Training of US teachers called inadequate

WASHINGTON — The nation’s teacher training programs do not adequately prepare would-be educators for the classroom, even as they produce almost triple the number of graduates needed, according to a survey of more than 1,000 programs released Tuesday.

The National Council on Teacher Quality review is a scathing assessment of colleges’ education programs and their admission standards, training, and value. The report urges leaders at teacher-training programs to rethink what skills would-be educators need to be taught to thrive in the classrooms of today and tomorrow.

‘‘Through an exhaustive and unprecedented examination of how these schools operate, the review finds they have become an industry of mediocrity, churning out first-year teachers with classroom management skills and content knowledge inadequate to thrive in classrooms’’ with an ever-increasing diversity of ethnic and socioeconomic students, the report’s authors wrote.


The report could drive debate about which students are prepared to be teachers in the coming decades and how they are prepared.

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The answer, the council argues, is to make it harder for students to get into teacher preparation programs. And once there, they should be taught the most effective methods to help students.

American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten called the review a ‘‘gimmick.’’ She said she agrees on the need to improve teacher preparation, but ‘‘it would be more productive to focus on developing a consistent, systemic approach to lifting the teaching profession instead of resorting to attention-grabbing consumer alerts based on incomplete standards.’’

Associated Press