October 24, 2005
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From: Deena Flinchum [e-mail her]Re: Joe Guzzardi's column, "How to Solve the Visa Overstayer Problem, Pay Americans More"
Joe Guzzardi is absolutely right about how hiring foreign teachers does not help out students. But there is also the problem of state requirements for teacher certification that badly needs to be revamped.
My husband retired last year as a chemistry professor at Virginia Tech.
He is perfectly happy writing books and articles; however, if he chose to teach at the public high school level, he couldn't.
He has a PhD in chemistry, and for years taught classes of 500 or more college freshmen just 4 months removed from high school.
But he has none of the "Eraser Pounding 101" courses that public schools require.
I'm curious to know if these foreign teachers have these courses.
Joe Guzzardi replies:
Not only are the foreign teachers not required to take the classes, their credentials—masters degrees, etc that the school district touts as among the reasons they are so qualified to teach in the U.S.—are highly misleading. In the case of the Filipinos, for example, high school begins at grade seven, "college" at grade eleven and so forth.
And the quality of the education they receive is suspect. According to one Filipino critic,
"For decades now we have been producing a bumper crop of ignorant drop-outs and uneducated graduates... Philippine education is turning out low quality graduates who are not only unemployable but also lack the social consciousness, nationalism and commitment to their country's progress."