Today’s Wall Street Journal had an interesting op-ed on teacher training that I think presents a good common sense perspective. The two key points:

  1. Get rid of graduate degrees in education as a requirement to teach. (Teachers of single subjects should have a degree related to the subject.)
  2. The responsibility for training teachers should be with the school districts.

The article points out that there already are many alternative certification programs out there with a better degree of success.

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission found in a 2012 study that several alternative-certification programs were among the state’s most effective teacher-training programs. Their success affirms that the technical teaching skills learned while in the classroom are generally far more important than all the theory learned in college.

One advantage (mentioned in the article) of pushing the responsibility to the district┬álevel is the eating-your-own-dog-food incentive for districts. However, the impact of teacher training really occurs at the school or classroom level, so I don’t see the incentive working as well as the authors think.

Also, because it might be hard for smaller school districts to support a training program, the county offices of education would have to offer a training program in these cases. It might make more sense to just have the county office control all the training.

Anyway, read the article:

Nemko and Kwalwasser: Why Teacher Colleges Get a Flunking Grade – WSJ.com.

or try this:

Nemko and Kwalwasser: Why Teacher Colleges Get a Flunking Grade – Barrons.com