Phil Longman’s article in the current Washington Monthly about the problems with our current approach to medical education should be must-reading for anyone calling for replication of the medical model in teacher preparation. To be clear--this is not an argument against expanding and improving residencies and other clinical components of teacher preparation, or against increasing the scientific rigor of teacher training. But advocates for more clinically oriented models should learn from the shortcomings of the current system in medicine and avoid replicating them as they expanding clinically based approaches to education. I’m particularly struck by Longman’s criticisms of the way Medicaid funding flows to support medical training, in light of calls I’ve recently heard for creating similar funding streams for education--and that the $13 billion the federal government provides to subsidize medical education, while certainly a pittance in terms of the Medicaid budget, means that the federal government spends more on medical education than it does on most K-12 programs or the entire Head Start program for poor preschoolers.
The opinions expressed in Sara Mead’s Policy Notebook are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.