Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Qualifications for President and Vice-President

If teachers are required by our President, the Federal government and our citizens, to be Highly Qualified, have a Master's Degree, pass at least 4 competency exams, and maintain minimum levels of continuing education, why aren't our Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates held to similar high standards? Many teachers run classes of less than 40 students. Our candidates will run a country of millions, yet they are not required to prove they are competent by some standardized method of measurement or educational attainment. I believe candidates should be required to achieve at least a Master's degree from an accredited university in the United States and pass competency tests on subjects including US Constitution, US History, World History, Federal and International Law, Public Policy, Transportation and Infrastructure, Environmental Science, International Affairs and Diplomacy, Conflict Resolution, Macro- and Micro-Economics, Public Speaking, Writing, and Ethics.

Teachers, who make much less money than do most politicians, are required to provide weekly lesson plans, document what they will teach, how much time they will spend on each subject, what strategies and materials they will use so their students will achieve mastery, how they will assess their students' progress, and what state and/or national education standards they are meeting through their instruction. Everything teachers do is required to be student-centered. Perhaps our politicians should also be required to do the same thing. Politicians should be required to provide weekly plans to their constituents, document which problems and issues they will handle for their constituents, how much time they will spend on each problem or issue, what strategies and materials they will use to achieve solutions for their constituents, how they will assess their progress on solving problems and issues for their constituents (political, environmental, economic, etc.), and what state and/or national standards they are meeting through their public service. Everything politicians do should be constituent-centered. Instead, many politicians state outright lies, break laws, and work for lobbyists and corporate interests, rather than their constituents. Then, they turn around and say that teachers are doing a bad job and need even more regulation and accountability.

If teachers were handled in the same way as has been Sarah Palin by the Republicans, then when they're hired, they would be able to hang out with a Master Teacher and watch them teach. They'd also smile, shake hands, wave and give a thumbs up, occaisionally give the same lesson prepared by someone else, and not be responsible to teach their own lessons to their own class, or answer questions from parents or adminstration. This candidate should not be allowed to get away with this! We the People need to stand together and demand accountability of and accessibility to all of our public servants and candidates, as well as minimum standards of education and competency levels of candidates for public service.

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