Thursday, October 22, 2009
The Obama administration is calling for an overhaul of college programs that prepare teachers to do their jobs.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan calls the programs cash cows that attract a large enrollment but do a mediocre job.
In a speech to Columbia University's Teachers College, Duncan calls for a "revolutionary change" in programs that prepare at least 80% of the nation's teachers.
Duncan says he was prompted to act after hearing from teachers who complained about how they were trained. He says they complained about not getting the hands-on teacher training needed to manage a classroom, and they felt they weren't taught how to use available data to improve their teaching ability and boost a student's learning.
Duncan also acknowledges that government hasn't done enough to make sure states are licensing teachers based on whether they're actually ready for the classroom.
He says the time has come to copy the teacher preparation programs that work, and to encourage underperforming programs to either "shape up or shut down."