“If half of the 1400 places that train teachers went out of business tomorrow, we’d be better off.” The Harvard professor paused. “And, with very few exceptions, it wouldn’t matter which half.”
His is a widely held view of teacher education: too many institutions doing a lousy job. Most teachers I’ve met over the years weren’t happy with, or proud of, their training, which, they said, didn’t prepare them for the ‘real world’ of teaching.
And so the question is, HOW to put half of the institutions out of business? Should we trust ‘the market’ or rely on government regulations?
The federal government thinks that tighter regulation of these institutions is the answer. After all, cars that come out of an automobile plant can be monitored for quality and dependability, thus allowing judgments about the plant. Why not monitor the teachers who graduate from particular schools of education and draw conclusions about the quality of their training programs?
That’s the heart of the new regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Educationthis week: monitor the standardized test scores of students and analyze the institutions their teachers graduated from. Over time, the logic goes, we’ll discover that teachers from Teacher Tech or Acme State Teachers College generally don’t move the needle on test scores. Eventually, those institutions will lose access to federal money and be forced out of business. Problem solved!
Education Secretary John B. King, Jr., announced the new regulations in Los Angeles. “As a nation, there is so much more we can do to help prepare our teachers and create a diverse educator workforce. Prospective teachers need good information to select the right program; school districts need access to the best trained professionals for every opening in every school; and preparation programs need Pruning Teacher Education | The Merrow Report: