Published Online: January 14, 2014
Published in Print: January 15, 2014, as Poverty, Not Teacher Preparation, Holds American Students Back

Letter

Poverty, Not Teacher Preparation, Holds American Students Back

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To the Editor:

Developing and requiring a new test for teacher-candidates is based on the belief that something is wrong with teacher preparation ("Performance Key on Teacher Tests," Dec. 4, 2013).

The evidence suggests the opposite is the case. When we control for the effects of poverty, American students rank near the top of the world on international tests. Also, graduates of American schools go on to perform impressively in the real world: According to the 2013 Global Innovation Index, which is based partly on new patents and the publication of articles in scientific and technical journals, the United States' economy ranks fifth in the world, out of 142 nations.

It is hard to conclude from these results that we have a problem in teacher education or teacher quality.

Stephen Krashen
Professor Emeritus of Education
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, Calif.

Vol. 33, Issue 17, Page 22

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