Hint, hint

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It's certainly not yet a trend, but the University of California Hastings College of Law will be admitting 20 percent fewer students in fall 2012 than in years past and the reason has nothing to do with declining applications. No — the dean has simply declared, "There are too many law schools and there are too many law students and we need to do something about that."

It's an idea well worth emulating by the nation's teacher prep programs.  As we've reported, the overproduction of elementary teachers—institutions are training twice as many elementary teachers as are needed each year—is doing real damage to the profession.  First, the inattention to supply and demand means that institutions let just about anyone into their programs, with the result that instructors are forced to lower the rigor of their courses to accommodate less able teacher candidates.  Second, institutions then have to place far too many unqualified and poorly motivated teacher candidates into student teaching assignments. There simply aren't enough high quality placements to accommodate current inflated production, and the teachers that would do the best mentoring job are often unwilling, burned out by having previously accepted candidates who proved to be more of a hindrance than a help in the classroom.  

Julie Greenberg