Massachusetts, yet again

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There’s an entertaining feature on the American Educational Research Association’s annual conference in the most recent edition of the Weekly Standard.

Amid the satirical pokes the author takes at participants’ jargon and over-reliance on Power Point, there is a serious point being made about how “the mix of lightweight courses, make-work assignments, and tired progressive ideology” at our nation’s ed schools often deter those who might otherwise pursue careers as teachers. (I speak here from personal experience. I might still be a 6th grade teacher if it weren’t for the fact that my provisional certification required I obtain an MEd.)

However, it is a concluding quote in the piece that most caught my eye. It comes from James Fraser, education professor at New York University.

We can’t give up on education schools altogether. . . About 25 percent of them have turned the corner and fundamentally reevaluated their curriculum, so that you have mathematicians teaching math and historians teaching history. In Massachusetts, every teacher has to have a liberal arts degree. The rest are still the old school. That’s what we’re trying to change.

Why does it seem that every time I read a national article on trends in education it cites Massachusetts as a model to be copied?