I thought I’d take some flak for once again promoting alternative certification of teachers, and I was right. I’m going to try to address some of the issues raised in the comments, because my readers have raised legitimate concerns. But first — I was reminded that I’d failed to post a very interesting article from Education Week.
Most professional schools hate the U.S. News and World Report and other rating systems . . . but they live with them, because they’re competing for students and students pay attention to these ratings.
As Education Week reports, “In a recent letter to its members, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education left no doubt of its opposition to an effort by the National Council on Teacher Quality and U.S. News and World Report to review and rank all 1,400 schools of education.
AACTE has never been particularly enamored of this project, but as of this letter, dated Oct. 12, it’s clearly signaling members not to participate, asserting that the project “is so fundamentally flawed, it is not worthy of your engagement.”
I think there’s a pretty widespread consensus that many teacher preparation programs fall short. Certainly the current Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, makes no secret of his view that ed schools need major reforms. One of the reasons I support alternative certification and programs such as Teach for America is because they offer top students an opportunity to enter the teaching profession without sacrificing a quarter of their college education to pedagogy courses that often lack intellectual rigor or direct relevance to what they will encounter in the classroom. By the way, this doesn’t mean that I oppose teacher training. Far from it. I’ll have more to say on that subject later.
But this flat rejection of ratings systems does, sorry, seem to me another example of the “education establishment” resisting scrutiny.
Here’s a link to the article: blogs.edweek.org
And here’s a link to the National Council on Teacher Quality “Transparency Report,” which has published letters from several education schools. There are no replies posted from Utah schools. www.nctq.org/