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October 12, 2004

Morons in the Bureaucracy.

Following on from the weekend's news on rampant credentialism we have a further example of moronic bureaucracy. To set the scene, the UK has a shortage of physics teachers. Enter a retired American academic who decides to spend a few years teaching physics in a state school. Do we welcome him with open arms? Do we buggery:

A former professor of physics who has contributed experiments to the international space programme has been told he is not suitably qualified to teach the subject in a state school.
David Wolfe, who ran the physics department of a large American University, must go back to school to take a maths GCSE or leave the school where he has taught for three years.

But the American professor who has retired to England has been told that his qualification - a PhD in physics from the University of Pennsylvania, one of the eight Ivy League schools - is not sufficient.
"He was the head of the physics department of the University of New Mexico containing 80 physicists, including Nobel prize winners. He is an expert on nuclear and particle physics and has been involved in space research. But the General Teaching Council wants him to take a maths GCSE."

If there was a human being actually capable of thought within the system this guy would be accepted and credentialed over a cup of tea in the common room. But no, we obviously do not have sentient creatures running the education system:
The Teacher Training Agency said Mr Wolfe could use the fast-track route to qualified teacher status, which requires the submission of a portfolio of evidence. Assessors from a teacher-training college would then watch him teach. "GCSE maths is required but there is an equivalence test which he could use to prove that his US qualifications reach the same standard," a spokesman said.

Guys, he's got a bloody PhD in the subject from a university you wouldn't be able to get into, even for the summer school.
Sheesh.

October 12, 2004 in Your Tax Money at Work | Permalink

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Comments

What a bunch of maroons.

Posted by: Irene Adler | Oct 12, 2004 1:26:04 PM

Now if anyone can become a teacher without going through the proper procedures, then how are the teachers' unions to continue to ensure that talent is not rewarded? The public sector "producer" unions have captured the state just as surely as the old nationalised industry unions did. Or the dockers, or the print unions or the miners. That's your basic problem.

Tim adds: Quite.

Posted by: Mark T | Oct 12, 2004 5:56:47 PM