About two and a half months ago, I wrote about “Why do our schools consistently avoid the most successful teaching approach of all?” That blog discussed the mystery behind Kentucky’s public schools consistently avoiding the most successfully researched approach to education, a program called Direct Instruction, which firmly plants teachers as a “Sage on the Stage” and does not follow the currently trendy “Guide on the Side” approach.
Then, on April 21, 2018 I added another blog asking similar questions, “How’s that – Explicit instruction in math works best.” This one discusses observations from a highly experienced math teacher in Seattle who also knows that the teacher in math, at least, needs to be a Sage on the Stage.
Now, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) adds to the discussion with their post-mortem of the mess with the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress results, “Reading into flat NAEP scores.” The NCTQ doesn’t mince many words pointing to some of the issues, including continued Ed School focus on the wrong approaches to teach reading despite the existence of decades of research that shows what actually works. Our teachers don’t know this, however, because their teacher preparation programs and even the Masters’ Degree programs are not telling them what works.
The NCTQ isn’t impressed with the quality of Ed School programs to prepare teachers to teach math, either. As of 2016, this teacher quality organization found that only 13 percent of the Ed School programs were getting it right.
No wonder our kids do abysmally on NAEP math, too.
So, what is it going to take to shake our teacher preparation programs out of their misguided ways so we can finally get the teachers our kids need?
To be honest, it’s becoming harder to believe that some of our Ed Schools even care about preparing teachers to instruct academic subjects well.
Aside from the NCTQ, other people looking at education such as George Will, and Joy Pullmann have questioned the real motivations in our teacher preparation institutions. And, that is pretty upsetting.
Meanwhile, thousands of Kentucky’s kids are not learning to read well while even larger numbers of our kids can’t perform acceptably in math. And, those deficiencies will plague these kids for the rest of their lives.