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National Board

Posted By: jason blonstein on February 25, 2004
One of my regrets in my 35 year high school teaching career is that I didn't complete my National Board Certification. I applaude both the idea and the effort behind such certification because the process helps us learn more about what we do. That a fellow science teacher, albeit an apparently ivory tower type, attempts to demean the proces (and obviously fails miserably to do so) does illuminate the tension between schools of education and the school districts they serve with their graduates.
In my "retirement", working at NYU's Steinhardt School of Education, I see another dimension of the tension. As a public school teacher, it was common to regard university folk as the transient presence they often are, marginally involved with the culture of a school, its growth, and its development, anxious to be of service as they fulfill their sense of mission-and grant criteria. There were some notable exceptions, but they only "proved" the rule. As I became more involved with professional development at the school and district levels, I came to appreciate more the scholarship and depth of knowledge that each university partner most often possessed. Those who had been public school teachers at one time in their careers usually retained that experience as one that could be improved, and the way it might be done was what their scholarship was usually about. Now I can see what a struggle it is to both maintain and improve the stature of education as a respected subject of inquiry, demonstrate that schools of ed actually have a positive effect on their graduates, and strive to become part of the public schools' struggle to improve and reform themselves (in today's climate, to survive).
Papers as poorly thought out as this one, so full of contradicting assertions, so blatant in its biases, are not the worry. The worry should be that many who read it will not have the benefit of another, more thoughtful point of view.
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 National Board by jason blonstein on February 25, 2004
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