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Test Scores and Teaching

November 03, 1987

Tucker emphasized the need for teachers-to-be to complete an academic major. This is a non-issue, however. No respectable college disputes it any longer.

Tucker failed to address a truly critical question: Why does training in how to teach remain the monopoly of college departments of education? That is, why is the license to teach not issued after passage of a state test, rather than only from department of education recommendations? Why are prospective teachers not allowed to gain the skills and knowledge required from any source they choose?

In my "Private Sector Alternatives for Preventing Reading Failure" (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1987), I document the fact that private sector organizations have inherent advantages over departments of education in training teachers. They are more accountable, more responsive to students' needs, and to research findings, among other things.

The evidence make clear that a fundamental change is needed if teacher education is to be improved. Private sector organizations must be allowed to compete with departments of education in this enterprise.

PATRICK GROFF

Professor of Education

San Diego State University

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