Wednesday, June 11, 2003

The Culture: Educational Monopolists Rally

If the FTC is looking for something useful to do with its antitrust machinery, perhaps they could consider taking action against David Imig, president of the American Association of Colleges of Teachers of Education, who deliberately sabotaged a government program designed to break his group's stranglehold on teacher certification:
The head of a national teacher-college association circulated a copy of a confidential teacher-certification exam, undermining a Bush administration initiative to certify professionals without education degrees as teachers.

Education leaders said David G. Imig, president of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, distributed the exam at a March 17 meeting hosted by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in Palo Alto, Calif.

The exam was being confidentially field-tested for the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, also known simply as the American Board.

Mr. Imig declined to tell The Times how he obtained the exam.

Suzanne M. Wilson, a Carnegie senior scholar and education professor at Michigan State University who attended the meeting, said Mr. Imig circulated the exam to rally criticism.

"It wasn't good. ... The test for [the American Board] had running through its bones the ideology of traditionalists ... the framework of direct instruction," she said.
AACTE, you see, supports only "progressive" education methods, the same methods that have failed for more than 30 years to educate an increasingly larger number of government-school students. Imig and his colleagues oppose education based on rational methods, and the only way such nonsense can continue to be the norm is if they prevent any genuine competition from taking hold. Hence Imig's decision to sabotage the alternative-certification test.

This was not a cost-free action either:
Mr. Imig's use of the stolen American Board field-test, developed by ACT Inc. of Iowa City, forced the American Board to scuttle the test and sever its relationship with the ACT, which lost $1.2 million because the test was compromised.
Unfortunately, ACT will not pursue legal action against Imig, nor will the other groups and agencies injured take any action. That's simply an outrage. This nation will use its full political force to persecute Martha Stewart and Microsoft, but it won't lift a finger against a group of thugs who seek to sabotage even small steps towards restoring the free market for education and saving the nation's children from the cognitive death that awaits them in government schools.

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