Imagine this: Jenny Smith is a second-year teacher at a Happytown Elementary. Her students have been acing every standardized test they take. Smith is so proud of her students. But Smith isn’t the only one who is proud of the people who have learned from her; the college that Smith earned her degree from is also benefiting from the improved scores on her students’ tests.
On the opposite end of the spectrum: Jake Snow is another new teacher at Frownyville Middle School. His students’ test scores have been falling every year that he has been teaching. And now, the university where Snow graduated from is being scrutinized to see if they are adequately training their students.
This imaginary practice of holding colleges accountable for training teachers to be the best teachers they can possibly be might become an industry standard soon.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently congratulated Louisiana for becoming the first state to “tie student test scores into a chain of evaluation that reaches all the way to the teacher colleges.”
Florida and Texas are also implementing plans to link students’ test scores to teacher preparation in college.
Arthur Levine, former president of Teachers College at Columbia University thinks that this method of holding colleges accountable for adequately training teachers is the model.
“I think you’re going to see a lot more of it over the next several years,’’ he says.
I think this is a great idea. If we want to reform the education system in this nation, we have to start at the very beginning. If colleges are allowing teachers to graduate who are not prepared to teach, then we can never expect the educational standards to improve. Let’s hope to see this new system implemented across the nation soon!