Here's an excellent letter to the editor from economist Byron Schlomach:
You would think an associate dean at the University of Oklahoma would do his homework, but Lawrence Baines (Point of View, July 7) was clearly more intent on defending his institution's gatekeeping status for public school teachers than in telling the truth. His evidence against “emergency” certification, referred to as “exceptions” by the Oklahoma Department of Education, and better characterized as an alternative certification system, is really no evidence at all. While Baines is correct to equate teacher certification to occupational licensing, he also equates such regulation with consumer protection even though economists have pointed out for decades that licensing does more to harm consumers than protect them. He cites a real scholar, economist Eric Hanushek, regarding the dangers posed by ineffective teachers, giving the impression that Hanushek would take Baines' position in favor of traditional certification. Hanushek is actually quite critical of teacher certification and notes that certification purposely excludes many who could be effective in the classroom. Hanushek would be first to point out that the bulk of ineffective teachers are traditionally certified.
Baines cites statistics regarding teacher misconduct in Texas with not one shred of evidence that the increased misconduct numbers have anything to do with their alternative certification system. The numbers in Texas would be expected to rise for no other reason than the growth they have experienced, but Baines doesn't bother to compare rates of growth in teacher numbers and incident numbers. He wrote propaganda, not facts.
Post a Comment