Sunday, September 01, 2013

Bloomberg Addresses Problems with Ed Schools

The Bloomberg administration with yet another bold step to address one of the biggest problems in our educational system: the terrible mediocrity and complete lack of accountability for ed schools:

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has used data to rate restaurants, track the repair of potholes and close lackluster schools in New York City. Now he is bringing his results-oriented approach to an area far outside his usual purview: teacher colleges.

In an effort to shake up institutions that have been criticized as too insular and inert, his administration released scorecards on Wednesday for a dozen teacher-preparation programs in the city.

Public and private education schools are being evaluated in various ways, including how many graduates are certified in high-needs areas like special education and whether their teachers have been able to increase student test scores.

The release of the scorecards places the city at the forefront of a national effort, backed by the Obama administration, to use data to upend the teaching profession and the pathways to it. Critics have said subpar teaching programs too often hamper school systems, churning out graduates familiar with theory but lacking in practical classroom skills. A study by the National Council on Teacher Qualityreleased in June argued that teaching colleges were too lenient in their admissions criteria and had not adequately prepared teachers in subjects like reading, math and science.

The results released on Wednesday showed that even some of the country‚Äôs most prestigious programs have room for improvement. For example, one in five recent graduates of teaching programs at Columbia University and New York University were given low marks for how much they were able to improve student test scores; by contrast, 1 in 10 teachers who graduated from City College of New York received poor marks.

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