Archive for December, 2014

Schools of Ed – time for reform

EdWeek just released an article on the lack of urgency states use in closing under-performing schools of education. After working in the turnaround field for more than 8 years, I truly believe that the quality of teacher education programs is a key factor in turning around our education system. Recent teacher graduates (most often concentrated in a district’s lower performing schools) often require significant professional development and mentoring. While any new professional should receive both of these things, it is all too clear that recent graduates are not ready to be in front of a room full of students.

Yes, there are some wonderful schools of education out there, who produce fabulous teachers, but there are also some programs that produce abysmal results and essentially set their graduates up for failure. There are also many mediocre programs that could be so much stronger.

Teachers pay thousands of dollars (in some cases close to $100,000) to attend a School of Education and acquire a teaching certificate. Yet, those very teachers enter a classroom unprepared to instruct students, especially the students who require additional academic, social and behavioral supports. Where is the outrage?

It’s time for districts to put pressure on schools or education to reform their programs to ensure that graduates leave ready to enter the classroom.

It’s time for states to really assess the effectiveness of schools of education and demand more of our higher education community.

It’s time for current university teaching candidates and alumni to stand up and demand more from their programs.

It’s time for schools of education across the country to step up and reflect on their value. Are they really teaching teachers to teach in classrooms of varying need? Are they serving their graduates well? Do their graduates require significant additional supports once in the classroom? Low performing schools of education are a disservice to our kids, our communities, and especially the university students who trust their schools of education to teach them how to teach.

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