America Needs Better Teachers

It’s a sad fact that many of our teachers are weak. They’re weak on knowledge of their subjects and weak on teaching technique. Unfortunately, we know little about effective professional-development programs. The major reason lies in the research on professional development itself. A major review, in 2008, of the research on professional development for teachers … Continue reading “America Needs Better Teachers”

UNC Schools Indoctrinate Future Teachers

White fragility. Equitable math. The invisible knapsack. These critical theory terms and practices are now common in North Carolina’s public K-12 schools. And Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson has collected many more examples with his Fairness and Accountability in the Classroom for Teachers and Students (F.A.C.T.S.) Task Force. But North Carolina’s public schools didn’t “go woke” … Continue reading “UNC Schools Indoctrinate Future Teachers”

Letter to the Editor: What makes a good teacher?

To the editor: Prof. Lucien Ellington’s refrain that kids taught by badly-trained teachers don’t learn their 3 Rs is as old as public education in the USA, yet neither he nor any others of his outlook have explained the coincidental rise in literacy rates since 1800. In some respects, literacy education defies what happens in … Continue reading “Letter to the Editor: What makes a good teacher?”

Reforming Dysfunctional Teacher Education: ‘Back to the Future?’

Most American children are trapped in public elementary and secondary schools that are either mediocre or dysfunctional. Readers who wonder if this statement is polemical should know that for almost two decades, the federal government’s National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the nation’s highly respected school assessment tool, has documented that on average, less than … Continue reading “Reforming Dysfunctional Teacher Education: ‘Back to the Future?’”

Teacher Training and the Construction of Illiteracy

No cliché is more ubiquitous at teacher protests than signs that read, “if you can read this sign, thank a teacher.” That is, unless you disregard variations on the theme of “pay us more.” And yet, student performance on national and international tests suggest that the reading comprehension of most American students does not extend … Continue reading “Teacher Training and the Construction of Illiteracy”

Is the UNC System Serious about Teacher Training Reform?

On Valentine’s Day, The University of North Carolina System released “Leading on Literacy: Challenges and Opportunities in Teacher Preparation Across the University of North Carolina System.” For me, it was not love at first sight. “Leading on Literacy” represents the latest effort by the UNC System to address the shortcomings of teacher education programs generally and literacy … Continue reading “Is the UNC System Serious about Teacher Training Reform?”