The Obama administration’s fiscal-2012 budget request has provisions that seek to make reporting requirements for teacher-education programs leaner and more useful,Education Week reports. One proposal, the $185-million Presidential Teaching Fellows grant program, would provide states with scholarship money for strong teacher candidates in exchange for better reporting to help determine which teacher-education programs are successful. The administration would also like to see three measures added to current reporting as it eliminates others: how much students learn from teacher candidates, how well the candidates are rated by employers, and where candidates find jobs and how long they stay there.
I’m all for making improvements to teacher education programs. I learned a lot from my program, but that’s not a reason to leave it how it is. Once I told one of my students how good he was in math. The next day during math, he asked why I kept making him do more in math. Obviously the answer is that just because you are good, doesn’t mean you can’t get better. At the same time, I’m a little nervous how this will all play out. The how much do students learn from a college’s teacher candidates sounds lot like ranking teachers, and also doesn’t sound like it takes into play a lot of outside factors that impact learning (ie: condition of school, healthy, parental involvement, well-fed, etc.)
I’d love to hear anyone else’s thoughts on this.