Opinion
College & Workforce Readiness Letter to the Editor

Teacher-Prep Programs Need Broader Input

October 16, 2012 1 min read

To the Editor:

In reading your article “Task Force Formed to Sway Teacher-Prep Rules” (Aug. 22, 2012), I am concerned that the teacher-preparation regulation that the U.S. Department of Education is crafting may not give adequate consideration to the basic premises of who should be accepted in schools that prepare our teachers and what it is that these teachers-in-training should learn. The schools that hire these newly trained teachers, as well as the employers who later hire their students, could provide valuable input on how appropriate the existing preparation is, but unfortunately they are rarely consulted for this valuable information.

Two million teachers will be needed over the next 10 years, but only 1 million teachers are in the pipeline.

As Paul Kihn and Matt Miller noted in a 2010 opinion piece in The Washington Post, the late Sandra Feldman, who was then the president of the American Federation of Teachers, said in 2003 that the disaster we are facing is that we are taking our teachers from the bottom third [of students] to replace those more qualified who are retiring. They also noted that Finland, Singapore, and South Korea take 100 percent of their teachers from the top third of their high school and college classes. These students are screened for other important qualities as well.

We would do well to look into and emulate the practices of these countries.

We should also not forget that business and industry leaders would be very willing partners for the schools that prepare our teachers. All students need the best-prepared teachers that they can possibly have. We need to take great care to see that that is what they receive.

Polly Liss

Ashburn, Va.

A version of this article appeared in the October 17, 2012 edition of Education Week as Teacher-Prep Programs Need Broader Input

Events

Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
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
Mathematics Webinar
Engaging Young Students to Accelerate Math Learning
Join learning scientists and inspiring district leaders, for a timely panel discussion addressing a school district’s approach to doubling and tripling Math gains during Covid. What started as a goal to address learning gaps in
Content provided by Age of Learning & Digital Promise, Harlingen CISD
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
Curriculum Webinar
How to Power Your Curriculum With Digital Books
Register for this can’t miss session looking at best practices for utilizing digital books to support their curriculum.
Content provided by OverDrive

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

College & Workforce Readiness College Enrollment Dip Hits Students of Color the Hardest
The pandemic led to a precipitous decline in enrollment for two-year schools, while four-year colleges and universities held steady.
3 min read
Conceptual image of blocks moving forward, and one moving backward.
Marchmeena29/iStock/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness Letter to the Editor How We Can Improve College-Completion Rates
Early- and middle-college high schools have the potential to improve college completion rates, says this letter to the editor.
1 min read
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion There’s Insurance for Homes or Cars—Why Not College Degrees?
Rick Hess talks with Wade Eyerly, the CEO of Degree Insurance, about the company's plan to make investing in a college degree less risky.
7 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness Fewer Students in Class of 2020 Went Straight to College
First-year college enrollment dropped steeply last year, a study finds, and the declines were sharpest among poorer students.
6 min read
Image shows University Application Acceptance Notification Letter with ACCEPTED Stamp
YinYang/Getty