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[Susan notes: Sigh. I'm so glad Steve 'answered.' We have to hope that some day these answers will make a difference. The New York Times reporter answered me on Twitter when I complained about this piece, presenting the possibility that she's listening. Her bio at the Times says she welcomes ideas, comments, referrals, anxieties and constructive criticism. So let's keep trying! Steve has finally provoked me into answering New York Times education coverage. Join us!]

Submitted to New York Times but not published

To the editor

Re: Obama Administration Plan Seeks to Rate Teacher Training Programs, April 25.

The Obama administration wants to develop ratings of teacher preparation programs. Part of the inspiration for this is a report by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), which concluded that Schools of Education were not doing a good job in preparing teachers. The NCTQ report is bogus: They evaluated Schools of Education on the basis of descriptions of courses and admission standards, not real world results.

When we look at real-world results, American education and American teachers look very good: When researchers control for poverty, American students' international test scores rank near the top of the world. Also, the products of our educational system do very well: The U.S. economy is ranked as the fifth most innovative in the world out of 142, according to the 2013 Global Innovation Index, which is based in part on the availability of education, new patents and the publication of scientific and technical journal articles.

NCTQ review: What Do Inteernational Tests Really Show Us about U.S. Student Performance, Carnoy, M and Rothstein, R. 2013.

Stephen Krashen

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