CHICAGO – Teachers have somehow gotten themselves exempt from public accountability as a profession, such as the independent requirements doctors, nurses, accountants, and others must meet.
The results for 60 million students, their parents, and the general public has been dismaying for too long. This key current defect has been fostered by the main teacher labor unions, the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers.
Hair stylists, barbers, plumbers, doctors, nurses, certified public accountants, etc., are all accountable professions regulated by state agencies. They are accustomed to this regulatory licensing regime, which has operated smoothly for decades. The agencies set minimum education/training standards, investigate complaints from the public and impose discipline.
But labor union lobbyists have diluted state teacher licensing requirements, keeping teachers away from responsibility of minimum standards. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant’s proposal to require prospective teachers to earn at least a 3.0 GPA and above-average ACT score was refused by the state College Board because that would disqualify half the young people currently studying to teach. Other professions in the education realm have also gotten themselves similarly exempt: principals, administrators, superintendents, librarians, counselors, clerks, custodians, etc. Their labor unions have worked their power so far: The average elementary school teacher has a math and verbal SAT score of 960, below the national average of 1,000.
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