Many of us could live our lives without giving a second thought to teacher education. Either we earned a degree in a teacher preparation program or we didn’t. Only those who work in these institutions are deeply engaged in their future.

Never fear, as Laura Chapman reported in the last post, and as James Kirylo documents here, Bill Gates has trained his laser vision on teacher education.

Kirylo writes:

“As most know, Bill Gates, through his foundation, has worked hard in an attempt to disturbingly shape K-12 education in his own image. Next on his radar is teacher preparation—with the awarding of $35 million to a three-year project called Teacher Preparation Transformation Centers funneled through five different projects, one of which is the Texas Tech based University-School Partnerships for the Renewal of Educator Preparation (U.S. Prep) National Center.

“A framework that will guide this “renewal” of educator preparation comes from the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET), along with the peddling of their programs, The System for Teacher and Student Advancement (TAP) and Student and Best Practices Center (BPC). Yet, again, coming from another guy with bags of money, leading the charge of NIET is Lowell Milken [brother of junk bond king Michael Milken] who is Chairman and TAP founder.

“Though a handful of other places could serve as an example, the state of Louisiana illustrates how NIET is already working overtime in chipping its way into K-12 education. And now that NIET is applying a full-court-press in hyping its brand in the Pelican state, the brand is working its way into teacher education preparation programs, namely through the Texas Tech based U.S. Prep National Center.

“This Gates Foundation backed project involves five teacher education programs in the country (Southern Methodist University, University of Houston, Jackson State University, and the University of Memphis– and includes one in Louisiana— Southeastern Louisiana University).

“Thus, teacher educators must be “trained” in order to propagate the NIET brand. Because I am a teacher educator at one of the impacted universities that has been recruited by the Texas Tech based U.S. Prep National Center, I was recently mandated to attend three full days of NIET indoctrination (with continued follow-up training).

“Along with my colleagues—who collectively bring a rich background of K-12 teaching experience, in addition to decades of teacher education work, a wealth of post-graduate education degrees, all of whom have made meaningful contributions to the professional community through a wide array of venues—in a teacher education program that has a sterling reputation—yet, all of which was of no concern to the NIET trainers. That is, because right out of the gate, the NIET officials were off and running, making it implicitly clear that a new teacher education sheriff is in town.”