Anthony Cody Writes: At the Department of Education, Warm Snow Falls Up

Guest Post by Anthony Cody

As the Simpson family prepared to travel south of the equator to Brazil, Homer revealed some misconceptions. In opposite land, according to Bart’s father, “warm snow falls up.” Reading the latest press releases and speeches from the Department of Education, sometimes I feel as if this is where we have arrived.

For the past two years, the Department of Education policies have been roundly criticized by teachers. The latest response from Arne Duncan is a big public relations push bearing the title RESPECT — Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence and Collaborative Teaching.

However, as in Homer’s opposite-land, everything seems to be upside down.

In his speech launching the project last week, Secretary Duncan laid out what he feels are the problems afflicting the teaching profession.

The Department has solutions to each of these problems – but they often have pursued policies that actually make things worse. Here are the problems, and the solutions the Department of Ed has offered — many of which are mandatory if states wish to qualify for Race to the Top or escape the ravages of NCLB:

Problem #1: “Many of our schools of education are mediocre at best. A staggering 62 percent of young teachers say they felt unprepared to enter the classroom.”
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