Evidently the Relay Graduate School of Education is not the only “graduate school of education” in which charter school leaders award masters’ degrees to charter school teachers.
There is also a “graduate school of education” in Boston organized by charter schools to train charter teachers to get “jaw-dropping” test scores. Not surprisingly, this one acknowledges its ties to Relay and TFA. It seems we are developing a parallel system of “graduate” schools, one for charters, another for public schools.
As I scan the “faculty” of this “graduate school of education,” I could not find anyone with a doctorate in any field.
As I scanned the “course catalogue,” I saw courses in methods, classroom management, community relations, and data analysis, but no research, no sociology of education, no cognitive psychology, no history of education, no economics of education, nothing about adolescent psychology, nothing about psychometrics, nothing about contemporary issues in urban education, nothing about the arts in education, nothing about the politics of curriculum and testing and textbooks, no analysis of the pros and cons of anything.
Maybe I am old-fashioned, but I think that a real graduate school of anything has some faculty who have made a career as scholars of their disciplines and that a real graduate school of anything has a curriculum that examines the field from many angles. Sure, it’s good to have practitioners on the faculty, but to have a faculty with no scholars at all seems odd. And to have a curriculum that omits every recognized field of study seems passing strange.
This graduate school, like Relay, seems to be devoted to one thing only: How to raise test scores. How did so many bright young men and women, graduates of our finest liberal arts colleges and universities, get the idea that education consists of nothing more than the ability to pick the right answer on a bubble test? That was not the way they were educated.