Challenging the comfortably entrenched with the Teacher Prep Review

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Over a century ago, former school principal Abraham Flexner catalyzed the reform of medical education, producing an exhaustive report and ratings of the nation's 155 medical schools. Calling on them to enact strict admissions and graduation standards and to adhere to a science-based curriculum, The Flexner Report is credited with transforming a subpar system of training doctors into the world's best.

An article in this week's Philanthropy Daily from a former foundation leader, Dan Schmidt (The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation) draws a parallel between The Flexner Report and NCTQ's Teacher Prep Review, seeing equal promise in our ratings for pushing teacher prep to deliver research-based practices.

Thank you, Dan for this unsolicited gift. We're proud to continue to "challenge the comfortably entrenched," as he referred to our efforts.

From Philanthropy Daily:

Philanthropy, the pre-(1918-)pandemic Flexner Report's effect on med schools, and ed schools now

By Daniel P. Schmidt

Published: April 28, 2020

...There have been several contemporary projects seeking to foment reform of higher-education schools and departments that have generally likened their work to that of The Flexner Report, touting similar potential impact. One in particular comes to mind: the National Council on Teacher Quality's (NCTQ's) great Teacher Prep Review project…

Flexner and his report were funded by a budding, professionalizing philanthropic establishment taking shape and flexing its muscles in Progressive Era America. He was a non-doctor, though, taking on much of the medical and med-school establishment of its time—including at its highest, Ivy League levels. Maybe not a populist himself Flexner, but that is the kind of thing populists would probably like, and givers should look to fund.

NCTQ's Teacher Prep Review has basically been similarly anti-establishment, and it's consistent with Barry's description of the Flexner exercise as muckraking. Since 2006, the effort has thoroughly and systematically reviewed curricula, made recommendations, and highlighted effective practices in undergraduate and graduate programs to educate U.S. elementary, secondary, and special-education teachers…

We should a philanthropy that aggressively challenges the comfortably entrenched—as The Flexner Report did in 1910. NCTQ's Teacher Prep Review is trying to do so.

Read the full article on Philanthropy Daily and watch the short video below on how The Flexner Report inspired the NCTQ Teacher Prep Review.