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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

MA Scam

We have a teaching track in our language program where students graduate with a BA and a teaching certificate. It works great for us, for the students, and for the local schools.

However, the School of Education has informed us that it’s canceling this teaching track. Instead, they will force students to do a Master’s degree on top of the BA to get the teaching certification.

To say that I hate this motherfucking assholery is to say too little. My hatred for it is comparable to my hatred of Rauner. This is not justified by ANY pedagogical or intellectual concerns. Do you know how many of our students pass edTPA and get certified on the first try? All of them. 100%. Because our program works. 

Forcing people to pay for an entirely needless Master’s degree is a scam. That’s all it is. Of course, we are fighting this, and the Dean seems to be on our side. But the School of Education is throwing a fit because they can’t attract students on their own merits, so they have come up with this brilliant idea. 

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6 thoughts on “MA Scam

  1. Dreidel on said:

    “an entirely needless Master’s degree is a scam.”

    When I was a psychiatric resident at a California medical center in the early 1970s after getting my M.D. degree, the residency program added the requirement for psych residents to get a “master’s degree in psychiatry.” I ignored the program and cut all the classes, figuring I could get away with it — and I did.

    Come on! If you’re a board-certified psychiatrist with an M.D. degree, what the hell do you need a “master’s degree” for?

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  2. David Bellamy on said:

    Here students get a Bachelor’s degree to teach, but then they must finish a Master’s degree within a certain number of years to continue to have a valid certificate. This might be worth pursuing as a compromise(?)

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  3. Many school systems have higher pay scales for teachers with MAs than for teachers with BAs, so your students might not be worse off in the long run. But it would be better to promote the advantages of the MA to them and let the students make their own choices.

    I have very mixed feelings about our School of Education. There are some really talented, engaging people who do foreign language and ESL education and the teacher ed students seem to be very positive about that part of their program, but I have heard really horrible things from students about some of the general pedagogy and educational psychology courses. I’ve known a number of students over the years who were very bright and seemed like they could have been fantastic teachers, but they dropped out of the teacher ed track very quickly because they were incredibly bored and/or frustrated by the general pedagogy courses that they had to take at the beginning of the program.

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    • ” But it would be better to promote the advantages of the MA to them and let the students make their own choices.”

      • Of course, if they want to come back later and do an MA, that’s great. But forcing people into an entirely needless degree and to delay their working career out of nothing but simple greed? I’m fuming.

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  4. Shakti on said:

    The amount of educational debt one must incur to get a master’s simply isn’t worth it for the starting salary most teachers get. See: social work.

    My personal feeling is that nobody respects teachers from high school down and they just view them as glorified babysitters. Otherwise voters wouldn’t keep trying to take away their pensions, break the unions, and cut the budget for years on end while making mouth noises about children being the future. In addition isn’t it something like 50%-17% of new teachers leave within five years? I’m not getting a master’s degree for that.

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    • “The amount of educational debt one must incur to get a master’s simply isn’t worth it for the starting salary most teachers get. See: social work.”

      • And it’s not needed either! All of our students who graduate from our Spanish program and the teaching certificate get employed immediately. All of them. 100%. There is no problem here worth addressing.

      “My personal feeling is that nobody respects teachers from high school down and they just view them as glorified babysitters. Otherwise voters wouldn’t keep trying to take away their pensions, break the unions, and cut the budget for years on end while making mouth noises about children being the future.”

      • This policy isn’t being introduced by any regular voters. though. This is specifically the School of Education whose whole narrative is that high school teachers are to be respected and treated well.

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