Swaying with the breeze on teacher prep

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In the May edition of Educational Leadership, Linda Darling-Hammond responds to the mounting calls for greater accountability of teacher preparation programs by making the case that the field of teacher education is doing quite well fixing itself, thank you very much.

Notably she asserts that programs have become more selective ("So the bar has been raised and we have been getting, nationwide, an increasingly high caliber of prospective teachers") and that good clinical practice has become preponderant ("Many teacher education programs have already changed so that they offer strong clinical experience connected with coursework.")

The reason that this progress isn't more apparent to the public, she notes, is that it is drowned out by the relentless, multi-frontal attacks on teacher education: "In the United States right now, there is a tendency to assert that teacher education doesn't matter and that we don't have any good teacher education programs."

Darling-Hammond's battening of the hatches lies in clear contrast with her own previous assessments of the field's well being, when as recently as 2010, she stated: "Teaching is today where medicine was in 1910, when Abraham Flexner conducted the famous study of medical education that eventually led to its overhaul." That overhaul led to a third of all medical schools being shuttered.