Education Reform’s Agenda Article

‘Education Reforms’ Real Agenda

        In addition to sending our tax dollars to enrich out of state corporations and ethically challenged individuals, Martinez and Skandera’s reform agenda includes ending teacher pay scales that are linked to experience and training, outsourcing teacher training to companies like those Skandera operated or served on as a corporate officer including Laying the Foundation and Academic Partnerships. Like K12, inc. These companies have created proprietary (read: high fees) training materials and programs that can be sold to school districts to train teachers.

     Skandera, who was CEO of Laying the Foundation, a company that specializes in training teachers who teach “Pre-AP” and AP classes and providing training materials for students who take Pre-AP and AP classes. Thanks to Martinez and her push for ‘Education Reform’, Skandera has maneuvered herself into a position of authority in New Mexico where she can direct our tax dollars to financially benefit a company where she was the CEO.

       The bottom line is that Martinez and Skandera want to eliminate the tried and true teacher training process of using local experienced teachers to train new teachers. Rather, they want to pay some corporation who uses corporate trainers to train teachers. Perhaps they despise the student teacher process because it’s in essence an apprenticeship program and unions typically support Democrats. So ‘Education Reform’ is really just about busting teacher’s unions.

     Skandera, who has never taught in a classroom, has brought in a Teach for America company member to help determine how teachers should be trained. The Teach for America approach to training? Take someone young and impressionable, who does well in college and provide them with six-weeks of training and says, congrats! You’re a teacher for the next two years. After that you can go work on Wall Street. Meanwhile, Teach for America bills the taxpayer’s multiple fees for the three different phases they are involved in: recruiting, training and ongoing development. So they are paid to find potential teachers, paid again to give them six-weeks of training and paid again to provide a few follow up days of training for each and every recruit they can find. On top of paying all this money to Teach for America, guess who pays these teachers’ salaries? The taxpayers! From 2005 through 2010 Teach for America recruited and trained 17,000 college students to enter it’s program. Teach for America’s revenue in 2010 $192,000,000!

     Because these teachers are inexperienced and will teach as the corporations teach them rather than using tried and true methods passed down from experienced teachers, Martinez and Skandera has dubbed them “effective”. 

     Martinez and Skandera also want to eliminate low student to teacher ratios, after all a distance learning class from Virginia could teach thousands of students in their own homes, but not if classroom size is limited by state statute. Martinez and Skandera also frown upon teachers going to teaching school. Especially, those who get a master’s degree, who know how to teach any subject. There is much less resistance to using teaching methods sold by corporations when hiring a young kid with a degree in chemistry than a teacher with master’s degree in teaching who has spent years teaching directly to students in a classroom get to know each child specific educational needs. ‘Education Reform’ is the only place where experience doesn’t count.

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