Kill Your TV

Okay, so we don't expect you to drive a wooden stake into your flat screen. Plus, we're total hypocrites since we watch some TV. But here's the point: People waste a ton of time watching TV.

If you're cool with government taking over your future, than keep watching Dancing with the Stars. If you consider yourself to be a free man or woman and want to live in a free society, then watch what you are watching on the tube.

As you should already know, we're big fans of free market economics. One of the simple realities that many folks forget when dreaming up ways for government to "help" is that resources are limited. This fact should make sense to the members of a society currently obsessed with sustainability and renewable resources. Your time happens to be one of those extremely valuable, non-renewable and limited resources. Don't waste it watching endless hours of television.

There's another problem with TV: It's generally portraying a Leftist worldview. Think about it... How often are businessmen portrayed in a positive and realistic manner? Not too often. How often is divorce and a permissive lifestyle treated as no big deal? Regularly. (Surely those kids won't be screwed up, and if they are, it's probably the overbearing dad's fault!) What about those cool crime shows? Yeah, no distortions there. Finally, have you ever noticed an eery similarity to legislation being pushed and what's being talked about in TV shows? There's a reason for that.

To our left-leaning friends: We completely agree that the corporate world is all over TV, too. We're not turning a blind eye to advertising to kids, setting unrealistic earning/lifestyle expectations, and so on.

Let it be said that when you are watching TV, you are being influenced to view the world however those involved in making the show (and the ads) want you to view it. This influence often entails changing societal relationships and perceptions, proposing a new role for government promoted by an activist group, and, of course, getting you to buy things. Don't believe us? Read on from the Left, Right, and Center:

If you choose to watch TV, be proactive in your program choice. Don't waste time watching visual valium; support shows that advocate freedom and a virtuous life.

Better yet, read a book!

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Commentary or Blog Post

In light of the NCLB legislation, this article describes the effectiveness of alternative forms of teacher certification. Alternative certification has grown in popularity in recent years, but as the article notes, the results have been mixed. Some studies demonstrate that alternative certification is fast and also effective in producing well educated children,...

This article plays host to the two sides of the teacher certification debate in the state of Arizona. Arwynn Mattix comes from a pro-charter school background and argues that the shortage of teachers and the improved test scores of children under alternatively certified teachers offer strong support for acceptance of this idea. John Wright, the head of a statewide...

Based on his extensive research on alternative teacher certification through the years, Mitch Pearlstein compiles a brief look at several key tidbits which show that alternative teacher certification is just as effective, if not more effective, than traditional certification. Pearlstein encourages alternative certification because he believes it directly improves...

In this article, Katherine Kersten seeks to reveal the University of Minnesota’s future aims in regards to the education of teachers. According to Kersten, U of M seems to be seeking to completely revamp the ideologies of its teaching students by practically forcing them to accept progressive philosophies that the university approves of. This article goes on to...

This short piece points out that solid teaching credentials do not necessarily make a good teacher. Unfortunately for America’s schools, certification standards are keeping potentially good teachers out of the market while at the same time keeping demonstrably bad ones in. Hess recommends that the solution to this problem is to "Overhaul state licensure systems."...

In this article, the "Pennsylvania education chief" describes what he believes is the major problem in teacher education programs, namely, low educational standards. Hickok writes that many educational programs expect less of their students in terms of achievement than other courses of study do, and due to this fact, Hickok suggests a variety of reforms that could...

Ms. Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, proposes a national "bar exam" for strengthening entry into the teaching profession.

This article addresses the issue of budget cuts in the New York public schools. According to Winters, the public school system would be wiser and more fiscally prudent if they cut teachers with seniority rather than teachers who are relatively new on the scene. Winters’ reasoning for this is that many newer teachers have had to pass through stricter proficiency...

In this interview, Linda Darling-Hammond opines that many education reforms have not worked because they have focused on the student and not the teacher. In her eyes, education schools show a great need for improvement, and to do this, Darling-Hammond implies that stricter certification standards are needed.

In commenting on the 2008 presidential election, Marcus Winters notes the little exposure given to education matters. While debate on this topic was minimal, Winters does approve of one of the candidates’ idea to promote alternative teacher certification. This article briefly traces some of the pros and cons of alternative teacher certification and suggests that an...

TIME weighs the pros and cons of alternative teacher certification in light of the growing teacher shortage in New York. Although alternative certification programs are met with enthusiasm on the part of non-teacher professionals, many in the education arena skeptically condemn the idea that anyone besides a properly trained teacher can effectively handle...

Contrary to popular opinion, Sol Stern believes that the shortage of certified teachers in New York is not a major problem. Stern suggests that many of the so-called unqualified and uncertified teachers are actually talented individuals who have the potential to greatly advance quality education in the schools. This article discusses the success that New Jersey...

Chart or Graph

This chart lists the National Council on Teacher Quality's state by state teacher grade.

This graph demonstrates the monopoly and influence that traditional certification programs have over teachers in California.

Teaching reading is a key element of education, but unfortunately, according to this chart, many education schools are not effectively teaching their students how to properly train children to read.

Number of public high school-level teachers who reported a particular main assignment and the percentage with a major and certification in that main assignment, by subject of main assignment: 2007–08

"For 2011, Florida received the highest overall teacher policy grade with a B, and three other states – Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Tennessee – earned B minuses."

This chart indicates the level of teacher proficiency that each state tests for. Ten states do not have a teacher academic proficiency test.

As the title suggests, this chart describes the differences in requirements for true alternative teacher certification and traditional teacher certification.

Analysis Report White Paper

This fifth annual edition of the Yearbook documents more changes in state teacher policy than NCTQ has seen in any of its previous top-to-bottom reviews of the laws and regulations governing the teaching profession in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

This report explores the original aims and ideals of alternative teacher certification and the gradual shift away from this ideal that has occurred over the years. Walsh and Jacobs surveyed a variety of "alternative" education programs and found that many operate no differently than traditional undergraduate education programs.

This online anthology compiles a number of frequently cited studies and works that discuss a variety of issues dealing with teacher education.

This report compiles a variety of education research in the attempt to determine whether or not official teacher certification is more effective than alternative certification.

Hess, Rotherham, and Walsh recognize that there is a deficit of highly qualified teachers, and claim it is the direct result of poor teacher training programs. The authors also present some of the relevant ideas on alternative teacher certification and discuss whether or not the evidence backs up its claims of success.

"This study is designed to provide historical background and context for current debates about education policy, indicate how we arrived at our present process of teacher education and certification, identify recurring themes in that history, and demonstrate that the current approach to teacher education was neither inevitable nor immutable."

In response to Kate Walsh’s acclaimed study on teacher certification, Linda Darling-Hammond attempts to combat Walsh’s findings against certification with her own findings in favor of certification.

According to Hess, the education establishment is not keeping up with the vocational and geographic mobility that is prevalent in our culture, and that many schools are missing out on the opportunity to have highly talented and educated, yet older adults, pass on their knowledge to children.

This paper by Kate Walsh is one of the most widely cited pieces in studies that address certification standards for teachers. Walsh attempts to break down the research commonly used by those who lobby for higher standards in teacher certification.

In order to present his reformatory ideas, Hess lays out the history of teacher certification and the pros and cons of the current system. In all, this paper seeks to promote the idea that current teacher certification has many downfalls that could be overcome by thinking outside the box.

Although Hess has a conservative, reformative ideology when it comes to teacher certification, this article demonstrates his appeal for a rational, logical look at the entire issue. This piece traces the history and growth of teacher certification, while also explaining the two different viewpoints over this subject.

This manifesto outlines the current course of action in education schools, the reasons why this course of action is ineffective, and multiple ideas which could improve the current situation of teacher quality and quantity in the nation’s high school and elementary academic institutions.

In David Ruenzel’s eyes, the California teacher shortage and the potential for alternative teacher certification seem to be a match made in heaven. Despite this seemingly ideal situation, Ruenzel reveals the extreme difficulty that qualified, but uncertified individuals have to endure in order to even make it into a classroom.

According to the authors of this report, extensive scientific research has been done throughout the years, which shows that there are five basic elements to teaching reading. While this research has been thoroughly proved time and time again, many education schools consistently fail to teach these elements to their teachers in training.

Video/Podcast/Media

This interview features "C. Emily Feistritzer, PhD, President and CEO of the National Center for Alternative Certification (NCAC). Dr. Feistritzer discusses how alternative certification programs can differ from traditional education programs and offers advice for people interested in becoming teachers."

This video acknowledges that there is a need for change and reform in teacher education, but it subtly implies that this change should revolve around progressive policies and ideas. Several of the speakers infer that "education schools" should be teaching their students to be "relevant to the future," instead of focusing on how to train children through traditional...

Primary Document

"This report examines the postsecondary majors and teaching certifications of public high school-level teachers of departmentalized classes ... in a selection of subject areas by using data from the 2007–08 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), a sample survey of elementary and secondary schools in the United States. SASS collects data on American public, private, and Bureau of Indian Education...

"I’m here today to share our ideas about how the Legislature should deal with three education issues in the current session.

One involves steps to immediately address the achievement gap.

The second is a plan for performance reviews of teachers that will make our strong teaching profession even stronger.

And the third is a responsible plan to create alternative pathways...

In this "annual state of American education speech," the U.S. Secretary of Education describes his numerous goals for education. The latter part of his speech deals with teacher training, preparation, and certification standards. Riley states that there is a need for an expanded view of alternative certification as well as increased education school standards.

Arthur Wise, the president of NCATE, commends the United Arab Emirates on its successful implementation of a teacher education program comparable to those supported by NCATE in the U.S. In the course of the speech, Wise describes various elements of what NCATE believes are key components of a successful teacher education program.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s speech to Columbia University’s teachers college fully acknowledges the repeated failures of American education schools throughout the twentieth century. Duncan believes that these education schools can and should be reformed, and he lays out a variety of ways in which these plans can be accomplished.

As the executive summary states, this report gives "important information regarding teachers' education, certification, teaching assignments, professional development, collaboration, and supportive work environment." The areas on teacher quality and certification cover the long standing debate over whether or not teachers could be more effective by receiving less...

The Christian school is to be favored for two reasons.

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