Michele Kerr, who comments here as “Cal,” has earned a master’s degree from Stanford’s Teacher Education Program (STEP), despite threats to declare her “unsuited” for teaching. FIRE has the links.
. . . Stanford tried to revoke Kerr’s admission after she voiced disagreement with “progressive” views held by STEP administrators, but FIRE intervened and resolved the issue. Kerr also was blogging about her thoughts and experiences as a future certified teacher. Stanford School of Education administrators demanded the password to her private blog and threatened to expel her for her opinions and teaching philosophy.
Kerr was told that her problems had nothing to do with her views, that other students found her domineering and intimidating. In an e-mail, she told classmates that “you are all fantastic, passionate, committed people who I think will make outstanding teachers.” But:
. . . if you are sitting in class privately seething because you feel that I or anyone else is derailing a conversation that you wish to go in a different direction, then you should reconsider your own priorities and values as a novice educator. SPEAK UP.
Fight for the education you want. And if you don’t feel you should have to, if you’d rather complain to the powers-that-be in the hopes that the power will take care of an interpersonal problem, then how on earth are you planning on going out in the far more ruthless world of public education and effect any change worth mentioning?
She was told the e-mail was “intimidating” in itself.
WashPost columnist Jay Mathews, often a target of Kerr’s caustic comments, wonders why academics can’t tolerate independent thinkers.
Though the education school has no blogging policy, Kerr was reprimanded for her blog, which mentioned Stanford but not the high school where she was student teaching. She “took down the blog temporarily, renamed it, eliminated all references to Stanford, and gave it password protection so that only she and a few friends could read it,” Mathews writes. That didn’t help.
After filing a complaint, Kerr got a new supervisor with whom she got along very well. She completed the program and was hired by a high school in the area to teach algebra, geometry and humanities.