No: Harmful regulations will punish instructors, pupils: Front Burner
Every child deserves a high-quality education, starting with teachers who have the tools and conditions they need to meet the needs of all their students. That's why it's so important to invest in teacher preparation that ensures every teacher is as prepared as possible on his or her first day in the classroom.
Sadly, the U.S. Department of Education's proposed regulations for teacher-preparation programs do little to move us closer to these goals.
The proposed regulations require states to rate teacher-preparation programs based on how many of their candidates go into and stay in teaching, and on the test scores of the students of their graduates. In using these metrics, the regulations suggest that no other factors cause someone to get or leave a teaching job or our profession, and that nothing except a teacher's preparation is responsible for how well a student does on a test. This not only defies common sense, but could end up harming the very students who need our help the most.
Let's start with the use of K-12 test scores. Right now in Florida, the tests scores of just two or three students taught by graduates of a teacher-preparation program are being used to evaluate that entire program. You don't need a degree in statistics to understand why that doesn't make sense.
The use of complex value-added models that turn students into data points and teachers into algorithms also would be mandated. VAM and high-stakes tests were never designed to tell us anything about the work of faculty in a primary or secondary school, much less at the local college of education. Yet, here we are, in this era of overtesting, talking about increasing the emphasis on standardized tests instead of moving toward a system that includes multiple ways to measure the quality and success of the programs preparing tomorrow's teachers for our nation's classrooms.
Now let's turn to the use of teacher retention as a way to measure the quality of teacher-preparation programs. While teacher turnover is a big problem, there are many reasons why teachers leave the profession, including challenging school climates, low pay, inadequate support, overtesting and limited paths for professional advancement. How would more punitive measures for teacher-preparation programs fix these problems?Harmful regulations will punish teachers, students: Front Burner - Orlando Sentinel: