An important education story from earlier this week that we failed to note: a new study run by the National Council on Teacher Quality has called U.S. colleges of education an “industry of mediocrity” that churns out ill-prepared and under-qualified teachers.The Wall Street Journal reported the jaw-dropping statistics:
As evidence mounts that teacher quality is one of the biggest determinants of student achievement, critics have complained that teacher-training programs have lax admission standards, scattered curriculum, and fail to give aspiring teachers real-life classroom training. The report echoes the complaints, saying many graduates lack the necessary classroom-management skills and subject knowledge needed. The report contends that it is too easy to get into teacher-preparation programs, with only about a quarter of them restricting admissions to applicants in the top half of their class. The typical grade-point-average to get into undergraduate programs is about 2.5, it said.
The study assigned ratings of up to four stars to 1,200 programs at 608 institutions. Only four were awarded the four-star maximum. Fewer than 10 percent earned three or more stars, 14 percent earned zero stars, and one in seven received less than one star. For these, the NCTQ suggested that potential applicants refrain from applying, because they are “unlikely to obtain much return on their investment.”And meanwhile, teachers unions ensure that these incompetently prepared people are given lifetime tenure and protected evaluations. So not only are future educators prepared poorly for their jobs, but most receive job protection within one to seven years, consistently avoiding an evaluation that would allow parents to judge their effectiveness.It’s a real nice system we have.[Failing grade photo courtesy Shutterstock]