Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Foundations of Education Endangered Species?

This came across the FairTest ARN listserv today. For anyone still of the mind that the attack on history, thought, reflection, and questioning is some kind of overblown conspiracy theory, smell this coffee:

Deletion of foundations requirement by the State:
My name is Kurt Stemhagen and I'm as assistant professor at UMW. I've been involved with the group involved in working to keep Foundations of Education a required course in the teacher licensure sequence Virginia.
We met with the DOE just prior to the semester break and we have learned that the proposal to eliminate Foundations of Education will be up for public comment probably as early as the end of this month!

We are working to put together a strong case for our position. One facet of this effort is a petition I've written on behalf of the Virginia Educational Studies Association and placed it online. Basically, the petition makes a case for the value of foundations courses to teacher preparation. It can be accessed at We plan to present the petition to the DOE when they hold public hearings on this proposal. Please read and sign the petition as soon as possible, as I am sure that K-12 teachers will be more likely to sign on if there are already a decent number of signatures. There is a place for comments, so please feel free to make your own points as to why prospective teachers need foundations. Also, if this is going to have any impact it will be the result of a grassroots effort to get the petition into the hands of as many sympathetic individuals as is possible, so please take a few minutes to forward this to anyone who you think is likely to sign it!
If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at Regardless of whether you sign the petition, I hope that you will forward this message to as many potentially interested parties as possible.

CONTACTS for petition:
Kurt Stemhagen, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Education
University of Mary Washington
121 University Ave.
Fredericksburg, VA 22406

Maike Philipsen, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Social Foundations
Virginia Commonwealth University
1015 W. Main St.
Richmond, VA 23284-2020
(804) 827-2630
Letters and calls to decision makers

Thomas M. Jackson, Jr.
Virginia Board of Education
227 North Main Street
Hillsville, VA

Dr. Ella P. Ward
Vice President
1517 Pine Grove Lane
Chesapeake, VA 23321

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