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Duncan Gives Himself a 'Low Grade' for Teacher-Prep Program Oversight

Duncan Gives Himself  a 'Low Grade' in Teacher-Prep Programs

Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently gave himself a “low grade” for efforts involved with overhaul regulations for teacher-preparation programs.

Duncan said that "too many K-12 educators are not ready for the classroom," according to an article on WashingtonPost.com.

“We have light years to go, we have so far to go,” Duncan said in Washington at the annual legislative conference of the Council of Chief State School Officers, the article said. "We’ve changed the world in some pretty profound ways, but we have not changed the world in that way.”

According to the article, "teacher-preparation programs are often criticized, including by educators themselves, for being mediocre and for focusing too heavily on the theory and history of education at the expense of equipping teachers with the hands-on skills they need to work with students."

"The Obama administration would like to require states to rate teacher-preparation programs, including those at public and private universities and at alternative organizations such as Teach for America," the article said. "Such ratings would for the first time consider how teachers in training perform after graduation, including how long they work in the classroom and how their students perform on standardized tests."

According to the article, Duncan acknowledged that "there is already little incentive for teachers to work in the most difficult schools, saying that he is bothered by the fact that neither his agency nor state departments of education have figured out a way to get the best teachers into the most difficult schools."

“There is not a state that has taken this on in a real way,” Duncan said. “That’s got to become the capstone of a great career, to go work in the inner city or in a tribal school, and we haven’t had that mentality.”

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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