REPA II is the new set of rules proposed by the state (and set to be passed despite the overwhelming--99%--dissent at the public testimony hearing on June 21 of this year and since) which would change the requirements for teacher licensing. Under these rules, any person with a bachelor's degree in any subject could take a standardized test, pass it, and become a teacher: no coursework, no classroom experience necessary. The underlying assumption that all teacher education is worthless and REPA2 will all but obliterate its value in Indiana.
I know that as a parent, I want my teachers to know far more than simply the subjects they are teaching. Teachers need to know how children learn, what methods work for which learning styles, etc. The teaching and learning dynamic is not a simple, quantifiable, mechanical process of input-output. Our children are not passive receptacles for knowledge; they are complex human beings who need the human connection in order to pique their curiosity, inspire their desire to learn, and feel valued as a person. We have educational research which supports all of this pedagogy. The desire on the part of "reformers" to do away with this teacher preparation is a desire to impose a business model on all of education.
What kinds of teachers would our children be subjected to if this passes? How would they know that it isn't appropriate for children to sit still for hours on end and receive passively what knowledge they have to impart? How would they possibly understand the nuances of an emergent reader while listening to a child make up words as he or she reads aloud? What about our most vulnerable special needs children? How could one test possibly make up for the coursework on the brain, on how kids develop, on different methods for different learners? The idea is appalling.
Teachers are professionals. REPAII would do away with that professional expertise and qualifications. The view, instead, would be that these workers are a dime-a-dozen, easily replaceable, not highly-qualified. It would be unnecessary to pay them a professional salary and it would save the business owner (state) loads of money. This is par for the course in privatizing public education: making room for profit.
Please write or call (or both) the State Board of Education members. Their emails and phone numbers are on this IDOE web page if you scroll down a little. http://www.doe.in.gov/idoe/sboe
REMEMBER: WE MUST DO THIS SOON! THIS WILL BE A DONE DEAL ON DEC. 5TH!