Teacher Preparation and Evaluation

Fast-track or alternative teacher preparation programs, like Teach for America, contribute to a belief that teaching is not complex or difficult work. Education reforms regarding value-added models, fast-track teacher preparation and licensure programs and scripted, narrowed curricula are leading to the de-professionalization of teachers.

According to a recent PDK/Gallup Poll, Americans believe that that teacher preparation should be as rigorous or more selective than programs in engineering, business, pre-law and pre-medicine. This leads to the expansion of America’s belief that teaching should be viewed as a profession.

Responding to the survey, 2012 Teacher of the Year Rebecca Mieliwocki commented: "Americans want teachers held to high standards from the moment we enter a preparation program to our last day in the classroom, and how they want us to improve how we prepare young people for the rigors of college and their careers. These are all good things. Just like teachers themselves, Americans want to see schools and the teaching profession elevated and strengthened.

Why this matters:

The quality of education provided to children depends on the professional competencies of teachers. However several contemporary education reforms are leading teachers away from using their professional judgment. Policymakers must understand this and work to keep the professionalization of teachers intact.

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