Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ed Schools looking at the Abyss

Not so shocking revelation from the Cleveland Plain Dealer on our college’s of education. To me it is amazing that this issue has not outraged more parents and students. (Note: there are always exceptions and there are many schools working hard to improve quality and all people who generalize are jerks). We do not have a lot of exceptional ed schools in the US and we cannot have a world class teaching work force if we aren’t more selective of who gets in the classroom.

The article states that “because universities often rely on education schools as "cash cows," low admissions standards are too often allowed because they help boost enrollments and revenues, he found. Some schools accept 100 percent of their applicants.”

It is a fairly balanced article and does point out that Ed Schools have not defined what it takes to be a great teacher and cant really improve until that is completed. And to be fair, I guess they have only had 100 or so years to figure that out.

If the universities want to compete with alternative certification programs, they have to have the best possible teacher going into the classroom and currently that is just not the case. Finding out what works, which courses provide the best support to students and to teachers will ultimately increase demand for college of ed students, allowing them to increase selectivity and build quality.

Until then, more studies keep showing that alt cert teachers do just as well as teachers coming through standard routes- here and here. So if the value is not there, why would you pay that much and take that much time to go through a standard route if you are no better prepared then an alt route?

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