Wednesday, June 19, 2013

NCTQ 'study' of teacher prep programs is good for something...

Yesterday, on my Schooling in the Ownership Society blog, I wrote a sharply critical review of the new so-called "study" by NCTQ, of the nation's ed schools. The group, led by a gaggle of corporate-reform types, follows Arne Duncan's lead in lambasting nearly all teacher preparation programs, labeling them as "an industry of mediocrity," that churns out teachers ill-prepared to work in elementary and high-school classrooms.

Today, after reading  Linda Darling-Hammond's response to the NCTQ report in the Washington Post, I feel I'm on solid ground. Linda, the nation's leading voice on teacher preparation, calls the NCTQ teacher prep ratings, "nonsense."
It is clear as reports come in from programs that NCTQ staff made serious mistakes in its reviews of nearly every institution.  Because they refused to check the data – or even share it – with institutions ahead of time, they published badly flawed information without the fundamental concerns for accuracy that any serious research enterprise would insist upon.
What can learn about teacher education quality from the NCTQ report? “Not much”, says LDH. Without reliable data related to what programs and their candidates actually do, the study is not useful for driving improvement.

Well, then what is it good for? There is a toilet paper shortage due to budget cuts in CPS schools.

1 comment:

  1. Doesn't Linda Darling-Hammond work with a school of education? And so it is in her interest to defend a status quo? The teacher prep programs that I have seen and participated in (at National Louis and Dominican) were either crap, or did not prepare me for the classroom. Most of the ed program coursework is useless in practice without a firm grip on classroom management (90-95% of teaching in my opinion) and classroom management can't be taught -- it needs to be learned in the in the classroom. My ideal prep program would be an apprenticeship program -- heavy on gaining classroom experience with a mentoring teacher for a couple of years with the coursework done either in parallel (light at first) or after year one in the classroom. Six months or less of student teaching is nowhere near enough. The survey resonated with my experience.

    There is a place I suppose for work in educational theory and policy, but most educational research is crap.

    Education schools are biggish money, up their with other vocational training programs, except they don't really prepare teachers, which I think contributes to teachers' short life spans as teachers.


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