Study says teacher training is chaotic

September 19, 2006
By Ben Feller

Aspiring teachers emerge from college woefully unprepared for their jobs, according to a study that depicts most teacher education programs as deeply flawed.

The damning review comes from Arthur Levine, former president of Teachers College at Columbia University.

His report, released Monday, comes as public schools are under federal orders to have a qualified teacher for every class. It casts doubts on the most basic aspects of how teachers are taught. Teacher quality has a huge influence on whether students pass or fail.

The coursework in teacher education programs is in disarray nationwide, the report says. Unlike other professions such as law and medicine, there is no common length of study or set of required skills.

Then there are a host of other problems: low admissions standards, disengaged college faculty, insufficient classroom practice and poor oversight, according to Levine’s study.

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