The new program has certainly gotten a lot of attention about how it trains teachers, but what puzzles us at NCTQ is the lack of consensus among critics about what preparation teachers should receive. While we are interested in the ways in which Relay's delivery of teacher preparation varies from the norm, we're curious how well the program instills some of the fundamental knowledge and skills we've outlined in our 17 standards
. For example, Relay teachers must collect extensive student data in order to graduate—is this data also used to inform instruction? Students learn practical techniques for creating a positive, disciplined classroom atmosphere—how do they receive feedback on their use of these methods? How will the program address topics that are more content- than methods- based, such as math knowledge or reading instruction?
There are likely many ways to successfully deliver essential teaching content, but WHAT new teachers must learn in order to be effective is where we urgently need a consensus. It's the least we can do for students and the teaching profession.
Laura Pomerance and Katie Moyer