The student teacher tsunami turns rogue wave

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We're all for high-quality student teaching placements and have quite a bit to say about how they should be made.  Regardless of their value, however, one thing is for sure: teacher preparation programs are currently having a very difficult time arranging any kind of student teaching placements, much less placements with top-notch mentor teachers. And you don't have to take our word for it. At the 2011 meeting of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, Rick Ginsberg, the dean of the University of Kansas ed school, said, "I've got to tell you, we're having a dog of a time finding placement sites now...We're really struggling."   

Which makes us wonder: why would the NEA join the chorus calling for longer, more intensive clinical practice for teacher candidates? Don't they get that the only way a system struggling to place the current number of teacher candidates with effective mentor teachers for one semester of clinical practice can be transformed into a smoothly functioning system that places teacher candidates with effective mentors for two semesters is with magic?

Julie Greenberg