Teacher Licensing — A Protection Racket

Contrary to acim teacher, teacher licensing in public schools does not insure teacher quality. A license also does not even insure that a public-school teacher knows much about the subject she teaches. In fact, in our upside-down public-school system, licensing often leads to ill-trained and mediocre teachers instructing our children. As we will see, it turns out that teacher licensing is a protection racket.

The notion that only state-approved, licensed teachers can guarantee children a good education is proven wrong by history and common sense. In ancient Athens, the birthplace of logic, science, philosophy, and Western civilization, city authorities did not require teachers to be licensed. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle did not have to get a teaching license from Athenian bureaucrats to open up their Academies. A teacher’s success came only from his competence, reputation, and popularity. Students and their parents paid a teacher only if they thought he was worth the money. Competition and an education free market produced great teachers in ancient Greece.

Parents in America gave their children a superior education at home or in small grammar or religious schools for over two hundred years before we had public schools or licensed teachers in this country. School authorities’ claim that teachers have to be licensed for our children to get a quality education, is therefore false.

Today, in millions of companies across America, bosses or their managers teach new employees job skills, from the simplest to the most complex. Private schools and trade schools teach millions of students valuable, practical skills. Thousands of college professors with masters or doctorate degrees in the subject they teach, instruct hundreds of thousands of college students in subjects ranging from philosophy to electrical engineering. Over a million home-schooling parents teach their children reading, writing, and math with learn-to-read or learn-math books, computer-learning software, and other teaching materials. All these teachers are not licensed yet they often give children a far better education than licensed public-school teachers.

Licensing laws imply that only public-school education “experts” can judge a teacher’s competence. These alleged “experts” are usually graduates of teacher colleges and university education departments. Unfortunately, so-called teacher education is often an academic joke or waste of time, especially to student-teachers who have to endure years of this “teacher-training” torture.

Steve Wulf, writing in Time magazine, revealed the opinion that many student-teachers had about their so-called teacher training:

“Six hundred experienced teachers surveyed in 1995 were brutal about the education they had received, describing it as “mind-numbing,” the “shabbiest psycho-babble,” and “an abject waste of time.” They complained that fragmented, superficial course work had little relevance to classroom realities. And judging by the weak skills of student teachers entering their schools, they observed, the preparation was still woefully inadequate.”

Many teacher colleges don’t teach crucial reading phonics or math instruction skills, nor do they teach science or history. Many “licensed” reading, math, history, or science teachers have not taken courses in or majored in these subjects in college. One survey by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education found that more than three-quarters of teacher-college graduates preparing to be elementary-school teachers had no academic major except education.In many teacher colleges, student-teachers don’t learn specific knowledge in their subject field or competent teaching techniques to teach our kids reading, math, and science. Instead they learn the history and philosophy of education and other mostly useless nonsense. Also, many university education departments waste student-teachers’ time on socialist, politically-correct courses about gender and minority oppression, multiculturalism studies, and other courses that would fit right in to a Marxist curriculum in Cuba.

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