Ohio Blogger Contrasts College Teacher Credentialing with TFA

Plunderbund, Eric Vessels’ Columbus, Ohio blog, tracks political corruption. Vessels named his blog after a word he discovered on a word-of-the-day calendar.  According to Vessels, “plunderbund – [U.S. colloq.] A corrupt alliance of political, commercial, and financial interests engaged in exploiting the public.”  Vessels is among Ohio’s best known on-line muckrakers.

His chosen current topic is the arrival of Teach for America in Ohio.  In How Ohio’s Teaching Standards Are Lowered By Teach For America, Vessels compares and contrasts the credentialing process for candidates seeking teaching certificates in BA and graduate level programs at Ohio’s colleges and universities to the five-week summer program that readies Teach for America recruits to step into the classroom in September.

According to Vessels, an Ohio law passed quietly in 2011 “requires the Ohio Department of Education to grant a 4-year Resident Educator License (new teacher license) to Teach for America, Inc. participants.”

Here is Vessels’ description from the Ohio State University of requirements for its M.Ed. teachers: “M.Ed. students are placed for field experiences (observation, participation, internship) in schools in fall and spring semesters for increasingly richer experiences. These placements collectively provide 700 clock hours in the schools spread over 150 days (of the typical 180-day school calendar). The placements are in schools in Franklin County with each student experiencing urban and suburban school classrooms.”

Requirements for four-year undergraduate certification programs include “a minimum of twelve weeks of full-time student teaching and a minimum of one-hundred clock hours of field experiences prior to student teaching.”  “While Teach For America, Inc. only requires 50 hours of cooperative teaching during a summer school program, Ohio state law requires that prospective teachers complete a minimum of 460 hours of field experience, including 12 weeks of student teaching, with typically 6 of those weeks being full days of independent instruction, under the supervision of a university professor(s).”

Vessels wonders why the less-prepared Teach for America candidates are serving in Ohio’s urban areas, the poorest school districts where the need for quality teachers is greatest.  Here Vessels explains that the Cleveland Municipal School District is paying Teach for America an additional $9,000 finders fee for each candidate TFA brings to Cleveland with a five-week training credential.

One thought on “Ohio Blogger Contrasts College Teacher Credentialing with TFA

  1. Jan,  It is hard to believe that this is possible. The sad state of education in urban America gets me down. At least we have a wonderful Public School System in Bexley. I sit with the Bexley School Supt. at Rotary on Fridays and we are proud our school.  With that being said, the nearby Columbus Public Schools are facing very difficult times. We are becoming a society of rich and poor.  Your friend,  Ron Hooker    Keep plugging away~~~~~

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s