wages they have been getting and the lowered benefits they are being assured will come.
    Smart, qualified teachers have transferable skills and will soon find work elsewhere.
    The average Walker voter has been hoodwinked into believing that their financial and social freedom depends on dismantling unions and other workplace protections.
    Too bad for Wisconsin.

  15. Well now, more often than not- you hear of Republicans whining about the “Dumbing Down of America”.

    And here we go.

    A man who couldn’t be bothered to finish his college, getting to decide that high school dropouts get to be teachers.

    Perhaps if teachers were allowed better wages and benefits- there’d be more of them.

    But that notion is just another self-defeating example of “Socialism”; that vague bug-bear of a word that Republicans like to hurl at anything that will definitely improve America.

  16. I remember when Wisconsin, despite certain glitches like Senator Joseph McCarthy, was known for being progressive. It has now been turned into Alabama North, and it can’t shake its incubus. Somehow, I doubt this was the will of the actual majority of its electorate, and I think this chain of events needs to be thoroughly examined before they do this stuff to the whole country (and that is well underway).

  17. scott walker and his antics doesn’t surprise me at all! Wisconsin is becoming a JOKE!! WHY? because the GOP is JOKE! remember? scott walker is the same idiot FREAK that’s so STUPID, that someone phone called this JACKA$S, claiming to be one of the koch brothers and ole scottie sounded like a heroin addict trying to score with his PUSHER!! Heres the deal, the republican party HATES educated americans! they HATE free speech! I live in the suburbs of Detroit and CLEAR CHANNEL 6 yrs ago stripped away ALL liberal radio! but conservative radio is 24/7 here! republicans HATE free speech! they want ONE point of view! republicans always try to bully people! thats why I went off yesterday! 99% of the bullying on the internet, are RACIST WHITE republican MALES! because these cowardly POS know MOST liberals make a honest attempt to have rational conversation! and that’s when they start trying to bully people! @robert, @jimmyk, they’re just trying to intimidate people! PERIOD!

  18. Let me say this, republicans typically are the nastiest, filthiest, violent creatures on EARTH!! I will NEVER forget a televised town hall meeting and a handicapped older woman in a wheelchair said “I don’t want my social security taken away” and the crowd erupted! a pack of ANGRY WHITE MEN told her to STFU!! you WELFARE BUM! FU#K YOU! and that angered me!! I HATE bullies! and republicans love to intimidate people! BTW that handicapped lady? she was a caucasian woman! FYI. republicans are terrorist! and I got some news for POLITICUS! I’ve been on this site for over 2 yrs and I’ve never seen the level of HATE here! and before someone accuses me of being hateful, you’re wrong! I respond to hate! I won’t allow myself to be intimidated by anyone! especially not these republicans! and if POLITICUS isn’t careful, you’ll have more and more republican TROLLS completely over running this site , POLITICUS better wake up! republican TROLLS will try to takeover this site!

  19. Robert, being a substitute is not the same as being a certified teacher. However, there are many highly qualified educated substitutes who take the gig until a solid teaching position opens up in their subject & district they want to teach.

    Between my museum teaching jobs I substituted for the local High School. I have a MAT – Masters of Arts in Teaching. (FYI, pedagogy American History & Art). Thus, my pay was higher than the BA or BS sub and much higher than the HS Sub. I was even offered a job to teach science – but my background was not in that subject. Thus it would be unethical for me and unfair to the students for me to take the position.

    You say you are a teacher yet you come on here and make excuses for mediocrity. If this is your stance do move to Wisconsin. I am sure Scott Walker will love you. Maybe you can be his education consultant.

  20. Really, I try to be fair, but I’ve thrown a few in the trashcan. Then, of course, they gyrate and screech about freeze peach. Only theirs, of course. They are out to impose tyranny by tantrum everywhere they can. They’re working towards the day where they won’t even need the tantrums.

  21. Last rant, I want people here to understand my point, most republicans I’ve dealt with were very quick to judge, VERY RACIST, and usually make too many wild assumptions about anyone who disagrees with them. And if they believe you’re trying to be very polite and respectful! they will attack you! I told you my parents were black republicans! and whenever I didn’t agree with their RIGHT WING hate, they’d call me the DEVIL! how can anyone talk rational with that craziness ? I’ve seen right wing HATE up close! these people are brainwashed! they’re twisted! and because the NRA is yet other RIGHT WING TOOL, these people are usually heavily ARMED!! Listen, 9 out of 10 media sources are right wing owned! WHY do you think the SOUTH is the way it is? GUNS-god and GAYS! the republican party is a cancer, it HATES democracy and FREE SPEECH and EDUCATION! oh, wisconsin? it’s ALL the koch brothers! remember their daddy? fred koch! co-founder of the BIRCH SOCIETY, enough said.

  22. You betcha, Walker and his personal propagandists’ Kochs are betting on the dumbing down of America in order to win elections. Destroying America by removing EPA standards, polluting our farmlands and water, privatizing everything so they can control the financial, educational, political aspects of American life.

  23. Got this far in to reading the comments, now I must put in my 2 cents worth.
    First Bonny, not only do the rethugs want to destroy education, but the whole gov.
    Am reading again a book by John Dean written 2007. If, and I MEAN A BIG IF,anyone wants to know what and how this is to take place, please read this book. There simply is a rethug plan, to destroy and take over. Not to govern but to rule. A Big Big difference.
    It is scary, how this is taking place and
    the American public is walking blindly into the web created by the thugs.
    Name of book:Broken Government:by John Dean

  24. Robert: Just because children are on reduced lunch program does not mean they don’t deserve to be educated to the best of your ability, after that, it is up to the student what they do with their life.

  25. Anyone who can defend this legislation is a chump. They need to remember that Walker is the Koch Brothers bought and paid for politician and they are the shot callers on this move. The Koch Manifesto calls for:
    •Repeal of all taxes on the income or property of private schools, whether profit or non-profit
    •Advocate the complete separation of education and States. Government schools lead to the indoctrination of children and interfere with the free choice of individuals. Government ownership, operation, regulation, and subsidy of schools and colleges should be ended.
    •Condemn compulsory education laws … and we call for the immediate repeal of such laws.
    That’s the agenda for these 1%ers and they intend on buying every politician they can to put it in place in America. They literally are telling voters exactly how they intend to destroy this Nation and yet…no one is listening. Happened in the Thirties in Germany too. Sad day for our country…

  26. No wonder the Koch brothers chose Walker as their darling and their candidate for president. The man will do anything they want.

    Got a message for them; you may have succeeded in Wisconsin, but by following your dictates on how a state should be run, Walker will never get within shouting distance of the WH, not after this debacle.

  27. Now I have to wonder if anything you say is true. Not a single penny of your dues went to promote politics. Union members, either public or private, have a choice of donating to such activities, but that money does not come from dues.

    Just curious, in what state do you reside and teach?

  28. I was born in La Crosse, WI in 1960. Lived in Onalaska for 25 years. My mom and dad are still living in the same house. I moved to Minnesota 30 years ago. My mom, (who will be 88 in October), and my dad, (who is 91), have always voted and always for democrats. I worry about them and what may happen to them down the road with having idiot Walker as the governor. Wisconsin is still a beautiful place to visit though…

  29. …I moved here whilst Wisconsin was still progressive…now it’s Teatard Central…the sad thing is the Teatards claim to be Christians, while being agents o’ the Anti-Christ…

  30. Knowledge makes a people unfit for slavery. So decent, reality-based education for Americans is ‘too expensive.’
    You pay your money,you take your choice,folks.

    Choose wisely.

  31. Robert – All GED degree recipients arent always just teenage issues. My daughter had a heart problem that caused missed classes and illness and opted to get the GED, she now has a Masters in Education and a wonderful job teaching children with disabilities.

    A very proud Mom.

  32. Yea, this is basically what happens when you have a shortage of a particular profession in a region. It is analogous to allowing NPs to do much of the work that used to be done by family medicine doctors, because there’s a doctor shortage. Basically, Wisconsin is allowing less trained individuals to do some of the jobs that can most likely be done with less skilled workers..like substitute teaching. Rmuse is acting like they are just getting rid of trained teachers and replacing them with high school dropouts and drug addicts. Total nonsense. OMG KOCH!11!!. A substitute teacher, particularly for students below the HS level, basically is a babysitter for a day. I think a fairly responsible adult with no criminal record could probably handle this whether they finished HS or not.

  33. Actually to get a GED degree you have to know something unlike just skating though high school. I left high school in my junior year to join the Army. I took my GED and scored in the 95% so its no shame in the game

  34. Embarrassed? Really? Your dumbass will let your children be taught by a high school dropout and you would defend that?

  35. as usual you failed to grasp anything that I said. You should probably commence phase II of your debating strategy where you copy and paste a wall of text from a random website about an unrelated topic.

  36. Uh oh. Don’t make DJ go there. You wouldn’t like internet tough guy when he goes all internet tough guy on you.

  37. We need Senator Proxmire to present his Golden Fleece Award to focus media attention on this WALKER “educational” project, as self-serving and wasteful of taxpayer dollars.

  38. the reporter isnt qualified to report news. There are no facts in this, it is lies. I live in Wisconsin, the proposal is you dont have to have a degree in teaching but you must have a 4 year degree. And the golden fleece was only awarded to truthful waste, this isnt truthful or waste.

  39. Are you stupid? “proposal is you dont have to have a degree in teaching but you must have a 4 year degree”
    WTF!!!

  40. It sounds as if your lovely Parents found their spot. I am hoping that things will change for the better and I can put Wisconsin back on my list.
    I really would like to see where I was born.
    Thank You for your comments.

  41. Erica,
    Thank you for your comments.
    With all due respect, your comment about NP’s and RNP’s, overlooks the real problem here.
    The real problem here is the PROFIT MARGIN. It doesn’t matter if it’s teaching or medical, or any job. If a Conservative thinker can get someone to do a job for less, they will. You are trying to make a cogent point about elementary education. But the bottom line is that because of deliberate Conservative agenda of making education inaccessible, and unaffordable that started decades ago, we are ALL paying for it now.
    You continue to do the marching orders for the 1%.
    Here is one of my favorite quotes from John Steinbeck;
    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed Millionaires”.

  42. I know my opinion will be voted down but feel this way.
    Teachers work five days a week, have every weekend off, all Holidays, and all summer off. Consider the pay for this, working men and women work just the opposite. work in all kinds of weather, work weekends, have one week or more vacation and maybe, a few weekends. Teachers, have very good retirement, medical and coverage. In right to work states, for working men and women NOt so much.
    Think Teachers are very well paid for the hours they work, kind of like our Rep’s and Senators. Who work only 182 days a year for the very good pay they receive.( with all the perks) Can find No sympathy for Teachers!!

  43. gsb, you made a comment that I’m sure many others are thinking — teachers only work for part of the year, so it makes sense that they get paid less. I challenge you to work with a local teacher for a few days and see if you could work their schedule! Teachers are up early and late to do planning, grading, research, and tutoring. We spend our summers doing classwork to keep our license current or to get a masters to qualify for a small raise, working in our classroom, getting training in new concepts and approaches, and preparing for the next year. We spend weekends and vacations constantly on the lookout for that One Elusive Thing that will get the kid who just doesn’t care to buy-in to what we are trying to teach so they actually want to LEARN. We sleep too little for our health, sacrifice our family and personal time to our jobs, and work our butts off so our kids get the best possible education. And you think we deserve less pay because the school year is only 9 months? Shame!!

  44. We, those that are concerned about public school education are loosing! The reformsters, backed by big huge money, are winning the political and propaganda battle. If a progressive state like Wisconsin can be transformed into its current condition, in such a short period of time, I fear that the likes of a Scott Walker can transfer his agenda from Wisconsin to the entire US. I do not know what to suggest, but a new strategy is needed to stop and kill the current reform movement. One thing that we must do is find out whether Hillary Clinton believes in the value of a high quality public school system or if she will side with Wall Street and the privatization of our schools.

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