Why does Scott Walker want to dumb down Wisconsin’s teachers?

Apparently Gov. Scott Walker wants to dumb down the ranks of Wisconsin’s teachers by allowing those interested in becoming a teacher to be able to rely on “life experience” rather than mandating they get a standards-based license.

Those interested in becoming a teacher in Wisconsin could soon be able to rely more on their own life experiences, rather than going through the process the state currently requires to obtain a teaching license.

Part of a Workforce Readiness Imitative Governor Scott Walker announced Thursday morning includes a proposal that “Creates alternative pathways to allow a candidate with real life experience to pass a competency test to gain a teacher license.” A spokesperson for the governor said it would be up to the Department of Public Instruction to determine what that competency test would look like.

The concept is raising some concerns among state education officials. DPI spokesman Tom McCarthy said in a statement, “The critical need for Wisconsin educators at this very moment is an increase in respect and support for their profession. You need more than textbook knowledge to be the kind of teacher that connects with students and helps all kids learn. Like a skilled surgeon or a master electrician, high-quality teaching requires both skills and content knowledge.”

McCarthy also pointed out that finding qualified teachers is about more than just making it easier to become licensed in the state. “Increasing the number of licensed teachers only addresses one side of the equation when it comes to finding and retaining the best teachers. People with skills and training in areas of like CTE and STEM fetch competitive salaries in other employment sectors which our current teacher salaries cannot always match.”


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1 thought on “Why does Scott Walker want to dumb down Wisconsin’s teachers?

  1. As a high school teacher, I am quite concerned about the message that this sends to my fellow educators. While previous experiences can definitely be beneficial in the classroom (my experiences in the Army for example have been useful), they do not take the place of courses on pedagogy. That said, teacher training programs should be re-evaluated around the state, with more emphasis on actual in-class experiences; nothing prepares one for teaching as well as practicum and student teaching.

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