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[Susan notes: Excellent letter. Freedman's article, equating a doctorate with ability to teach, ticked me off so much I didn't post it.]

Published in New York Times
10/18/2006

To the editor


Re “Despite a Doctorate and Top Students, Unqualified to Teach,” by Samuel G. Freedman (On Education column, Oct. 11): We do not assume that a teaching certificate is evidence of one’s ability to conduct research, so why assume that a doctorate provides assurance that one can teach?



In most states, charter schools can mimic private schools in selecting whom they enroll. This policy error does not alter the obligation of the state to make sure that the teachers it certifies are equipped to work with all kids, in all settings.



To find out why a doctorate is not adequate preparation to teach in many urban and suburban public schools, interview the highly educated career-change adults who find that they cannot handle a class of middle-school kids.



But you won’t find most of them in the schools. They leave, often during the first weeks of the term.





The writer, a professor of elementary and secondary education at New Jersey City University, is the author of a book about urban teaching.

Lois Weiner


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