Opinion
College & Workforce Readiness Letter to the Editor

Tough Conversation Needed On Teacher Training

January 28, 2014 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

In his letter to the editor (“Indiana Dean Questions NCTQ Research Standards,” Jan. 8, 2014) Gerardo Gonzalez, a professor and dean at Indiana University’s school of education, questioned the results of the recent National Council on Teacher Quality teacher-preparation study.

As educators in Indiana, alumni of three Indiana teacher-preparation programs, and current Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellows, we felt compelled to respond. Rather than focusing on the methodology of the NCTQ study, teacher-preparation programs should voluntarily and publicly report the outcomes of their programs.

Arguing over methodology removes focus from what we, as practitioners, know is important: ensuring educators are adequately prepared from their first day in front of students. We know this is currently not the case.

Just as we are held accountable for our students’ performance, traditional and nontraditional teacher-preparation programs alike should be held accountable for their teachers’ performance. Accreditation councils should apply tighter standards on the programs they accredit.

For public colleges and universities, states should require public reporting of alumni survey data and evaluation outcomes for alumni of preparation programs. While programs resistant to accountability may claim that they have little control over outcomes once students leave, we as educators could make the same argument about our own students. We feel responsible for students’ performance in our classrooms and their achievement once they leave. Teacher-preparation programs should feel that same sense of responsibility for their alumni.

It is time for a tough conversation about teacher preparation, but it should not get lost in a fight about research methodology. We would like to challenge Dean Gonzalez to take the lead in creating a framework that holds preparation programs accountable for their graduates’ performance. Greater accountability for preparation programs is essential in ensuring that students have access to high-quality, effective educators. We know we can do better.

Natalie Merz, Jacob Pactor, Jennifer Rogers

Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellows

Indianapolis, Ind.

Caitlin Hannon

Executive Director

Teach Plus Indianapolis

The founder and chief executive officer of Teach Plus, Celine Coggins, serves on the advisory board of the National Council on Teacher Quality.

A version of this article appeared in the January 29, 2014 edition of Education Week as Tough Conversation Needed On Teacher Training

Events

School Climate & Safety K-12 Essentials Forum Strengthen Students’ Connections to School
Join this free event to learn how schools are creating the space for students to form strong bonds with each other and trusted adults.
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
IT Infrastructure & Management Webinar
Future-Proofing Your School's Tech Ecosystem: Strategies for Asset Tracking, Sustainability, and Budget Optimization
Gain actionable insights into effective asset management, budget optimization, and sustainable IT practices.
Content provided by Follett Learning
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
Budget & Finance Webinar
Innovative Funding Models: A Deep Dive into Public-Private Partnerships
Discover how innovative funding models drive educational projects forward. Join us for insights into effective PPP implementation.
Content provided by Follett Learning

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 What the Research Says New Data Paint Bleak Picture of Students' Post High School Outcomes
Students are taking much longer to complete credentials after high school than programs plan.
2 min read
Student hanging on a tearing graduate cap tassel
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness This East Coast District Brought a Hollywood-Quality Experience to Its Students
A unique collaboration between a Virginia school district and two television actors allows students to gain real-life filmmaking experience.
6 min read
Bethel High School films a production of Fear the Fog at Fort Monroe on June 21, 2023.
Students from Bethel High School in Hampton, Va., film "Fear the Fog"<i> </i>at Virginia's Fort Monroe on June 21, 2023. Students wrote, directed, produced, and starred in the film through a partnership between their district, Hampton City Schools, and two television actors that's designed to give them applied, entertainment industry experience.
Courtesy of Hampton City Schools
College & Workforce Readiness A FAFSA Calculation Error Could Delay College Aid Applications—Again
It's the latest blunder to upend the "Better FAFSA," as it was branded by the Education Department.
2 min read
Jesus Noyola, a sophomore attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, poses for a portrait in the Folsom Library on Feb. 13, 2024, in Troy, N.Y. A later-than-expected rollout of a revised Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FASFA, that schools use to compute financial aid, is resulting in students and their parents putting off college decisions. Noyola said he hasn’t been able to submit his FAFSA because of an error in the parent portion of the application. “It’s disappointing and so stressful since all these issues are taking forever to be resolved,” said Noyola, who receives grants and work-study to fund his education.
Jesus Noyola, a sophomore at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, stands in the university's library on Feb. 13, 2024, in Troy, N.Y. He's one of thousands of existing and incoming college students affected by a problem-plagued rollout of the revised Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FASFA, that schools use to compute financial aid. A series of delays and errors is resulting in students and their parents putting off college decisions.
Hans Pennink/AP
College & Workforce Readiness How Well Are Schools Preparing Students? Advanced Academics and World Languages, in 4 Charts
New federal data show big gaps in students' access to the challenging coursework and foreign languages they need for college.
2 min read
Conceptual illustration of people and voice bubbles.
Getty