Thursday, June 09, 2011

Tom Stritikus extols Teach for America in Crosscut

The dean of the College of Education at the University of Washington, Tom Stritikus, writes about the University's role in support of Teach for America in Crosscut.

First, Mr. Stritikus blames the legislature.
Last year, the Legislature required all public colleges and universities that prepare teachers in the state to begin providing alternative programs that take less time while keeping high standards for teacher candidates.
But he remains un-apologetic about UW's role. He tries to shift the focus to an abstract question about teacher effectiveness. In short, he wants to teach the controversy.

A couple points.

1) Mr. Stritikus fails to disclose his affiliation with Teach for America. He is a former corps member. This failure to disclose stinks and the stink clings to Crosscut.

2) The law may require colleges of education to develop alternative certification paths, but none of the other ones locally felt driven to partner with Teach for America. He attempt to shift blame to the legislature fails.

3) Mr. Stritikus seems to say that he has no idea what makes for good training for teachers. That's a pretty odd statement for the dean of a college of education to make, don't ya think? He's selling something to his students while saying that he's not sure if it's at all worthwhile. Youch!


Melissa Westbrook said...

So much to say but I can wait because I know my article in Crosscut on TFA will explain a lot. (It'll probably appear Friday.)

Unfortunately, as with most articles, it can't cover everything. Luckily for me, there's this blog.

I'll flesh things out more in-depth and in a wider way soon.

cascade said...

Stritikus posted there because he has no other place to post in a hurry, and he's in a hurry to do damage control.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
dan dempsey said...


June 09, 2011
For UW, collaboration with Teach for America is a good step

By Dr. Tom Stritikus, dean of UW CoE.

The state legislature has told all teacher-preparation colleges to create alternative, high-quality options for educating aspiring teachers.

Teach for America -- The thriving reform organization has spread across the nation, but not to Washington state. [{The organization may be thriving but the kids are not doing nearly as well as the organization.}]

Note: The University of Washington College of Education, where the author is dean, has submitted a proposal to the state Professional Educator Standards Board to offer certification for Teach For America teachers. The board’s decision is pending.

How Bizarre can it get.... If closing the achievement gaps are to be believed as a BIG rationale for bringing in TfA......

Why has the Board refused to have a policy that requires the District to provide interventions to struggling students?

Some folks would say the District is putting the Cart before the horse .... the more ya look at this mess ... it appears the SPS shot the horse and sold the wheels off the cart ..... but TfA miracle workers will change everything.

Anonymous said...

It really bugs me when PhDs insist on being called Dr.

married to a PhD

Anonymous said...

Seattle U didn't want anything to do with TFA, I heard.

Sincerely wonder what Stritikus would say in response to the SU rejection? I do not mean this in a snarky way. I am curious.


Melissa Westbrook said...

At a meeting with students, he told them that UW was the only higher ed institution in the state that could do the work with TFA.

seattle citizen said...

Because of Stritikus and his lap-dog eagerness to hand TFA the UW's program on a silver platter (see emails to TFA's Kopp here and here), the UW was the only school that WOULD "do the work" with TFA. It's TFA's program; Stritikus merely placed it at the UW because he's TFA's pet.

dan dempsey said...

OK, I am a bit confused...

What does:
"UW was the only higher ed institution in the state that could do the work with TFA."

Is that Ed Jargon crap? Or does "do the work with TfA" mean something.

WOW!! I wonder why every other higher ed institution is "unable to do the work?"

seattle citizen said...

Because, Dan, it's very hard work to dumb down a program. It took years for COEs to come to where they're at (between one and two years programs, a variety of coursework...) and it is very difficult to decide what to get rid of so as to make it a five-week program. Not many quality institutions are up to this task, but Stritikus evidently believes he can get the UW to do this.

I wonder if the UW admins feel the same way, if they're willing to cut and cut and cut their COE program down to one eighth or one sixteenth its size so it fits neatly into a five-week box while still maintaining the high standards we expect of that public institution. Could be tough...

LaCrese Green said...

TFA is a cookie cutter where one size fits all. Inexperienced individuals pouring into their little noggin's one lesson plan with all subjects jumbled and with only one method of learning allowed -- bullsessions. Oh, yeah, role of teacher reduced to monitor whose only duty is to keep order. This knowledge gained from observations of classes from TFA ads on TV, etc..

Chris S. said...

Also from the UW meeting with UW students - that "blame the legislature" line was also a talking point relied upon by Morva McDonald and Cap Peck.

I interpreted the comments about UW doing the work somewhat differently - more like "If we hadn't done it, someone else would have, and we can do a better job."

Also, their FAQs has a list of TFA partner institutions - a really interesting mix of a few big-name universities and where-the-hell-is-that? colleges.

Anonymous said...

ummm... we have local academics like Cliff Mass who engage in the community where they live -

and the COE "academics" are all hiding under their desks?

if stritikus can make them look so incredibly useless and so weak and so craven, maybe he should?

I suppose bucking the billionaire boys club agenda over at the u.w. is a bad career move? Hide behind your door and hope when they come to haul people away they take the chumps down the hall!

Maybe they deserve to be turned into

Professors For A While.

GreyWatch said...

@ married to a phd

couldn't agree more. am also married to a phd, but one of those who wouldn't realize you were talking to him if you addressed him as doctor. he went to a lot of school for sure, but not medical school. have seen the same attitude with most of his scientist phd coworkers and friends.

the world of academics can bring out weird insecurities in people. my limited observation is that the lower down on the academic ladder people are, the more recognition of titles they require.

Anonymous said...


I have no trouble calling the person patching the appendix "Doctor". I have no problem calling people advancing scientific knowledge "doctor".

I gag when I have to use it to an educrat - and a slimeball like Stritikus will always just be called "Stritikus", since it is more polite than "slimeball".

Doctor? Doctor!

StopTFA said...

What a weasel. Gee, I don't hear SPU, or PLU, City U, Saint Martin U or Eastern WA U whining like Stritikus. He's blowing smoke up everyone's ass, including faculty (except, apparently, Morva McDonald and "Cap" Peck).

Sorry, but this fig leaf is not going to cover the inadequacy which is the piss poor, lame *ss, U-Act "program" that was cobbled within the tight constraints placed upon the mighty UW (cough) by TFA. "We don't need no stinkin' Masters" just give us legitimacy to put our corps members wherever the hell we say we want them, and give us cut rate tuition and $4K finders fee while yer at it."

dan dempsey said...

I had the opportunity to meet and listen to Lola May, a true legend in mathematics education. At a conference someone asked her if she should be addressed as Dr. May?

She answered : "No you should call me Lola. If I had a PhD. in Math I'd have you call me Dr. May, but my PhD is in Education. We all know what a PhD in Education is worth, so call me Lola."

Lola had a Masters in Mathematics.

Jan said...

I tend to agree with seattle citizen. The reason the UW was the only school that "could" do the work is that they were the only school with a lapdog willing to compromise enough that they "would" do it. I also wonder if the "allusion" to the UW being the only school who could relates to the idea that they can say they are a big "research" institution -- and this is all somehow like (oooohhh, wait for it) cutting edge research -- under this absurd tent, they can allow in any amount of nonsense.

This assumes, of course, that the taxpayers, whose dollars are supporting both the research nonsense AND the reduced tuition and fees to all of the out of state TfA'ers who will be using UW resources in place of state kids, will put up with this.