The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
The latest release of international test results has once again stirred the controversy of whether or not American students can successfully compete academically in a global context. Before we condemn our educational system, however, we must first understand exactly what the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) reveals about student performance and whether a fair comparison can be made between American 15-year-olds and those in other countries.
On December 5, the world lost one of the more important leaders of all time, Nelson Mandela.
Mandela epitomized what many in U.S. educator preparation programs hope to instill in our education leaders and teachers—a strong understanding of and commitment to social justice. Unfortunately, although we believe that all children and youth should receive a high-quality education and be treated with dignity and respect in the classroom, this ideal is in sharp contrast to reality.
Far too many of our children and youth, especially those in urban communities, are in classrooms with teachers who are underprepared or simply not equipped to teach those they perceive as different. Even as many of our preparation programs are implementing practices that limit “admission” to the field of teaching to those most ready to enter the classroom after rigorous study and strong clinical practice, the different pathways to the profession that some states have put into place may lead to an increase rather than a decrease in the achievement gap that currently exists between children and youth of different classes and races.
The January/February 2014 issue of the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) is now available online. See what Volume 65 Number 1 has to offer—without waiting for the mail delivery!
- In this month’s editorial, JTE‘s editors at Penn State University announce the 2014 Editorial Review Board and outline the highlights of this issue’s articles.
- “The Effects of Teacher Entry Portals on Student Achievement” classifies North Carolina public school teachers into 11 predominant “portals” of entry into the profession and estimates their effects on students’ test score gains. The gains are generally higher for students of teachers prepared through in-state, public undergraduate programs—but Teach for America corps members seem to be more effective in STEM subjects and at the secondary level.
Today, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released results from the 2012 administration of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), a worldwide study of 15-year-old students’ performance on mathematics, science, and reading. American students’ performance remained largely unchanged from the previous PISA administration in 2009, although the U.S. ranking declined relative to other countries that improved over the past 3 years.
AACTE signed on to a statement of the Learning First Alliance about the results and also issued its own call for policy makers to look closely at the test’s lessons, along with the recommendations made by the OECD in its report Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education: Lessons From PISA 2012 for the United States as well as in the 2011 edition of the report, which focuses more on teacher preparation.