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Teacher Training's Low Grade


It is a disgrace that the media gives such an outfit such attention. But I say let the colleges of education, so long totally silent on critical issues, defend themselves. I'm not going to do it.

Meanwhile the comments at the Wall Street Journal are over-the-top ugly about teachers. Someone named Madeline Teperson wins the prize for nastiest, so nasty I won't post here.

And here's Arne Duncan promoting the ugliness.


By Stephanie Banchero

U.S. colleges of education are an "industry of mediocrity" that churns out teachers ill-prepared to work in elementary and high-school classrooms, according to a report by a nonprofit advocacy group that represents the first comprehensive review of such programs.

The study, by the National Council on Teacher Quality, which has long promoted overhauling U.S. teacher preparation, assigned ratings of up to four stars to 1,200 programs at 608 institutions that collectively account for 72% of the graduates of all such programs in the nation. U.S. News & World Report will publish the results Tuesday. They are similar to the magazine's rankings of top colleges, undergraduate engineering programs and business and law schools—which are widely followed but whose methodology some education officials have criticized.

The council included criteria such as the selectivity of the teacher programs, as well as an evaluation of their syllabi, textbooks and other teaching materials. It said fewer than 10% of the programs earned three or more stars. Only four, all for future high-school teachers, received four stars. About 14% got zero stars, and graduate-level programs fared particularly poorly.

Kate Walsh, president of the National Council on Teacher Quality, said it is vital that aspiring teachers—and school districts that hire them—have information about quality. "Knowledgeable consumers can have a big impact on these programs by driving customers away from bad ones and toward good ones," she said. . . .

Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who has criticized education colleges, praised the ratings. "Teachers deserve better support and better training than teachers' colleges today provide, and school districts should be able to make well-informed hiring choices," he said.

The report also said that fewer than one in nine programs for future elementary teachers, and just over one-third of high-school programs, properly prepare teachers to teach the Common Core standards, and about 75% aren't preparing graduates to teach reading to youngsters.

Teacher programs use 866 different reading textbooks, compared to only 13 math textbooks, which Ms. Walsh said indicates an "unwillingness to embrace" a single approach to reading instruction.

For the full article, go to the url below.

— Stephanie Banchero
Wall Street Journal

2013-06-18

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323836504578551904167354358.html?mod=djemITP_h

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