Teachers and schools aren't the only ones who will be held accountable by the rising tide of data collection mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act. Teacher education programs will soon have to answer to the numbers too, writes Ted Sanders in this Education Week Commentary. According to some experts, the numbers won't paint a pretty picture.
Compared to the fast-track changes taking place in K-12 education, these experts clock teacher education reform at a snail's pace, with most students attending low-quality programs that lack standards for classroom preparation. But these programs won't be able to hide for long, warns Sanders, the executive chairman of Cardean Learning Group in Chicago and the president emeritus of the Education Commission of the States. Data-collection systems that are currently used to track student academic progress will soon provide a way to gauge the impact of recent graduates of particular teacher education institutions on student achievement.
What do you think? Should data on student achievement be used to weed out the weak from the strong in teacher education? Is teacher preparation keeping pace with education reform? What changes are needed?