Levine Slashes Teacher Prep Programs -- To An Extent

Working on an upcoming article about standout teacher preparation programs last week, I had the chance to interview Arthur Levine about his just-released study (Educating School Teachers), which includes familiar and daunting data about the poor quality of most programs and limited information about their impact on teacher retention and student achievement.

What struck me then -- and seems most relevant now -- is that Levine for all his scathing criticism is still not ready to talk about getting rid of ed schools as the main place for teacher prep (including alt cert, which is often done through ed schools). He's definitely for competition, and new innovations -- do it yourself credentialing programs, for example -- but not as far as I could tell for opening up the classroom doors to anyone who's passed a test, for example.

That won't satisfy many who want to go further. Even more important, it remains unclear how, if at all, any of what Levine sees and recommends becomes reality. Teacher preparation often gets attention, but all too rarely does it get any real action.

Previous Posts: Ed Schools Push Back Against Practicality


Blogger Ed Darrell said...

W. Edwards Deming has a lot to say about the fact that, for most jobs, we do not have a good set of criteria either for what constitutes success, or how to get there. There are few good, objective standards for measuring success in any job.

Evaluating teachers is different only in the fact that the lack of what we know is greater. Or, perhaps, it's that we have failed to sit down seriously and figure out what it is that a good teacher must do, so that we cannot objectively evaluate teachers.

I can use a failing lesson plan that is factually in error, misleading kids about vital stuff -- but if it fits on the lesson plan sheet and the kids don't set fire to the building during delivery, the whole thing is considered good and I get a good evaluation.

I can step away from the lesson plan and connect with the kids, convince three at once that they really should apply to college and so they should apply themselves in my classroom, teach them a valuable life lesson that will save them from harm and allow them to accumulate a vast fortune -- but I will be rated substandard for having stepped away from the lesson plan.

So, what is it you want to teach teachers to do?

4:44 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home