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It's time for the state to part ways with the College of Education

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Education colleges instill in aspiring teachers the values ​​and abilities they want to bring to the classroom. But what if those values ​​and pedagogical approaches do not serve students well? What if education colleges train teachers to deliver divisive content, especially critical racial theories? ?

Education colleges have a long history of accrediting teachers in the United States. Today, however, many of these schools do little to increase their actual effectiveness in the classroom, but instill her CRT in aspiring teachers.

Nearly half (48%) of faculty at the nation’s top teaching colleges cite race as a subject or area of ​​study. Of course, this is an important area. But as Rick Hess and I of the American Enterprise Institute have found, up to a third of school teachers who study race do so through the dubious lens of the CRT.

As one Berkeley associate professor does, teachers of teachers focus on how to “resist the neoliberal logic that makes mathematics learning a project of racial, class and gender stratification in schools.” When applied, it is not surprising that such approaches to mathematics achieve their goals. Road to K-12 classroom.

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And could the misplaced focus come at a worse time? The latest National Assessment of Educational Progress found that 9-year-olds’ math scores dropped 7 points. This is the first drop in history. Reading proficiency dropped by 5 points, the most dramatic decline in the last 30 years.

These students were mostly second graders when the pandemic started. They were locked out of face-to-face instruction for a long period of time during one of the most critical times for their acquisition of reading comprehension. Unfortunately, the severe deterioration in academic performance caused by COVID-19 is nothing new.

And leaving teacher qualifications to the colleges of education does not solve the problem.

Research shows that there is little, if any, relationship between teacher certifications and student academic performance. And the differences in results between traditionally accredited, alternatively accredited, and non-accredited teachers are negligible.

However, differences in teacher effectiveness within these groups are large. “In a nutshell,” researchers Robert Gordon, Thomas J. Kane, and Douglas O. Steiger conclude: his or her effectiveness. ”

Prior to the 20th century, individuals in most professions (including education) obtained their education and experience through apprenticeships rather than university instruction. But, as David Labaree of Stanford University explains, following the early 20th-century move toward “specialization” in education and increasing state requirements for bachelor’s degrees, by the 1970s, Teacher Education had become a “wholly owned subsidiary of the University”.

Today’s colleges of education also influence staff in ways that school districts employ Chief Diversity Officers (CDOs) to solidify relevant ideas such as important race theories and radical gender ideologies in K-12 education. has given Nearly 80% of his K-12 school districts, the largest in the country, now employ her CDOs, reflecting a growing trend for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) faculty in higher education. I’m here.

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In both cases, DEI and CDO staff do not contribute to academic excellence or a more intellectually diverse and welcoming school environment. Rather, according to Jay Greene and James Paul of the Heritage Foundation, they are “best understood as political activists who articulate and enforce ideological orthodoxy” in schools across the country.

States and school districts should move away from these inefficient and fragmented institutions and remove accreditation requirements that are primarily communicated through colleges of education. Instead, schools and school systems should either promote alternative teacher certification routes, allow for full reciprocity in teacher licensure, or reduce licensure requirements in favor of proven expertise in the subject matter being taught. should be completely abolished.

The Heritage Foundation’s new Education Freedom Report Card measures how well states are doing in that regard. Florida is one of the leaders, with 42% of teachers rerouting their classrooms. Other states should follow suit. American students, and American teachers, would be better off.