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Now, improving Colleges of Education on the whole is a good thing. Many new teachers say they felt unprepared their first year. And as a whole, most teachers will tell you teacher training can be improved.
Teaching is a profession. That means professional training: For example, doctors have an extensive internship and residency program before students become doctors. Teachers have been wanting such things for years. Lawyers have to sit for the Bar Exam. Right now, state certification tests, while adequate, could also be improved.
But the Obama administration, and Arne Duncan, who has never spent an hour in front of a classroom, who has never had any teacher training, who has never had any training in child development, has other ideas. Their idea of successful teacher training:
To ensure that every state evaluates its teacher education programs by several key metrics, such as how many graduates land teaching jobs, how long they stay in the profession and whether they boost their students’ scores on standardized tests.So this is the sum of what a teacher will be:
DESPITE studies funded by the Department of Education itself that show Value-Added evaluation models tied to test scores are highly ineffective and WRONG most of the time.
Not to mention the fact that fully 70% of teachers do not teach a tested subject. Like Music teachers, Art teachers, and so on. And yet they too are linked to test scores.
Nevertheless, White House Policy Director Cecilia Munoz has said the White House doesn't care.
Despite such complications, Muñoz made clear in a call with reporters on Thursday that Obama wants student test scores, or other measures of student growth, to figure heavily into states’ evaluations of teacher prep programs.
“This is something the president has a real sense of urgency about,” she said. “What happens in the classroom matters. It doesn’t just matter — it’s the whole ballgame.” So using student outcomes to evaluate teacher preparation programs “is really fundamental to making sure we’re successful,” Muñoz said. “We believe that’s a concept … whose time has come.”
And then there's the "how long they stay on the job" category.
But longtime educators questioned the validity of the administration’s proposed metrics. How long teachers remain in the profession, for instance, depends heavily on their work assignments, the support they get from their principals, their interactions with parents and their own life events, such as whether they have children, said Michael Morehead, dean of New Mexico State University’s College of Education. “There’s no logical or rational reason why retention rates would even be a factor” in evaluating whether teacher training programs are effective, Morehead said.Again, this is what you get when non-educators make education policy.