Tea Party conservative lawmakers in Michigan are looking to eliminate hiring standards for public school teachers – and a Facebook post may reveal their motivation.
State Rep. Gary Glenn (R-Larkin Township) introduced legislation Wednesday that literally strikes out all current criteria for hiring qualified teachers and allows school board members to hire anyone whose “education and experience” they believe would benefit students, reported Eclectablog.
House Bill 4394 would also promote the operation of cyber schools taught by anyone school boards wish to hire and that would be exempt from state requirements on student attendance.
Another conservative lawmaker, state Rep. Todd Courser, posted a Facebook rant earlier this week against “top down soviet style” education standards.
Courser, who sits on the House Education Committee, complained that Republican Gov. Rick Snyder envisioned the education system as a “workplace development” program aligned with Common Core standards that outrage conservatives.
“Public education has devolved from its original form at the beginning from being a ministry of the church to make sure that new immigrants could read the scriptures to where it is now about workplace development for the needs of corporations to fill their human capital requirements,” Courser said in the post, which has since been deleted.
The deleted post was preserved as a screen shot by Eclectablog, and Courser made similar arguments last week in a pair of shorter Facebook posts.
"Our governor wants gov to be 'central planning authority' all inclusive pre natal to employment 'work force development,'" Courser said. "This isn't the proper role of government."
"Changing the education goal from 'a well rounded citizen' to 'human capital for business,' is not the right direction for education,'" he added -- although the lawmaker initially misspelled "capital" as "Capitol."
Courser said this shift would further erode local control of education and hand that authority to unelected state and local authorities.
Glenn’s bill seems designed to wrest some of that control back from state licensing boards and teachers unions by allowing local officials to hire cheaper, less qualified teachers – who don’t even need to ever meet their students.
Glenn made news earlier this week when he issued an "agenda alert" on social media after his hometown newspaper, the Midland Daily News, appointed an openly gay man, Tony Lascari, to the position of news editor.
Some of the lawmaker's constituents also complained that he deleted some of their comments and blocked them on his Facebook page.