San Jose Mercury News: Grade Colleges On How Well They Teach Teachers? Universities Balk

Posted by the San Jose Mercury News March 4, 2015.

By Sharon Noguchi

With fresh credentials in hand, enthusiastic and energetic teachers charge into classrooms hoping to change young lives. But in the first year they often end up feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and unprepared to teach and manage classes.

Now the Obama administration wants to improve teacher training so that newly minted teachers arrive prepared and able to deliver high-quality instruction. Too many teacher credential programs focus on theory, critics say, and devote too little time to instructing teachers on how to teach. And reformers say too many teachers — 40 percent — leave the profession in the first five years, in part because they’re unable to handle a complex, tough job…

While California colleges may dismiss rankings of their programs, proof of success shows up in school superintendents’ recruitment. The Franklin-McKinley School District finds its best recruits in Midwestern universities, Superintendent John Porter said, and also in a San Jose State program that provides a yearlong residency, longer than other schools.

“We get superstars out of that program,” said Porter, who believes quality training is critical.

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