Fluff development

To earn points toward certification, Massachusetts teachers can take classes in balloon twisting, tie-dye, making paper snowflakes and folk dancing offered by the state teachers’ union, reports the Boston Herald.

Some of the courses drop any pretense of addressing educational concerns and focus on the union’s real priorities. “MTA’s Lens on Beacon Hill” is led by some of the organization’s legion of lobbyists and discusses strategies for advancing key priorities, like securing retiree cost-of-living increases. In “Grievance Processing,” members “investigate, write up and present grievances.”

Peter Wood has more.

Via Education Gadfly.

About Joanne


  1. I took a course on Taiko drumming, paper making, stencil graffiti art, and square dancing at part of my credential program. It counts towards the Visual And Performing Arts methods requirement.

  2. Making those paper snowflakes isn’t easy. I finally had to ask my 9yo homeschooled son to show me how to make one. Hmm…maybe he could teach one of those certification classes.

  3. But this isn’t new. My mom got to renew her certificate in Montana by taking a class in Rodeo Skills.

  4. My sister-in-law spent the last few summers earning her M.Ed. degree. This summer, she’s decided to get her SCUBA certification courtesy of the district she works for. I couldn’t believe that she didn’t have to submit some sort of justification for why the coursework would be relevant to her job. What a ripoff for taxpayers!

  5. Margo/Mom says:

    CW–in my state it is now required. I think it eliminates the SCUBA classes, but it is still a pretty loose approval committee–and I don’t know that “relevant to the job” is a criteria (the unions take a dim view of that much mucking about in teacher’s lives), but, I think that it has to have some relevance to “education” and to fit within some kind of personalized plan.

  6. Ragnarok says:


    Can’t you see that this is absurd? There’s no reason to go on about the union and relevance and so on and so forth – it’s just a ripoff, plain and simple.

    “mucking about in teacher’s lives”, forsooth!

  7. I would be embarassed to have those classes on my college transcript. It would let people know I was duped into actually paying money for them.

    Also, the M.Ed. degree is the most useless degree I’ve ever seen in my life. They could give them away for free in cereal boxes and many people still wouldn’t want them!