“Teacher-education programs cannot and should not operate as if all is well, because it is not,” says a report released this month by Education Deans for Justice and Equity, in partnership with the National Education Policy Center. “Several current efforts to reform teacher education in the United States, however, are making things worse.”
The report broadly examines seven of those “current efforts,” mainly put into place by people who would seek to privatize public education in the US so they can make a profit from the education tax dollars all citizens invest in their public schools. The reforms these people focus on are driven by market forces:
- Marketizing teacher education
- Shaming teacher education
- Externally regulating teacher education at the federal level
- Externally regulating teacher education at the state level
- Internally regulating teacher education
- Assessing teacher candidates
- Prescribing practices
All of these trends would, naturally, be seen as an intrusion on the normal way of operating most schools of education and teacher colleges have put in place. The report reads, strikingly, more like a trade group or chamber of commerce calling on the government to stay out of their business and reduce over-regulation than like a call for student advocacy. In other words, we know we’ve got issues, but we are fully capable of fixing them ourselves.
Can we fix teacher education?
The report suggests that fixing important issues with teacher training programs is possible through a focus on greater interactions within communities that support schools. Voxitatis, in its mission statement written in 2002 and last revised in 2015, has called for this same type of interaction between schools and communities around them.