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ERIC Number: EJ932770
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0895-6855
Coming Soon to Your Favorite Credential Program: National Exit Exams
Berlak, Ann
Rethinking Schools, v24 n4 p41-45 Sum 2010
In an October 22, 2010, speech to teacher educators at Columbia University's Teachers College, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan proclaimed that revolutionary change in the education of teachers is essential if the problems facing U.S. society and U.S. schools are to be solved. Toward the end of his speech, he declared that a standardized performance-based system for assessing teachers was key to bringing about this change. Punctuating his speech with military and corporate metaphors, Duncan declared that the supreme purpose of public schooling is to keep America competitive, and that the decline in America's standing in the world order can be attributed to the fact that the institutions that prepare teachers "are doing a mediocre job." Duncan's conclusion: "Teacher preparation programs need revolutionary change, not evolutionary tinkering." Duncan's plan to reform teacher education takes as a given the need for corporate, top-down management, a view he shares with virtually every major corporate think tank, the Heritage Foundation, the Business Roundtable, and the Broad, Gates, and Walton Family foundations. According to Duncan, the "core mission" of teacher education programs is to bring about "substantial increases in student achievement." He proposes to accomplish this by requiring credential candidates to pass a "performance-based" standardized exit exam that will measure both their competence to teach and the quality of their credential program. Near the end of his Teachers College speech, he named the particular exam he had in mind--PACT (Performance Assessment for California Teachers). Few listening to Duncan's speech had heard of PACT, but it has been a fixture in California for several years, and many teacher educators and teacher credential candidates in California are, unfortunately, quite familiar with it. In this article, the author analyzes the impact of Duncan's pet standardized test for credential candidates. (Contains 3 endnotes.)
Rethinking Schools, Ltd. 1001 East Keefe Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53212. Tel: 414-964-9646; Fax: 414-964-7220; e-mail: office@rethinkingschools.org; Web site: http://www.rethinkingschools.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; United States