Federal Study to Look at Teacher Education Programs

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Hidden within the gloomy depths of a fiscal 2004 appropriations bill lies a $1.5 million allocation for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to study our nation's much-maligned teacher education programs. The study, the first of its kind since FDR's first year in the Oval Office, will look at what is being taught, how it's being taught, and the degree to which research is being used as a guide. "It is intended to be an advisory report on the quality of preparation," commented Grover J. "Russ" Whitehurst, the director of the IES. While news of the report was welcomed by most, some expressed concern about the role being played by outspoken critic of traditional teacher preparation programs G. Reid Lyons, the chief of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Mr. Lyons dismissed accusations of research bias saying, "This should be a productive process done by very objective, well-meaning bodies."