by Kenneth Zeichner — 2003
This paper analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of three of the major approaches to teacher education reform in the United States: the professionalization agenda, the deregulation agenda, and the social justice agenda. Although each of these approaches to reform has contributed in positive ways to improving teacher education in a manner that would lessen the achievement gap in U.S. public schools, they each have certain weaknesses that undermine this goal. There are also important issues of inequality in U.S. society that are not addressed by any of the reform agendas.
In this article I discuss the research base on recruiting, preparing, and retaining good teachers for all of our children in relation to the different reform agendas that are currently being implemented in U.S. teacher education. Currently, there are three major agendas for the reform of teacher education being played out in teacher education programs across the country: the well-publicized professionalization agenda, propelled by the NCTAF Report, NCATE, TEAC, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and other groups; the deregulation agenda, supported by the work of the Fordham Foundation and other conservative think tanks and foundations like the Abell Foundation, the Pacific Research Institute, and the Progressive Policy Institute; and the less-visible but widespread social justice agenda being implemented by individual teacher education practitioners in their teacher education classrooms and supported by groups like the National Association for Multicultural Education, policy centers like Tomas Rivera Center and Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning, and by grassroots organizations like Rethinking Schools in Milwaukee. There is a fourth agenda that Cochran-Smith (2001) has referred to as the overregulation agenda, which consists of efforts in some states to micromanage teacher education programs and the punitive Title II reporting requirements set by Congress that I am not going to discuss because this agenda is largely a reflection of aspects of both the professionalization and deregulation agendas.2
All three of the pathways to teacher education reform that I discuss acknowledge the gap between the rhetoric about providing all students with fully qualified and effective teachers and the reality of only some students having access to these teachers. Although advocates of these three reform agendas agree about certain things, such as the critical importance of teachers’ subject matter knowledge and the importance of providing a high-quality education to all students in a society that professes to be democratic, they propose very different solutions for narrowing the educational quality and achievement gaps in U.S. public schools. My basic thesis is that none of these agendas for reform is adequate by itself for achieving the goal of providing every child with a high-quality education. All of them offer certain benefits but also have certain limitations and weaknesses. There are also important aspects of the reforms that are needed that are not addressed by any of the agendas.
In this paper, I discuss the adequacies and inadequacies of each of these reform agendas and to point to the need to come together to find some common ground across these often warring camps to more effectively educate teachers to provide a high-quality education for everyone’s children in our public schools and to establish the social preconditions that are needed for this quality of education to be realized.
I begin by briefly reviewing what has come to be referred to as the demographic imperative in teaching and teacher education and about the gap that persists in the quality of education available to different groups. Following this, I sketch the central elements of each of the three reform agendas and discuss how each contributes and fails to contribute to equalizing the quality of schooling for different groups. None of these three reform agendas is new. All of them are connected to long-standing traditions of reform in American teacher education that have been struggling with each other for the last 100 years (Liston & Zeichner, 1991). In discussing each of the visions for teacher education reform, I identify its link to a long-standing reform tradition.
THE DEMOGRAPHIC IMPERATIVE
It has become quite familiar now to see discussions in the literature and even in the popular press of the so-called demographic imperative in teaching and teacher education. Currently, about 47 million students attend public elementary and secondary schools in the United States and are taught by about 3.3 million teachers and supported by thousands of paraprofessionals and administrative staff. Given a variety of factors, such as the aging of the teaching force, class-size reduction initiatives, teacher attrition, and so on, it has been projected that at least two million new teachers will be needed by 2010 (U.S. Department of Education, 2001). Over the next 4 years, Illinois will need to hire about 55,000 teachers, more than one third of its current public school teaching force (Keller, 2002). This situation is similar in many other states. One of the most noticeable aspects of this situation nationally is the large numbers of individuals who have not completed the minimum requirements for a teaching credential but who are teachers of record in a public school classroom and, among certified teachers, the large number of teachers who are teaching outside their fields of certification. This situation is more prevalent in certain fields such as special education, ESL and bilingual education, science, and mathematics and in certain geographical areas, such as urban and remote rural districts.
The situation in some states, such as California, is now reaching a point where the incentives for completing a teacher education program before assuming responsibility for a classroom are disappearing, and increasingly teacher education programs are serving students who are already full-time teachers of record. In a recent survey of California teachers with fewer than 5 years of experience conducted by the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning in Santa Cruz, more than one half of those surveyed did some or all of their student teaching while working as the teacher of record in their own classrooms. Currently there are 42,000 classrooms in California headed by teachers who have not completed the minimum requirements for a teaching credential, which is about 14% of the teaching force in the state. This represents an increase of 23% in underqualified teachers since 1997–1998 (Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning, 2001).
Nationally the situation is more variable with some states, such as Wisconsin, exporting teachers in nonshortage subject areas to other parts of the country. Other importing states are in situations that are moving toward the situation in California. Even in the exporting states, however, large urban and remote rural districts often have the same types of shortages that are found on a more widespread basis in the states that import teachers. In Wisconsin for example, which is an exporting state, 320 teachers and about 20% of the new hires last year in the city of Milwaukee were teaching with emergency licenses (Milwaukee Public Schools, 2002).
A second and critical aspect of the current demographic imperative in teaching and teacher education is the growing disparity between the students who attend public schools in the United States and their teachers. Currently, about 38% of public school pupils are from an ethnic/racial minority group, whereas close to 90% of their teachers are not (U.S. Department of Education, 2001). In large urban districts, the percentage of pupils of color is more than 70%, and overall 1 in 5 children under 18 lives in poverty, and more than 1 in 7 children between ages 5 and 17 speak a language other than English at home (more than one third of these are considered to be limited English proficient; Villegas & Lucas, 2001).
This cultural divide between teachers and their students is further complicated by the lack of sustained attention to preparing teachers to teach across lines of ethnicity/race, language, and social class in most teacher education programs. The typical response of teacher education programs to the growing diversity of K–12 students has been to add a course or two on multicultural, bilingual/ESL, or urban education to the curriculum and to leave the rest of the curriculum largely intact (Ladson-Billings, 1999a; Villegas & Lucas, 2001; Zeichner & Hoeft, 1996). The White, monolingual, English-speaking teacher education professors and staff who are responsible for educating teachers for diversity often lack experience themselves in teaching in culturally diverse elementary and secondary schools, and the lack of diversity among faculty, staff and students in many teacher education programs undermines efforts to prepare interculturally competent teachers.
THE GAP IN EDUCATIONAL QUALITY
The most striking aspect of the current demographic situation in our public schools and teacher education institutions is that the effects of teacher shortages and the provision of qualified teachers have been felt unequally by different groups. Kati Haycock of the Education Trust has argued, ‘‘Just under the surface is a system that, despite its stated goal of high achievement for all children, is rigged to produce high achievement in some kinds of children and to undermine it in others’’ (2000, p. 1).
According to the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) reports (1996, 1997), the United States is producing enough teachers as a nation to fill all of the openings. The problem is that these graduates are not necessarily in the subject area areas where they are needed, and they do not want to go to the schools where they are most needed.
What has been referred to as ‘‘leakage in the teacher education pipeline’’ or, more commonly, as teacher attrition is partially responsible for the shortages of fully qualified teachers in classrooms (Ingersoll, 2001). The NCTAF report describes a national attrition rate of about 75% from the beginning of an undergraduate teacher education program through about the 3rd year of teaching (NCTAF, 1996). The Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning in California estimate that 40–60% of those who earn teaching credentials in the state do not seek employment as teachers (Gandara & Maxwell-Jolley, 2000). Also, as a result of teacher salaries and working conditions in much of the country and the general lack of public support for teaching as a profession, about 30% of teachers generally and up to 50% of teachers in urban schools leave teaching within the first 5 years (Gregorian, 2001). In 2001–2002, only 44% of teachers hired in New York City schools were certified (down from 53% the previous year), and only about one third of English language learners in California have a teacher who has earned a teaching credential of any kind (Gandara & Maxwell- Jolley, 2000). Only about one fourth of teachers who work with English language learners nationally have received any substantive preparation with regard to ESL teaching strategies and language acquisition theory, and the preparation to teach English language learners consistently comes up as one of the lowest-rated items on follow-up studies of teacher education program graduates (e.g., Darling-Hammond, 2000b).
If one relied on a reading of the professional education literature alone, one might think that a lot has happened to alter this situation to provide the working conditions, mentoring, and professional development programs concerned with teaching diverse learners. One can pick up most education journals today and read about the professional development schools, teacher induction programs, and teacher-initiated professional development programs that are being implemented and the wonderful results they are producing. These things are indeed happening, but unfortunately they are not the norm, nor are they necessarily conducted in ways that contribute to the task of educating all teachers for diversity.
If one goes just a little further one can begin to see the stark reality that is currently confronting many states and local school districts. This reality threatens to undermine what progress has been made in recent years in providing more incentives to enter and remain in teaching and in enhancing teachers’ abilities to be effective in promoting student learning. For example, in the spring of 2002,Education Week reported that many urban school districts across the country were pursuing cuts in teaching and support staff, professional development, bus services, supply purchases, and summer school programs among other things to meet mounting budget deficits. The Detroit school system, which is featured in the article (Blair, 2002), needed to cut $70 million from its $1.2 billion budget. Houston was dealing with $50 million budget cuts, and Miami-Dade was seeking to trim $81 million. Even in my own state of Wisconsin, which is relatively better off on some indicators than others, the governor recently proposed phasing out the entire $1 billion per year of state aid to cities by 2004. The loss of this money, which is used to pay for basic city services such as fire and police protection, would be threaten to devastate urban areas in Wisconsin, including the city of Milwaukee, whose public schools are already in a crisis situation.3
A comprehensive new teacher licensing bill with provisions for a career ladder for teachers, teacher induction programs, and teacher-directed professional development is scheduled to go into effect this same year. Currently, budget estimates are being finalized to finance this new bill, which includes new responsibilities for colleges and universities in the new performance-based licensing system. There is little chance in my view that the state will be able to pick up the tab for this new bill, which includes most elements of the NCTAF agenda. Once again we may be left with only the pieces that are self-supporting, such as the state content examination for teachers, and all of the rest that requires additional funding, such as mentoring for beginning teachers, may go unimplemented unless federal funds are obtained. Even if federal funds are obtained in the short run to pay for some of the new mandated features of the law such as mentors for beginning teachers, this is not a permanent solution to the state’s massive budget problems and its ability to support the professionalization agenda.
The effects of the shortages of fully qualified teachers are disproportionately borne by students who are in low-achieving schools, schools with high numbers of students of color, and schools with high numbers of students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunch. The Education Trust has clearly documented these inequities on a national level, and various groups, including Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning, have illuminated the gaps in California schools. For example, Kati Haycock (2000) of the Education Trust has concluded the following:
Large numbers of secondary teachers lack state certification to teach the subjects they are teaching. When certification data are disaggre- gated by the economic composition of the school, clear patterns emerge. Students attending high poverty secondary schools (>75% poverty) are more than twice as likely as students in low poverty schools (<10 90="90" african="african" also="also" american="american" and="and" are="are" as="as" attending="attending" be="be" by="by" certification="certification" certified="certified" comprise="comprise" fact="fact" fields.="fields." in="in" latino="latino" likely="likely" minority="minority" more="more" not="not" of="of" or="or" p.2="p.2" p="p" population="population" poverty="poverty" predominately="predominately" schools="schools" student="student" students="students" subjects.="subjects." taught="taught" teach="teach" teachers="teachers" than="than" the="the" their="their" to="to" twice="twice" uncertified="uncertified" which="which" without="without" youngsters="youngsters">
A recent analysis of the 1999–2000 Schools and Staffing Survey data by the Education Trust (Jerald, 2002) confirmed their earlier analyses. This report concluded that ‘‘American secondary schools have unacceptably high rates of out-of-field teaching in core academic subjects, with classes in high-poverty and high-minority schools much more likely to be assigned an out-of-field teacher than classes in low-poverty and low-minority schools’’ (p. 4). In high-poverty schools for example, classes are 77% more likely to be assigned an out-of-field teacher than classes in low-poverty schools. Also classes in majority non-White schools are 40% more likely to be assigned an out-of-field teacher than those in mostly White schools.
It has been asserted by the Abell Foundation and others that teacher certification does not matter in determining a teacher’s effectiveness, but it is unlikely that these critics of the idea of teacher certification send their own children to these high-poverty or high-minority public schools filled with unlicensed teachers. The numbers cited by Kati Haycock (2000) with regard to the distribution of certified teachers are similar to those that emerged when she examined the distribution of teachers with academic majors in the fields they are teaching, the teachers with high verbal and mathematics skills, and experienced teachers. In every instance, students who attend high-poverty schools, low-performing schools, or schools with high concentrations of African American or Latino students have less-qualified teachers than students who do not attend these schools.
In California, as you would expect, the situation is the most pronounced and the problem of the misdistribution of under prepared teachers has gotten worse in the last few years. The Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning (2001) in Santa Cruz recently concluded in an analysis of the teaching force in the state in 2000–2001 that
Students already exhibiting low academic performance, those most in need of investment and effective intervention, have a higher probability of being taught by an under prepared teacher…. On average, the lowest performing schools had 25% under prepared teachers. This is double the state average and five times the proportion of under prepared teachers at high achieving schools. y Schools with the highest percentages of students receiving free and reduced lunch … continue to have the highest percentage of under prepared teachers, A similar pattern emerges when examining schools by student minority level. (pp. 23–24)
When we examine the data with regard to the achievement gap in K–12 public education, although there are some bright spots, such as the decline in the dropout rate for African American students by 40% between 1972 and 1999 and a rise in college enrollment for African American and White high school completers (U.S. Department of Education, 2001), disturbing gaps persist in the academic performance and educational participation among different racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups. These gaps exist when children enter kindergarten and show few signs of closing throughout the grade levels (Lee, 2002; U.S. Department of Education, 2001).
One of the current major debates the policy arena is whether teacher certification makes a difference in the effectiveness of teachers. Darling-Hammond and the Abell Foundation among others have issued detailed critiques and countercritiques of what the research that is often used in support of teacher certification means (e.g., Ballou & Podgursky, 2000; Darling-Hammond, 2000a, 2001; Darling-Hammond, Berry, & Thoreson, 2001; Finn & Kanstoroom, 2000; Goldhaber & Brewer, 2000; Madigan & Poliakoff, 2001; Walsh, 2001). Regardless of where one stands on this issue (in my view there are problems with both positions), it is hard to ignore the data on gaps in school achievement and the comments by teachers themselves about the variable quality of education that is available to different groups of students. The most recent MetLife Survey of American Teachers for example concludes the following:
The premise that all children can learn is a concept that has been embraced by policy makers and the public alike. What is harder to ascertain is whether all students have access to the tools, knowledge, and guidance they need to succeed. In many areas addressed in this survey, from teacher quality, to school building conditions, to challenging curricula and high expectations, many low income students and ethnic minority students and their teachers and principals constantly give responses that indicate these students do not have the same opportunities to learn, when compared to responses of those in schools with largely high income populations or in schools with a low proportion of ethnic minority students. (Markow, Fauth, & Gravitch, 2001, p. 6)
There is also the issue of the continued unequal spending for the education of students in different school districts. The Education Trust recently released a report that asserts that in 42 states school districts with the greatest number of poor children have less money to spend per student than districts with the fewest poor children (Education Trust, 2001). The ‘‘savage inequalities’’ in educational provision so powerfully documented by Kozol (1991) are still with us. The facts are hard to ignore. The question is what to do about the situation. The professionalization, deregulation, and social justice agendas offer very different visions for how to remedy the current situation of inequality and injustice in public education. I now briefly examine each of these three visions for reform and identify what I think are their strengths and weaknesses. I also address the things I think none of the reform agendas addresses but are necessary if we are to see things change for the better.
THE PROFESSIONALIZATION AGENDA
The professionalization agenda (or the regulatory agenda as it is called by its critics) is propelled in its current incarnation by the NCTAF reports in 1996 and 1997 and a host of related developments stimulated by such groups as the Holmes Group and Partnership, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, INTASC, and NCATE. However, this agenda did not originate in the 1990s. The current wave of reform to professionalize teacher education and teaching, which has resulted in the near universal requirement for performance-based assessment in teacher education programs, represents the current incarnation of what has been referred to as the social efficiency tradition of reform in teacher education,the quest to establish a profession of teaching through the articulation of a knowledge base for teaching based on educational research and professional judgment (Liston & Zeichner, 1991). In the 20th century, performance-based teacher education was clearly the dominant reform impulse in American teacher education and resulted in several major attempts on a national scale to replace course completion as the basis for initial licensure with a system that assessed teachers’ abilities to display certain knowledge, dispositions, and performances thought to be necessary for effective teaching (Gage & Winne, 1974; Zeichner, 2001).
Of course, what was going on throughout the 1970s and early 1980s was not exactly the same as what is happening now. In the current incarnation of performance-based teacher education, which some have referred to as performance-standards based teacher education (Valli & Rennert-Ariev, 2002) to distinguish it from its predecessors, there is no longer a focus on only behavioral competencies as was the case in the 1970s. Contemporary statements of teacher standards are broader and attend to the cognitive and dispositional aspects of teaching in addition to the technical dimensions. The standards today are also fewer in number than the lists of hundreds of competencies that were common in the 1970s. There also is no longer a preoccupation with the empirical validity of the standards as there was in the 1970s, that is, with whether educational research has established links between specific standards and student learning (Heath & Nielson, 1974). Instead, the validity of the standards is asserted based on the judgments of panels of experts, and careful attention is given to the process of standard development within committees of scholars and practitioners. We are closer today to the process of standard generation used in the infamous Commonwealth Teacher Training study in 1929, where groups of experts came up with a standards about what represents good teaching in particular domains (Charters & Waples, 1929) than we are to the quest for the key to teaching effectiveness through process-product research in the 1970s. This failure to establish clear links between teacher standards and pupil learning even broadly defined has been pounced on by critics of the teacher education establishment and is used as the basis for asserting that performance-based teacher education is of little consequence. In other respects, such as in the high cost of implementation and demands on the time and energy of faculty, what is going on today closely resembles the 1970s.
The main assertions made by advocates of the professionalization agenda have been translated into policy mandates that state education departments and NCATE have implemented in the program approval or accreditation process in most states. The main argument is that the inequities and injustices that exist in public education can be remedied by raising standards for teaching and teacher education and by greater investment in teaching and public schooling. The NCTAF and related reports have proposed or actively supported a host of specific reforms toward the goal of raising the status of teaching as a profession, such as the end to issuing emergency teaching licenses and to alternative routes that fail to provide adequate preparation for teaching, aggressive recruiting of teachers in high-need areas and of a more ethnically diverse teaching force, higher standards for entry into and exit from teacher education programs, the adoption of teacher standards linked to K–12 student standards, performance-based assessment of student teacher performance on these teacher standards, external examinations of teachers’ content knowledge, extended programs of 5 years, professional development schools, the establishment of professional standards boards in every state, mandatory national accreditation for teacher education programs, better teacher induction and mentoring programs, National Board certification as the benchmark for accomplished teaching, more support for high quality teacher professional development, and greater university-wide support and funding for teacher education programs.
A lot of positive results have occurred from the implementation of pieces of the professionalization agenda in recent years that have implications for dealing with the problems of inequality and injustice in public education. First is way in which the advocates of this position have placed the problems of inequality and injustice in public education and the mistreatment of teacher education in higher education into center stage. More public discussion occurs today about these issues than ever been before. There are also benefits that have clearly resulted from the increased dialogue and clearer articulation of the conceptual basis for teacher education programs and the knowledge, dispositions, and performances that teacher education students are expected to master.
Despite the positive contributions that have been made so far by the professionalization agenda, and there are many, there are a number of problems with the results of the implementation of this agenda that threaten to undermine the goal of equalizing educational outcomes. One serious problem in my view is that teaching standards have often been defined in a way that enables programs to ignore what we know from research about what teachers need to know, do, and be like to be successful in teaching all students to high standards. In recent years, a substantial body of literature has converged on the identification of the attributes of teachers and instructional strategies associated with what has come to be called ‘‘culturally responsive’’ teaching (e.g., CREDE, 2002; Gay, 2000; Jordan-Irvine & Armento, 2001; Ladson-Billings, 1994, Villegas & Lucas, 2002). The teaching standards that have come to be commonly used as the basis for performance assessment in teachers education programs, such as the INTASC standards, do not adequately incorporate what we know about culturally responsive teaching. For example, INTASC Standard 3 is the standard that most closely addresses the issue of student diversity, although others touch on it as well. This standard (Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium, 1992) states, ‘‘The teacher understands how students differ in their approaches to learning and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners.’’ Although the statements of knowledge, skills, and dispositions under this standard mention the need for teachers to understand how second languages are acquired, ESL teaching strategies, and the ways in which culture and community values in general influence learning, a whole lot is found in the literature on culturally responsive teaching that can easily be left out of the picture when the INTASC standards are implemented. I come back to this issue later when I discuss the social justice agenda for reform.
A second problem with the implementation of the professionalization agenda thus far has been the adverse effects standards raising has had on the diversity of the pool of teacher education students. There are at least two issues here. First, there is the issue of keeping people out of teacher education programs who are trying to come into the system from an uneven playing field. Rather than looking at a range of attributes and skills that applicants bring to teacher education that include academic performance and potential, such as the kinds of characteristics valued in Haberman and Post’s urban teacher interview (Haberman, 1993, 1995), programs continue to emphasize and in some cases exclusively use academic criteria such as GPA and test scores to determine who will be admitted.
Despite all of the rhetoric about the importance of bringing more students of color into teacher education programs and the existence of some very successful alternative programs that deliberately seek out applicants from underrepresented groups (e.g., Clewell & Villegas, 2001), the picture in mainstream teacher education in the 1,300 or so institutions that offer programs is one of very little ethnic and racial diversity. Although not denying the importance of academic performance and content knowledge, the practice of ignoring some of the additional strengths that diverse candidates bring to teacher education programs has worked against the goal of recruiting more diverse teacher education cohorts and has ignored importance of some of the skills and experiences that are needed to be able to use content knowledge to promote pupil understanding and achievement (e.g., those concerned with being able to relate well with pupils and parents in diverse settings).
A second aspect is that the performance assessments that have been used to evaluate teachers’ work do not always value the attributes and skills of some effective teachers. The current debates about the disproportionate failure rates of teachers of color in the National Board Certification process are an example of this problem. Jackie Jordan-Irvine, Gloria Ladson-Billings, and others have raised some very important concerns about cultural bias in the performance-assessment of teachers (Jordan-Irvine & Fraser, 1998; Ladson-Billings, 1999b).
A third problem with the implementation of the professionalization agenda has been the high cost of implementing the recommended practices in a time of declining budgets and economic recession. Despite the domination of the teacher education literature throughout the 1970s of discussion of performance-based teacher education, the funding of the development of model programs by the U.S. Department of Education and the requirement for performance-based assessment in all National Teacher Corps projects (Clarke, 1969; Houston & Howsam, 1972), the actual implementation of competency and performance-based programs was very low, about 13% of teacher education institutions (Joyce, Yarger, & Howey, 1977). The problem was the lack of capacity to implement what had been designed on paper (Hite, 1973). Currently the implementation of the new version of performance-based assessment in preservice teacher education is making many new demands on teacher education faculty and institutions as positions as budgets are being cut. There is also the question of whether state education departments whose budgets are also being cut will have the capacity to monitor the new performance-based programs. Furthermore, in research universities where there is already a tension between research and teaching and problems in finding faculty willing to work in teacher education programs (Goodlad, 1990; Zeichner, 1999), the reemergence of performance-based teacher education has intensified the distaste of some faculty for being involved in teacher education because they are asked to write performance indicators and rubrics and to examine their courses to see if they are covering what will be covered on the state content examinations. The lack of the new financial and human resources needed to implement these more labor intensive programs may once again lead to the demise of performance-based teacher education or to a superficial implementation. The implementation demands may just be too great given the current economic situation and the continuing struggle by teacher education to gain respect in higher education.
It is assumed by many advocates of the professionalization agenda that establishing a performance-based assessment system in a teacher education program based on a set of teacher standards will necessarily lead to better teaching and learning for children. The efforts of thousands of teacher educators across the country are now focused by necessity at the micro level on how to implement the various state mandates for performance-based teacher education. The accreditation of their programs depends on it. There is a real danger here however, of ‘‘losing sight of the forest in the midst of the trees’’ and of turning performance-based teacher education into a purely mechanical implementation activity that has lost sight of any moral purpose and of the need to constantly step back from the daily grind of implementation to ask the hard questions about what is being accomplished and for whose benefit. In the end, we must be able to show that all of the effort now being expended on behalf of developing assessment systems, portfolios, and so on actually makes a difference in addressing the gaps in educational provision and outcomes.
THE DEREGULATION AGENDA
The second reform agenda for teacher education that has dominated the debates in the public policy arena is the deregulation agenda, or, as its advocates describe it, the reformist or commonsense agenda. This agenda that has been moved forward by the Fordham Foundation and other conservative think tanks and foundations has often been presented in direct opposition to the professionalization proposals and has clear links to the larger neoliberal and neoconservative agendas to privatize and deregulate K–12 schooling in the United States (Apple, 2001).4 This agenda is an outgrowth of what Dan Liston and I have referred to as the academic tradition in teacher education reform (Liston & Zeichner, 1991), a reform tradition that has produced a number of widely cited critiques of the teacher education establishment beginning with Flexner’s study of teacher education in 1930. Flexner (1930), whose study of medical education is ironically often cited by advocates of the professionalization agenda, raised a theme that has repeatedly reappeared in the long list of attacks on teacher education establishment. He concluded:
Why should not an educated person, broadly and deeply versed in educational philosophy and experience, help himself from this point on? Why should his attention be diverted during these pregnant years to the trivialities and applications with which common sense can deal adequately with when the time comes. (pp. 99–100).
Since Flexner’s (1930) critique, a number of highly visible, sharply pointed, and often emotionally charged assaults on teacher education have appeared including Koerner’s (1963) Miseducation of American Teachers, Bestor’s (1953) Educational Wastelands, Lynd’s (1953) Quackery in the Public Schools, more recently Kramer’s (2000) Ed School Follies, and the Pacific Research Institute’s Teacher Quality andTeacher Training in California’s Schools of Education (Izumi & Coburn, 2001). The language in these critiques is often blunt and derogatory. For example, Koerner concluded his examination of teacher education in the United States with the following:
Whatever they claim to do and be education courses deserve the ill repute that has always been accorded them by members of the academic faculty, by teachers themselves, and by the general public. Most education courses are vague, insipid, time wasting adumbrations of the obvious, and probably irrelevant to academic teaching. (pp. 55–56).
Continuing with many of the same arguments made by Flexner and Koerner and acknowledging the gap in the quality of education and educational outcomes for different groups, contemporary advocates of the deregulation agenda have sought to break what they see as the monopoly of colleges and universities on initial teacher education programs by encouraging alternative certification programs and the dismantling of state teacher certification. The argument is made that subject matter knowledge and teachers’ verbal ability are the main determinants of teaching success, and it is asserted that much of what is offered in professional education methods and foundations courses can be learned on the job through an apprenticeship. Deregulation advocates assert ‘‘there is no reliable link between pedagogical training and classroom success’’ (Fordham Foundation, 1999, p. 6). The knowledge base that is presented by advocates of professionalization and embedded in the teaching standards used to assess the performance of prospective teachers and teachers (e.g., INTASC and National Board standards) is described as vague and subjective and is thought to be without any basis in research. Hess (2001) whose recent report published by the Progressive Policy Institute offers one of the less emotional and more reasoned analyses of the situation from a deregulation perspective asserts: ‘‘The simple truth is that professional educators have not constituted a cannon of essential knowledge or skills analogous to that which exists in law or medicine’’ (p. 27).
The recent reports of the Fordham and Abell Foundations and the Pacific and Progressive Policy Institutes (Izumi & Coburn, 2001; Kanstroroom & Finn, 1999; Walsh, 2001) call for the elimination of state certification and for the licensing of teachers with bachelor’s degrees who pass tests in the subjects they are to teach and pass criminal background checks. The rest of what is offered in teacher education programs it is felt is either not needed to be a good teacher or can be learned on the job through firsthand experience or professional development.
It is argued that in these reports that the increasing requirements to get in and out of college-and university-based teacher education programs are discouraging many talented individuals from going into teaching, individuals who could allegedly help reduce the gap in educational quality in the public schools. The deregulators have encouraged the opening of the gates to teaching, and support is offered for three different kinds of alternative certification options: (1) ‘‘missionary’’ programs, such as Teach for America, where the goal is to find idealistic and smart young people to spend a couple of years working in high-poverty schools before they move onto the corporate boardrooms and other leadership positions in society; (2) private for-profit alternatives offered by Sylvan Learning, Edison, and so on; and (3) school-based alternative routes in which districts prepare their own teachers.
Another aspect of this reform agenda is the attack on what is described as a constructivist and multicultural bias in the teacher education curriculum in colleges and universities. Here, as can be seen in the Pacific Research Institute’s recent critique of the curriculum and teaching methods used in several teacher education programs in the California State system (Izumi & Coburn, 2001), teacher educators are accused of indoctrinating students into student-centered teaching methods, of being against high educational standards, and of being overly concerned with political correctness. In oversimplified caricatures of what is referred to as student-centered instruction, teacher educators are accused of proposing that pupils should be able to construct their own knowledge without the teacher’s intervention. Pointing to 25-year-old reviews of process-product research of the 1970s and 1980s, which allegedly lend support to teacher centered and direct instruction, teacher educators are accused of ignoring the research evidence in their advocacy of student-centered methods. Selectively pulling quotes out of program materials, course syllabi, and text books, the authors of the Pacific Institute Report attack a range of identified evils in California State University teacher education programs, such as constructivism, discovery learning, thematic and integrated curriculum, and cooperative learning, and the identified gurus of this poison propaganda such as Dewey, Vygotsky, and Freire among others. One of the most disturbing aspects of this sophomoric diatribe, which has received a lot of public attention (e.g., ‘‘Too Many Teacher Colleges Major in Mediocrity,’’ 2002), is the way in which multicultural education and concerns with preparing teachers to be advocates of social justice are positioned against support for high academic standards. Strangely, the remedies that are offered in this report for the California State University system and its public schools are mathematics instruction in Singapore and an after-school program in Japan. There are other aspects of the deregulation agenda that call for paying teachers more who produce higher student learning scores and enabling principals to hire whomever they want as long as the basic conditions of a degree, subject matter test, and background check are met.
There are several major problems in my view with the deregulation agenda. Despite its contribution in drawing attention to the problems with the subject matter preparation (and there are serious problems here) and to the possibilities offered by alternative routes to certification, there are several flaws in its major arguments that are in conflict with the concern for academic standards that are expressed throughout these reports. First the characterization of state certification as being obsessed with ‘‘course counting’’ that appears repeatedly in these reports may be an accurate description of what used to exist, but it no longer describes the near universal performance-based approach to licensing that exists throughout the United States today. For example, in Hess’s call for a radical overhaul of teacher certification, published in November, 2001, by the Progressive Policy Institute, he charges that ‘‘no state makes clear what teachers need to learn in teacher education courses or ensures that teachers have acquired essential knowledge or skills’’ (Hess, 2001, p. x). In Wisconsin, like many other states, we have been working for more than 5 years to phase in a performance-based assessment system in preservice teacher education programs that are linked to state teacher standards. All around the country, teacher educators, whether or not they are affiliated with NCATE, are spending much of their energy developing performance-based assessments linked to state standards. The characterization of state certification by some of the deregulation advocates is as outdated as their reliance on 25-year-old reviews of process-product research as evidence for the evils of learner- centered approaches to teaching.
A second major problem with the deregulation position is the assertion that subject matter knowledge alone is sufficient to be a successful teacher of subject matter to diverse learners. There is a substantial research literature on the subject matter preparation of teachers that clearly documents the inadequacy of this simplistic view (Ball, 2000; Grossman, 1990; Hewson, Tabachnick, Zeichner, & Lemberger, 1999; McDiarmid, 1994; Wineberg, 2001). Majoring in a subject or passing a subject matter test, even if the bar is set high, is no guarantee that teachers understand the central concepts in their disciplines and have the pedagogical content knowledge needed to transform content to promote understanding by diverse learners. There is also no mention at all in the deregulation proposals of the need to develop teachers’ intercultural sensitivities and competencies so that they can be effective with all students including those who have cultural and linguistic backgrounds different from themselves. The attacks on multicultural education engaged in by some of the advocates of deregulation ignore the empirical evidence both about the importance of teachers’ intercultural competence to being able to teach successfully our diverse schools (e.g., the research on culturally responsive teaching) and the research on teacher education experiences that enhance that competence (Zeichner, in press).
A third weakness of the deregulation position is its uncritical advocacy of alternative routes to certification without attention to the conditions that need to exist in these alternative programs for their educative potential to be realized. Although deregulation advocates are correct in asserting that alternative programs have much to offer as legitimate pathways into teaching, there is no support in this literature for programs that put unqualified teachers into classrooms as teachers of record and provide them with little or no professional education and mentoring (Wilson, Floden, & Ferrini-Mundy, 2001; Zeichner & Schulte, 2001). Neither by the way does the literature support the assertion frequently heard from within the teacher education establishment that ‘‘ the evidence against alternative certification seems to be definitive’’ (Scannell, 1999, p. 13).
The truth is that all forms of teacher education include a wide range of quality from awful to excellent. Instead of continuing the debate over which is better, 4- or 5-year programs, undergraduate programs or graduate programs, traditional programs or alternative programs, it would be more useful to focus on gaining a better understanding of the components of good teacher education regardless of the structural model of the program. Alternative certification programs of various kinds including for-profit programs and those based on the use of distance technologies are here to stay and are part of the solution to the tremendous inequities that exist in our public schools. We need to continue developing multiple pathways into teaching and focus on making sure that the components of high quality teacher education, something we are beginning to learn more about from recent in-depth case studies of teacher education programs (Darling-Hammond, 2000b; Howey & Zimpher, 1989) are present in all of these various structural models. To assert, however, as is done by advocates of deregulation, that alternative certification of any kind is necessarily good, is not supported by any reasonable reading of peer reviewed scholarly research on this issue.
THE SOCIAL JUSTICE AGENDA
The third and final reform agenda I discuss is the social justice agenda. This agenda has been encouraged by the work that has been going on for many years within AACTE, ATE, and other organizations such as NAME to place the preparation of teachers for cultural diversity at the center of attention. Often referring to the cultural gap between teachers and their pupils, advocates of the social justice agenda which is an outgrowth of the social reconstructionist tradition of reform in American teacher education see both schooling and teacher education as crucial elements in the making of a more just society (Liston & Zeichner, 1991). Despite the lack of infusion of multicultural and social reconstructionist perspectives throughout preservice teacher education programs, a great deal has been learned through research about both the teacher attributes and instructional strategies associated with successful teaching in culturally and linguistically diverse schools and about teacher education strategies that are effective in preparing teachers to become these culturally responsive teachers.
First although much work remains to be done to clarify the elements of good teaching in a multicultural society, substantial literature has emerged in recent years on the attributes and strategies associated with what has come to be called culturally responsive teaching. Researchers such as Jackie Jordan-Irvine, Gloria Ladson-Billings, Geneva Gay, Ana Maria Villegas, Martin Haberman, Luis Moll, Michele Foster, Etta Hollins, Sonio Nieto, and Barbara Merino among others, and research sponsored by research Centers such as CREDE in Santa Cruz, California (e.g., CREDE, 2002; Foster, 1997; Gay, 2000; Jordan-Irvine, 1992; Jordan-Irvine & Armento, 2001; Ladson-Billings, 1994, 1995b; Merino, 1999; Moll & Vellez Ibanez, 1992; Murrell, 2001; Nieto, 2000; Nieto & Rolon, 1997; Villegas, 1991; Villegas & Lucas, 2001, 2002), have identified remarkably consistent sets of knowledge, skills, and performances that are related to successful teaching in culturally diverse schools. Although the INTASC standards touch on these elements of this pedagogy, they do not capture the full force of what has been learned from this research.
During the last year, I have been doing work with colleagues in UNITE - The Urban Network to Improve Teacher Education (a network of 32 urban partnerships) - to synthesize the various statements of the knowledge base for culturally responsive teaching and to develop a set of knowledge, dispositions, and performances that can potentially be used to influence the definition of teaching standards so that the elements of culturally responsive teaching become more central.
When you look at this literature and the kinds of teacher attributes and instructional knowledge and skills that are associated with effective teaching for culturally and linguistically diverse students, many of the important pieces of this message are missing or are underemphasized in statements of the teaching standards that are used to assess prospective teachers for initial licensure. Currently, it is fairly easy to interpret the standards in ways that ignore or minimize the cultural and linguistic aspects of diversity that are so critical to effective teaching in today’s schools. Here are three brief examples of knowledge, performances, and dispositions that I think would be easy to neglect with the use of the INTASC standards.5
Knowledge. The teacher understands the ways in which life is organized in the communities in which his or her students live, how students use and display knowledge, tell stories, and interact with peers and adults. They know something about the funds of knowledge that exist in these communities.
Performance. The teacher is able to incorporate aspects of his or her students’ abilities, experiences, cultures, participation styles, frames of references, and community resources into the class in ways that enhance student learning.
Disposition. The teacher sees resources for learning in all students rather than viewing differences as problems to overcome. The teacher believes that he or she is responsible for making a difference in his or her students’ learning.
These brief examples, which are part of an effort to transform some of the insights of a substantial body of research on effective teaching for culturally and linguistically diverse learners into the currency of standards, are aimed at making it more difficult that the knowledge base for culturally responsive teaching can be underemphasized in performance-based teacher education programs.
Research on teacher education has illuminated some of the factors in teacher education programs, including their admission policies and instructional strategies used in courses and field experiences that are effective in developing greater intercultural sensitivity and competence in prospective teachers. These include such things as admissions criteria that screen applicants on the basis of their commitment to teach all students, carefully monitored and analyzed field experiences in culturally diverse schools and communities including cultural immersion experiences in which prospective teachers live in culturally different communities and where they are forced to reexamine their worldviews, the use of noncertified adults in communities as teacher educators teaching prospective teachers cultural and linguistic knowledge, and teaching prospective teachers how to use various teaching and assessment strategies that are sensitive to cultural and linguistic variations and how to adapt classroom instruction to accommodate the cultural resources that their students bring to school (Grant & Secada, 1990; Ladson-Billings, 1995a, 1999a; Villegas & Lucas, 2001; Zeichner, 1996, in press; Zeichner & Hoeft, 1996).
Some of the advocates of social justice teacher education operate within the parameters of traditional undergraduate college and university-based programs. Others like Martin Haberman and Linda Post in Milwaukee and teacher educators in a number of places including those that extend their programs outside of colleges and universities have implemented high-quality alternative certification programs that provide legitimate professional preparation for teaching. Examples of these high-quality alternative programs are the Dewitt Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund’s Pathways to Teaching Careers program that includes such programs as the University of Southern California’s Latino Teacher Project and the MTEC program in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Genzuk & Baca, 1998; Haberman, 1999; Villegas & Clewell, 1998).
Another aspect of the social justice agenda has been to make deliberate efforts to recruit, prepare, and retain more teachers of color. Here, there is a lot that we have learned from evaluations of successful programs such as the Pathways to Teaching programs (e.g., Clewell & Villegas, 2001; Villegas & Clewell, 1998), that could be used to improve the diversity of our teaching force.
Despite the important contribution made by advocates of the social justice agenda to the national discourse on teacher education, there are several problems with this reform agenda that have weakened its impact. First, much of what has been done by advocates of the social justice agenda has been done at the level of the teacher education classroom as teacher educators have introduced activities and experiences into their programs that are aimed at preparing more culturally responsive teachers. Both the professionalization and deregulation agendas address the structures of the teaching profession and teacher education, and although one may not agree with some of the specific proposals their advocates make, it is clear that any solution to the problems of inequality and injustice in public education will need to address the larger contexts in which teaching and teacher education exist.
When my colleagues and I began a study of several exemplary teacher education programs for diversity about 10 years ago for the National Center for Research on Teacher Learning at Michigan State, we began with a very narrow focus on the instructional practices that teacher educators used in campus classes and field experiences. Very quickly it became clear to us that we needed to broaden our focus to address both the ways in which students were selected into teacher education and the larger program and institutional contexts in which the programs were embedded. Our reports of this research ended up paying a lot of attention to the institutional conditions that are critical to the effectiveness of the work of teacher educators in their classrooms and to the ways in which students are selected into teacher education programs (e.g., Melnick & Zeichner, 1997). The focus must be even broader than this and needs to consider, from a social justice perspective, the kinds of structures of the profession of teaching and of teacher education that are addressed by the other two reform agendas: program approval and accreditation, requirements for initial licensure, the induction of new teachers, the structure of teaching careers, and so on. Keeping the focus of proposals for social justice–oriented teacher education at the level of the teacher education classroom will not significantly impact the larger societal problem of inequality in education provision and outcomes.
A second major limitation of the social justice agenda is the lack of capacity in the teacher educator group to do the job that we know needs to be done. Here, just as there has been a continuing low level of ethnic diversity among teacher education students, there has also been a problem with developing a more ethnically diverse group of teacher educators. Currently, about 14% of the faculty in higher education generally, and about 15% of the faculty in education units, are of color. This represents an improvement from where we were in the 1980s, but it is still pathetic. A diverse learning community in teacher education programs is critical to our ability to prepare teachers for diverse schools.
Also, although, contrary to public perceptions, many teacher educators have K–12 teaching experience, not many have had experience as successful teachers in the kinds of culturally diverse and high-poverty schools that we need to prepare teachers for today. Martin Haberman made the claim in the late 1980s that less than 5% of teacher education faculty had taught for even a year in an urban school district. His statement probably still holds true today. Even if we know a lot about the attributes and instructional strategies that teachers need to be successful in the public schools of today (which I think we do), we need to have culturally responsive teacher educators who are able to develop these capacities in prospective teachers or figure out how to compensate for the limitations of the faculty.
Despite what we know from research about the value of closely connecting teacher education programs to diverse communities and of employing community members as teacher educators (e.g., Mahan, 1982, 1993; Mahan, Fortney, & Garcia, 1983; Zeichner & Melnick, 1996), most teacher education programs continue to operate on the belief that developing interculturally competent teachers is primarily a matter of reading things and discussing them on campus or of placing student teachers in culturally different schools for field experiences. Integrally embedding teacher education programs and teacher education students into diverse communities as has been done by some programs over the last 30 years with much success (e.g., Grinberg & Paz-Goldfarb, 1998; Noordhoff, & Kleinfeld, 1993; Sconzert, Iazzetto, & Purkey, 2000; Stachowski & Mahan, 1998) is not that common in practice today. My experience as a teacher educator in the National Teacher Corps and my research on teacher education programs has convinced me of the importance of making diverse communities central aspects of teacher education for diversity and of openly acknowledging the limitations of what can be accomplished when the center of gravity of teacher education is on a college or university campus.
A third problem with the social justice agenda is that it has almost exclusively focused on the transformation of White, monolingual English teachers who are the majority of teacher education students to teach students of color living in poverty. Sorely neglected in this work is the preparation of all teachers to teach all students. A literature has emerged in recent years documenting the failure of teacher education programs to adequately address the needs of student teachers of color who attend primarily White institutions (Delpit, 1995; Hood & Parker, 1994; Montecinos, 1995). This literature argues that although growing up as a person of color or as someone whose first language is other than English in the United States results in a particular quality of life experience different from that of those who are White and English speaking, one cannot necessarily equate being a person of color with being an effective teacher, even of students of a similar background. The task of teacher education for diversity needs to be reframed to one of preparing all teachers to teach all students, and the particular needs of prospective teachers of color need to be better addressed in teacher education programs including many of those that have already incorporated multicultural education.
Also, as I alluded to earlier, much of the work that has occurred in multicultural teacher education has focused on issues of race, gender, and social class and has ignored the preparation of teachers to teach the increasing number of English language learners in our public schools. Despite the existence of CLAD in California, which includes a linguistic component (Walton & Carlson, 1997), and several other similar efforts around the country, such as the ESOL endorsement in Florida, most teacher education programs do not give prospective teachers the background and training in applied linguistics that is necessary to work in today’s public schools. According to research, elements of this preparation should include educating all prospective teachers about such things as the components of language, the process of language acquisition, and ESL teaching strategies (National Research Council, 1997; Reagan, 1997).
Another limitation of the social justice agenda that has undermined its legitimacy is that some of the published literature that presents a social justice perspective on teacher education is written by faculty who themselves have left the work of teacher education for a more comfortable and high-status existence within higher education. Although there has been some presence of social justice perspectives at the main teacher education gatherings at the national and state levels (AACTE, ATE), for the most part the most visible of these advocates do not attend the meetings of teacher educators to engage practicing teacher educators in a discussion of their ideas. The lowly status of teacher education within higher education and the persistence of promotion and tenure criteria which do not sufficiently value good work in the practice of teacher education continue to draw talented people away from the work of teacher education (Labaree, 1997).
In conclusion, although each of the three major reform agendas in teacher education today makes some positive contributions toward ameliorating the inequalities and injustices in education with which we are faced, each of these platforms has certain weaknesses. The professionalization agenda seeks to raise the status and working conditions of teachers in the country through a variety of integrated mechanisms that address the structures that govern teaching and teacher education, but its definition of teaching standards does not always give enough explicit attention to what research says teachers need to know and be able to do to successfully teach the culturally and linguistically diverse students who are in our public schools, and it does not give enough explicit attention to teacher education strategies such as community field experiences that research has shown are effective in developing intercultural teaching competence. It has also failed to establish clear links between the efforts now being focused on the development of standards, assessments, and portfolios and pupil learning even broadly defined. Additionally some of the mechanisms that have been into place have worked against efforts to diversify the learning communities in teacher education programs and the additional requirements for teacher education programs that have resulted from these new requirements have not always been followed with the resources to implement them.
The deregulation agenda, although drawing attention to the importance of teachers’ subject matter knowledge, fails to recognize the importance of the pedagogical content knowledge that teachers also need to be able to translate content to promote student understanding. Advocates of this agenda often uncritically endorse alternative certification programs and denigrate the value of professional education courses by relying on process-product research from more than 20 years ago and ignoring much of the research on teaching and learning that has been done since then (e.g., Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000). There is little or no attention by deregulation advocates to the cultural divide between teachers and their pupils and to the need to develop teachers’ abilities to be interculturally competent.
Finally, the social justice agenda brings the issue of preparing teachers to work in culturally and linguistically diverse schools into central focus and draws attention to the things that research has identified we need to be able to do well in educating teachers if they are going to be able to be successful in promoting learning in the public schools that we have today. However, many advocates of this agenda have too narrowly defined the task as only one of transforming White, monolingual teachers to teach students of color (instead of one of preparing all teachers to teach all students) and have mostly focused their efforts at the level of the teacher education classroom, often ignoring the contexts in which both teacher education programs and teachers operate. There are also serious questions about the capacity of teacher education faculties to be able to do what is required given the composition of teacher educators, the reward systems in higher education and in the public schools that devalue teacher education, and the limited resource base for teacher education programs. Finally, social justice teacher education has not given much attention to issues of linguistic diversity and the teaching of English language learners even within programs that incorporate aspects of multicultural education.
There is also a sense in which none of these reform agendas has given attention to some of the most important issues that must be dealt with by all of us, if the social preconditions for the equality of educational provision and outcomes are to be achieved. The discourse on teacher education is largely silent about the need to aggressively advocate for the societal conditions that need to be present, if equality in the educational arena is to be achieved, such as access to quality food, housing, affordable health care, and to a job that pays a living wage. Currently there are 11.5 million children under age 18 in the United States living in poverty and almost 11 million children under age 19 without health insurance (Children’s Defense Fund, 2001). Unless we are able to address these broader social conditions that affect students in our public school classrooms and their families, the slogan now attached to our new education act, No Child Left Behind, will be empty and meaningless and will not help us move toward a world where what we all want for our own children and grandchildren is also available to everyone’s children. This is the only kind of world with which we should be satisfied.
Advocates of the three reform agendas who are currently vying for control of the education of teachers in the United States must look past their partisan interests and put together a plan for the future of our children, taking advantage of what each vision has to offer while minimizing the negative aspects of each perspective. It is not a question of which view is the correct one. So far none of us has gotten it right.
In the end, the achievement gap in U.S. public schooling is largely a reflection of the other gaps that exist in the larger society, and although schooling and teacher education can play a role in lessening these inequalities, they must be viewed as only one aspect of a more comprehensive plan for the equalization of outcomes in the society. Without the broader political work that needs to occur at many levels to change the ways in which our society’s resources are allocated (e.g., for prisons, weapons, and sports stadiums, and not for educators and schools), the reform agendas in teacher education will be of little consequence in the long run.
1 Portions of this paper in an earlier form were presented at the annual meeting of the Association of Teacher Educators in Denver, February, 2002, and at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, in New Orleans, April, 2002.
2 There are also efforts in some places to extend performance-based teacher education, a central element of the professionalization agenda, to what has been called evidence-based teacher education. Here teacher education programs become accountable for the learning of the pupils taught by their graduates. This movement has not yet become a major force in teacher education reform in the United States, but it may become so in the future. There is a growing amount of attention in the teacher education community to work sample methodology (e.g., Girod, 2002) an approach to documenting the pupil learning ‘‘produced’’ by teacher education students and graduates.
3 The governor later backed off after an angry reaction from local officials across the state. It is not clear currently how the projected $1 billion plus state budget will be managed and the aid to local cities and towns from the state is not secure by any means.
4 Most recently, the U.S. Department of Education has taken up the deregulation banner in the Secretary of Education’s first annual report on Teacher Quality (U.S. Department of Education, 2002). This report uses many of the same arguments against university-based teacher education that are found in the reports of the Fordham Foundation and uncritically endorses the value of alternative certification without attention to the tremendous variation in the way in which these programs are conceptualized and implemented.
5 These examples are taken from a draft document under development by one of the workgroups in UNITE. It is available by contacting me.
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|Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 105 Number 3, 2003, p. 490-519|
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