Obama cracks down on poor teacher training

Posted by Politico on May 5, 2014

The Obama administration plans to use tens of millions in federal financial aid as leverage to reward teacher-training programs that produce teachers who routinely raise student test scores, and to drive the rest to fold, reports Stephanie Simon for Politico. The administration’s goal is to ensure that every state evaluates its teacher-education programs by several key metrics, such as how many graduates land teaching jobs, how long these teachers stay in the profession, and whether they boost their students’ scores on standardized tests. The administration will then steer financial aid to those programs and their aspiring teachers that score the highest. The rest, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has said, will need to improve or “go out of business.” Duncan plans to release a draft regulation by summer and enact it within a year. The proposal echoes the administration’s recent bid to crack down on for-profit career-training colleges. Under that regulation, still in draft form, hundreds of degree programs in fields from accounting to culinary arts could be forced to shut down for failing to place enough graduates in well-paying jobs. Duncan noted he expects considerable controversy. While there’s broad agreement that the country’s more than 1,500 teacher-training programs need improvement, classroom teachers, union leaders, education reformers, and professors of education differ sharply in their prescriptions.


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