Much hay has been made out of this report, on the dreadful state of teacher education:

The National Council on Teacher Quality review is a scathing assessment of colleges’ education programs and their admission standards, training and value. The report, which drew immediate criticism, was designed to be provocative and urges leaders at teacher-training programs to rethink what skills would-be educators need to be taught to thrive in the classrooms of today and tomorrow.

“Through an exhaustive and unprecedented examination of how these schools operate, the review finds they have become an industry of mediocrity, churning out first-year teachers with classroom management skills and content knowledge inadequate to thrive in classrooms” with an ever-increasing diversity of ethnic and socioeconomic students, the report’s authors wrote.

“A vast majority of teacher preparation programs do not give aspiring teachers adequate return on their investment of time and tuition dollars,” the report said.

This was cited over on Unfogged (a very liberal blog), with some skepticism, only to have many of the commenters reply that yeah, a lot of it is really quite bad.

My experience with Southern Tech’s College of Education, where I was going to get my original minor, was out-and-out depressing. Do they not turn out teachers anymore like the ones I had? I wondered. Or were the teachers at my district – a fairly wealthy suburban one – really just that good?

But then I started substituting at Redstone – which is not wealthy – and I was rather impressed with the teachers I met at all levels. So what could be the disconnect? Could it be this…:

Some 239,000 teachers are trained each year and 98,000 are hired — meaning too many students are admitted and only a fraction find work.

That’s a truly astonishing number. Enough so that I am a little skeptical of it. What happens to all of the other trained teachers?

Category: School

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