Study: U.S. Teacher Training 'Dismal'

Study: U.S. Teacher Training 'Dismal'

A report released onTuesday by the National Council on Teacher Quality finds that U.S. teachertraining is “an industry of mediocrity” that produces teachers without aclue.

“The results were dismal,” said Kate Walsh, president of the bipartisanresearch group. Walsh told Reutersthat new teachers “don’t know how to teach reading, don’t know how tomaster a classroom, don’t know how to use data.”

The comprehensive study conducted detailed analyses of 608 colleges anduniversities that have teacher training programs and partial data on 522 moreinstitutions and programs that account for training 170,000 new teachers eachyear, or roughly 80% of all new teachers in America.

Several colleges attempted to thwart the study. Some even tried to block theCouncil from obtaining data about their teacher training programs.

“Our members feel like they’ve been strong-armed,” NationalAssociation of Independent Colleges and Universities director StephanieGiesecke told Reuters. “These are not valid ways of rating ourprograms.”

The dissenting institutions took issue with the Council’s methodology, whichexamined a host of factors including: selectivity of admissions into teachereducation programs, whether would-be teachers have to take extensive coursework in the areas they will teach in, and hands-on classroom teaching to trainfuture educators the most effective teaching methods.

Universities in Wisconsin, Minnesota, andMissouri went so far as to fight the National Council on Teacher Quality incourt. The Council prevailed against the colleges.

The study will hardly come as a surprise to most Americans who already knowand believe America’s education system is broken. According to Gallup, overhalf (53%) of Americans are “dissatisfied” with the quality of Americanpublic education.

“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 receivesfunding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Carnegie Corporationof New York, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, and others.


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