WASHINGTON — Education reform has been a looming issue the past several decades, as the U.S. education system has fallen behind other industrial and post-industrial countries, scoring in the middle of the pack in international testing called PISA.
Reuters reports that the National Council on Teacher Quality’s most recent report notes how the teacher training system is broken. Other major concerns are that there are too many rookie and new educators that have little to no experience in handling classrooms, which result in these rookies becoming overwhelmed and under-prepared for the stresses of the work.
The U.S., in the report’s executive summary, has “slipped well into the middle of the pack” after years of being the chief example of education success. One of the chief culprits? Colleges and universities, which are churning out tomorrow’s teachers. The writers of the report conclude:
“They have become an industry of mediocrity, churning out first-year teachers with classroom management skills and content knowledge inadequate to thrive in classrooms with ever-increasing ethnic and socioeconomic student diversity.”
The council, which is a bipartisan research and advocacy group, had undertaken eight years of intensive research to investigate the struggles of the American education system and even fought in court for access to sensitive information and files. The report observed 608 colleges and universities that trained teachers in addition to 522 others, where these institutions churn out up to 80% of teachers on an annual basis.
Reuters quotes the council’s president, Kate Walsh, lamenting the problems facing new teachers. They “don’t know how to teach reading, don’t know how to master a classroom, don’t know how to use data…the results were dismal.”