Wednesday, October 15, 2008

About that "troops to teachers" idea of McCain's

As a former classroom teacher I must say I really agree with this comment I found on The Huffington Post:

The media doesn't seem to be picking up on this, but during the last question regarding education, John McCain stated that we should have a "Troops For Teachers" program in which returning veterans should NOT have to be certificed as teachers. They should be put right into the classroom. This is one of the most outrageous statements regarding education I have ever heard a candidate suggest. No certification!! Wow does he have a high regard for our teachers!! Unbelieveable!!



  1. My husband and I caught that and both jaws dropped! For a minute, I almost thought Obama was going to acknowledge that surprising comment; guess it will hopefully and eventually be the media. I agree that their life experiences will be an asset, but not all soldiers are educated or qualified to teach (yet). Thanks, Sister Ellie, for your great blog-site. I love your perspective. Peace!

  2. I've never been so livid. This single comment propels past my typical reticence regarding politics and makes me want to actually get out and campaign for Obama with the sole objective of keeping that moron out of office. Unreal.

  3. Anonymous9:23 AM

    The Troops To Teachers is an existing program! Do some research before you shoot something down that already exists! By the way, the Troops To Teachers program DOES require its teachers to be certified. TTT helps eligible members of the armed forces to obtain certification or licensing so they ARE qualified to teach.


  4. Anonymous10:20 AM

    I almost fell out of my chair when I heard McCain say, in essence, that ex-military should not have to take the qualifying examinations to become teachers "as some states require".

    I support troops integrating into civilian society, but there must be some type of qualifying exam to teach our children.

    The part that gets me is that he offered this program in the same breath that he was saying that our teachers should be held to a higher standard.

    Maybe all schools should be converted to military school, eh John?

    McCain is off his rocker.

  5. Anonymous10:23 AM

    I would like to make a correction to John McCains reference about Troops to Teachers.

    Troops to Teachers participants are required to complete the same teacher licensure requirements as any other teacher. The Troops to Teachers program only offers guidance and, to those that are eligible, some financial assistance. They are not provided any special shortcuts and must compete for positions just like anybody else. Troops to Teachers has been around since 1994 and has assisted over 11,000 service members to become qualified and find a second career in our nations classrooms.

    Also, these individuals should not be labeled with the "soldier" stereotypes. These are fellow American citizens that have served in the defense of our nation.

    Stereotypes aside, on the whole, these individuals do bring a wealth of skills from their service in the military that are extremely suited to teaching; among other things leadership skills, mission-orientation, and dedication to service. They also bring real-world experiences to the classroom. They've often traveled to other countries and learned first-hand about other people and cultures. Many choose to teach science and math having applied these principals in their military careers aboard ships and planes.

    As I’m sure we are all aware, for the most part, our teachers are greatly underpaid and, even in areas where there are teacher shortages, teachers are being laid off due to budget issues. “Troops” will often have offers from higher-paying, more stable employers. Teaching isn’t a career they just happen to settle on. Many “troops” that chose to go into teaching after their military career have commented that their decision was based on a desire to continue to serve their country - make a difference.

    Many prior service members have been recognized in the teaching field. In fact the 2006 Ohio Teacher of the Year was a Troops to Teachers participant.

  6. To those who wrote defending the "troops to teachers" program: I am DELIGHTED to hear that certification is required after all. But that's NOT what McCain said. My concern is that the candidate HIMSELF was completely dismissive of the idea that teachers actually need to be qualified before stepping into the classroom. The person who needs to "do some research" is McCain.

  7. Anonymous9:25 PM

    The quote from McCain's comment during the debate is:

    "We need to encourage programs such as Teach for America and Troops to Teachers where people, after having served in the military, can go right to teaching and not have to take these examinations which -- or have the certification that some are required in some states."

    Quote taken from the transcript at the following link:

    My husband and I got the impression that he was suggesting the existing requirements for examination or certification be removed. This idea is completely absurd and reckless. I hope that it draws more attention so it can be examined by the voters.

  8. I had to go online immediately and see what this Troops to Teachers program was all about, and, thankfully, discovered that troops are required to be certified before entering the classroom. Whew.

    But the greater issue is that McCain was totally dismissive of teaching as a profession, with skills and requirements. Some of the criticism of TFA is that it sends the message that any 20 year old with a little spirit can be a successful teacher. I think TFA is a good program, but the last thing we need is more programs that put underqualified people into the classroom. Doesn't he get it!?
    I am so disappointed that the media hasn't picked up on this yet. But I shouldn't be, as much as we talk about education in lofty terms, it is not really a priority for this nation.

  9. I, of course, a newcomer to this blog, but the author does not agree


New policy: Anonymous posts must be signed or they will be deleted. Pick a name, any name (it could be Paperclip or Doorknob), but identify yourself in some way. Thank you.