Study: U.S. Teacher Training 'Dismal'
A report released on
Tuesday by the National Council on Teacher Quality finds that U.S. teacher
training is “an industry of mediocrity” that produces teachers without a
“The results were dismal,” said Kate Walsh, president of the bipartisan
research group. Walsh told Reuters
that new teachers "don't know how to teach reading, don't know how to
master a classroom, don't know how to use data."
The comprehensive study conducted detailed analyses of 608 colleges and
universities that have teacher training programs and partial data on 522 more
institutions and programs that account for training 170,000 new teachers each
year, or roughly 80% of all new teachers in America.
Several colleges attempted to thwart the study. Some even tried to block the
Council from obtaining data about their teacher training programs.
"Our members feel like they've been strong-armed," National
Association of Independent Colleges and Universities director Stephanie
Giesecke told Reuters. "These are not valid ways of rating our
The dissenting institutions took issue with the Council’s methodology, which
examined a host of factors including: selectivity of admissions into teacher
education programs, whether would-be teachers have to take extensive course
work in the areas they will teach in, and hands-on classroom teaching to train
future educators the most effective teaching methods.
Universities in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and
Missouri went so far as to fight the National Council on Teacher Quality in
court. The Council prevailed against the colleges.
The study will hardly come as a surprise to most Americans who already know
and believe America’s education system is broken. According to Gallup, over
half (53%) of Americans are “dissatisfied” with the quality of American
"Teacher preparation needs to be reformed from top to bottom,"
said Superintendent of the Houston Independent School District Terri Grier.
The National Council on Teacher Quality receives
funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation
of New York, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, and others.