Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Confusion at the Times

In an editorial yesterday, the New York Times praised New York City's efforts to bring in a more qualified, higher achieving teaching corps. According to the Times the efforts have been a success and New York's kids are reaping the benefits (presumably in the way of higher test scores, which I'll address tomorrow).

While I'm all for having the best teachers possible and thought it was great for the editorial page of the paper of record to be addressing educational issues, I'm a little confused as to the reasoning employed here.

First, the paper praises the city for doing away with temporary licenses for uncertified teachers and increasing the standards for teacher preparation programs. Then, the editorial praises programs like the Teaching Fellows and Teach for America that operate on provisional teaching licenses with no more than a month of training before entering the classroom.

I think both approaches are shown to have merit. However, they are not the same approach and that needs to be recognized. Unless we start recognizing what actually works in the classroom, we're never going to be able to improve education as much as we'd like.

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