“The reforms proposed by the
Department of Education offer important remedies for two major problems in
The first is that many teacher preparation programs focus
too much on how to teach and not enough on the subject matter their graduates
are planning to teach. The new requirement that future teachers have a major in
a subject area provides a much needed remedy.
The second issue is professional
development. Historically, teachers have gotten salary increases by
accumulating credits and degrees, which may or may not be germane to the
students and subjects they teach. The new requirement that professional
development focus on the skills and knowledge that will best serve school and
student needs is an urgently needed policy change.
Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and former president and professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University