Opinion
Accountability Letter to the Editor

Dean: Ed. School Responsibility Extends Beyond Graduation

May 06, 2014 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

Report after report finds that many teacher-candidates are not receiving the education they need to succeed in today’s classrooms.

Indeed, in a September 2013 report titled “Preparing and Advancing Teachers and School Leaders: A New Approach for Federal Policy,” the Education Trust found that poor teacher training is “devastating to students, especially the low-income students and students of color who are most likely to have newly minted teachers.”

Others disparage schools of education as “cash cows” with low standards that keep students moving through and paying, not achieving.

Such claims are flat-out wrong for many programs. But in too many cases, they are accurate. Institutions of higher education have two choices: We can bury our heads in the sand, or take a hard look at our programs, embrace innovative solutions, and hold ourselves accountable for how our graduates perform. The stakes for students are high.

From Wisconsin to New York, states often punish individual teachers when they should demand more from the institutions that train them. Preservice teachers need hands-on experience with feedback from qualified mentor teachers, and instruction in classroom management, technology use, and understanding the social context of their students. To be successful, they need more than just subject mastery.

Good businesses stand behind the quality of their products and services, and education schools must stand behind the preparation we provide for our nation’s classroom teachers.

At the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education, we made a formal commitment to our students that we will properly prepare them. If they ever need help in the classroom, at any point in their careers, we have a rapid-response team of Rossier faculty that will assess their challenges and work with them on a plan to improve, whether that’s with mentoring, professional development, or other interventions.

We hope other schools will join us. Let’s stop blaming teachers for inadequate preparation and commit to ensuring that all teachers are ready to succeed in the classroom the day they graduate.

Karen Symms Gallagher

Dean

Rossier School of Education

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, Calif.

A version of this article appeared in the May 07, 2014 edition of Education Week as Dean: Ed. School Responsibility Extends Beyond Graduation

Events

Special Education Webinar Reading, Dyslexia, and Equity: Best Practices for Addressing a Threefold Challenge
Learn about proven strategies for instruction and intervention that support students with dyslexia.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Families & the Community Webinar
How Whole-Child Student Data Can Strengthen Family Connections
Learn how district leaders can use these actionable strategies to increase family engagement in their student’s education and boost their academic achievement.
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
College & Workforce Readiness Webinar
The School to Workforce Gap: How Are Schools Setting Students Up For Life & Lifestyle Success?
Hear from education and business leaders on how schools are preparing students for their leap into the workforce.
Content provided by Find Your Grind

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Accountability School Accountability Is Restarting After a Two-Year Pause. Here's What That Means
For a moment, the COVID-19 pandemic succeeded in doing what periodic protests about school accountability couldn't: Halting it.
10 min read
Illustration of a gauge.
4zevar/iStock/Getty
Accountability Opinion Let's Take a Holistic Approach to Judging Schools
Parents wouldn't judge their kids based on a single factor. So, says Ron Berger of EL Education, why must schools use a lone test score?
8 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Accountability Opinion Are K-12 State Tests Like a Visit to the Pediatrician?
Even if the doctor’s trip isn’t pleasant, at least parents get something out of it they believe is worthwhile.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Accountability Opinion What Does the Future Hold for School Accountability?
Testing and accountability advocates have an opportunity to think anew about how to make the case for testing.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty