This article responds to the National Council on Teacher Quality’s newly released ranking of teacher education programs by arguing that teacher educators need to find their voice. As policy-makers continue to search for something to blame for low student achievement in urban schools, they have fixed first on teachers and now on teacher preparation. In response, teachers and educators need to stand their ground and demand a well-deserved seat at the table. To avoid becoming a victim in the education wars, teacher educators need to speak out about what they know and need to ensure that teachers succeed and schoolchildren learn and thrive.
In many areas, discussion of the Common Core standards has degraded into the talk of conspiracy theorists. This troubling development has overshadowed the very real concerns with implementing the standards that advocates need to address. This article, after dispatching the conspiracy wing-nuttery, outlines several lingering questions regarding the Common Core with the hopes of sparking a more productive discussion of this enormous undertaking.
“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” –Albert Einstein
Methodological problems have plagued international test-score comparisons from the time they began 50 years ago. Since then the number and type of countries and other jurisdictions participating in the comparisons have increased, as have the methodological problems. At the same time, the results of the international comparisons have had an increasing impact on education policies throughout the world, despite the fact that the policy implications drawn from the comparisons are based on seriously flawed data. The commentary describes the intractable problems inherent in making valid comparisons of student achievement across countries and recommends an approach to reformulating the research.