Apparently there’s yet another fear-mongering publicist named Alyssa (yes, a different one!). So once more into the breach…
Here’s the email I received:
On the heels of the recent Vergara ruling in California, which eliminates teacher tenure, the outcome has peeled back the Band-Aid on the appalling lack of adequate teacher training.
Whether the judge was right or wrong on tenure, no one can credibly argue that teachers are trained well enough to be effective and efficient in today’s classrooms. The challenges are too great and the support is so weak, it’s a miracle any teachers are succeeding at all.
And while the California challenges may be acute and the consequences deep, deficient teacher training is a problem from coast to coast.
EXPERT SOURCE: To speak with one of the industry’s top PD expert’s on what’s next to come – Alvin Crawford, CEO of Knowledge Delivery Systems (KDS) – the leading provider of professional development solutions K-12 – is available via phone or will also be at ISTE in Atlanta from June 29 – July 1 and available for in-person interviews.
Crawford comments, “Before we can debate whether teachers should have legal protections to stay in classrooms, we should create effective and meaningful support systems for ongoing growth and development of certified teachers so that they are adequately prepared to support all students.”
He believes that only then can we perhaps all agree that we want them to keep teaching as long as possible.
Crawford, formerly of SchoolNet and responsible for its explosive growth and purchase by Pearsons for $230 million in 2011, is an industry leader in the K-12 educational system and available to discuss PD trends, transformational classroom practices, and how to solve the lagging student achievement gap.
For more information or interviews, please contact me at and thanks!
And here’s my reply:
Alyssa, with due respect to you and Alvin, this PR pitch that you just sent me is a crock. Other than a few anecdotes, made-up education ‘reformer’ sound bites, and, apparently, messages from corporations and publicists who are willing to ignore the truth and use scare tactics in order to make a buck (‘here’s a fake problem and, oh look!, we just happen to have a paid service that can help you solve it!’), there is no real evidence that we have a large, systemic problem with inadequate teacher training. In fact, peer-reviewed research studies from the highly-respected Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond and many others show that graduates of traditional teachers colleges outperform alternative teacher preparation programs.
I’m sure that Alvin probably has some value to lend to the conversation about teacher quality and professional development, but your willingness to exploit the myth of ‘bad teachers’ and/or colleges of education is overhyped, irresponsible fear-mongering. Your overeager use of phrases like no one can credibly argue that teachers are trained well enough to be effective and efficient in today’s classrooms and it’s a miracle any teachers are succeeding at all and deficient teacher training is a problem from coast to coast contributes to an escalating climate of disrespect and disenfranchisement of educators and also distracts from some of the very real factors that significantly impact student learning outcomes.
What would the numerous wonderful teachers that you and Alvin had as P-12 students think of this PR pitch? Do you think that they’d agree with you and be proud of your messaging that their training was deficient?