Opinion
Teaching Profession Letter to the Editor

Poverty, Not Teacher Preparation, Holds American Students Back

January 14, 2014 1 min read

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.

A version of this article appeared in the January 15, 2014 edition of Education Week as Poverty, Not Teacher Preparation, Holds American Students Back

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