To the Editor:
The writers promoting “performance tests for would-be teachers” make a salient point, while missing a gaping hole in their argument.
Their insightful point is that teacher education should not be a matter of just finishing a degree. Of course, that frames schools of education poorly, drawing upon stereotypes that represent a dwindling number of schools. However, and here is the hole in their logic, they need to address the question of what could be more “profession ready” (their term) than a “fill-in-the-bubble, subject-level test,” since that is exactly what their future students are being required to do.
Yes, we need smart, dedicated, and visionary teachers. Until the system they step into changes to highlight those requirements, do not be surprised by an increasingly higher percentage of teachers leaving the profession within five years.
Neil. J. Liss
Graduate School of Education
A version of this article appeared in the May 07, 2014 edition of Education Week as ‘Performance’ Tests for Teachers: Idea at Odds With School Reality