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Stop the Silliness & Get Serious about Teacher Preparation

Center for Teaching Quality

CTQ contributor and Associate Professor of Education Jon Eckert dissects the National Council on Teacher Quality’s released ratings of teacher preparation programs. Providing multiple links to highly regarded critiques, Eckert claims that the rankings are deeply flawed and heavily biased. He agrees with the premise that teacher preparation in the U.S. needs to improve; however, he wants serious discussions with students, parents, educators, researchers, and policymakers...not distractions.

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  • Kris Giere

    Thanks for sharing! I wholeheartedly agree with this articles view of teacher preparedness. We need serious conversation that includes all of the stakeholders at the table. However, I continue to wonder if or how these discussions can be a catalyst for real reform in our education system. I think part of the implied (or possibly personally projected) message is that some of the silliness is that which we are trying to prepare: standardization, understaffed classrooms, underfunded districts, etc.. The optimist in me says that having all the stakeholders at the table will bring about constructive positive change. So I must ask, will it actually happen?

    • Jon Eckert


      Great question. Teacher preparation is a daunting task. I have seen this in my preparation, teaching intermediate and middle school students, at the U.S. Department of Ed, and now in higher education. There are no easy answers - that is why the conversations have to occur and continue occurring - why the CTQ Collaboratory is so valuable. I am at a small, liberal arts teacher preparation program because we prepare smart, thoughtful, problem solvers for classrooms and students by developing deep content knowledge, theoretical knowledge, and practical experiences that require application of that pedagogical content knowledge. We do not do things perfectly and have a great deal we can improve, but most of those areas for improvement are identified by conversations and experiences that occur with our teachers and the teachers and administrators with whom they work. I love these conversations - even if we cannot change everything all at once. Ultimately, I do what I do because I believe a great teacher is unbelievably powerful - even in a system that is broken in many ways.

    • Center for Teaching Quality

      Kris, Thanks so much for engaging with this post and pushing the discussion. I've contacted the author who will hopefully stop by here to respond, but I also encourage you to re-post this comment on the original article in the CTQ Collaboratory at We value push-back and deep discussion around teacher leadership and policy reform.