Patrick “Eduflack” Riccards suggests teacher training needs its own version of the Flexner Report — a 1910 report on the wildly uneven quality of medical education in the U.S. that changed the face of the medical profession and led to the closing of half of all the medical schools in the U.S. “Those that remained bolstered their quality,” Riccards writes, ”turning out a better doctor to meet the growing medical needs of our industrialized nation.”
Isn’t it time for such an approach in teacher education? Don’t we need a comprehensive study of our teacher training programs, one that focuses on how we crosswalk the latest in teacher educator research with current curricula, ensure that teacher training programs are empowering our teachers with research-based instructional strategies, require clinical hours, build mentoring and support networks, use data in both instruction and intervention, and ensure graduates align with both the content and skill needs of the communities and states they are serving? Of course we do.
Riccards suggestion comes in the wake of news that the University of the District of Columbia plans to shut down its undergraduate education department, which has managed to graduate less that ten percent of its students.