What this means is that Indiana, my state, will continue to serve as a conservative legislation lab for the rest of the nation. We have been out front on privatization of infrastructure (like our toll road, the tolls on which are now triple what they used to be), on voter ID laws, on school vouchers, on disallowing public employees from collectively bargaining with the state, on defunding Planned Parenthood, and a host of other conservative policies that use Hoosiers as guinea pigs before being rolled out across the nation.
So, if you want to know what's coming down the pipeline, keep your eyes on Indiana.
All of which is a preface to the extraordinary news that the Indiana State Board of Education voted 9-2 yesterday "to change Indiana's teacher licensing rules by creating a new 'adjunct teacher permit,' allowing any bachelor's degree holder with a 3.0 grade point average — and who can pass a subject test — to immediately teach that subject in an Indiana classroom."
Got a bachelor's degree? Get good grades in college? Congratulations, you're now eligible to teach in an Indiana middle or high school — no special teacher training, student teaching or experience necessary.Well, that sounds GREAT! Who needs to deal with superfluous crap like "child development" when working with kids? Way to cut through the bureaucratic bullshit, Indiana!
...The adjunct permit creates a different route to the classroom than the traditional "practitioner" license, which requires training in child development, child psychology and how to run a classroom — along with student teaching and additional in-school internship requirements.
Two of my oldest friends, who are both public school teachers in Indiana, reacted with what I can only describe as totally valid and understandable horror at this news last night. A, who is a special education teacher, observed: "ALL the classes I took in college prepared me for my job." He was someone who worked with adults with psychological disabilities before going back to school to become a special educator, and, despite his background, he wasn't ready to walk into a classroom as a special education teacher without specialized training.
He is an amazing teacher, whose students adore him, and without taking anything away from his innate talents, part of his success is certainly due to his training.
Students deserve to have qualified and well-trained teachers. But this state doesn't think so.
In fact, the Republican-controlled state legislature doesn't give a tiny infinitesimal fuck about students. All it cares about is justifying its previous garbage policies around defunding education, driving down teaching salaries, union-busting, and school vouchers. The quicker they can hasten the demise of public education, while blaming it on the teachers' union and resistance to privatization, the better to usher in ever more extreme policies.
This is the end-game of Republicans who love to hate the Department of Education—consigning public education to the dustbin of history and turning even the most rudimentary education into a privilege.