The Education Schools Project
Report #2
Educating School Teachers
September 2006

This report is the second in a series of candid policy papers on the education of educators. It identifies several model teacher education programs, but also finds that the vast majority of the nation's teachers are prepared in programs that have low admission and graduation standards and cling to an outdated vision of teacher education. Both state requirements and accreditation agencies have failed to assure that America's teachers are ready for the classrooms in which they will teach.

The report also includes findings from national surveys revealing how America's principals and teachers feel about the quality of preparation that education schools provide, as well as findings from a study on the relationship between student achievement and teacher preparation.

Educating School Teachers closes with a comprehensive action plan to improve teacher education in America. Recommendations include:

  • Transforming education schools into professional schools focused on classroom practice;
  • Closing failing programs, expanding quality programs, and creating the equivalent of a Rhodes Scholarship to attract the best and brightest to teaching;
  • Making student achievement the primary measure of the success of teacher education programs by tracking the performance of their graduates in promoting student achievement in their classrooms;
  • Making five-year teacher education programs the norm to ensure that future teachers graduate with an enriched major in an academic subject and an the ability to communicate that subject matter to young people;
  • Shifting the training of a significant percentage of new teachers from master's degree granting-institutions to research universities;
  • Strengthening quality control by redesigning accreditation and by encouraging states to establish common, outcomes-based requirements for certification and licensure.

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