Indiana Public Radio reports that a recent conference on how we educate new school teachers found the process is “fractured.”
David Steiner, Dean of the Hunter College of Education at City University of New York said:
“We have not agreed as a population about what it is that is worth teaching.”
The radio system reports that both Steiner and University of Arkansas education researcher Sandra Stotsky also said that “even the job of evaluating teachers is a challenge because people cannot seem to agree on the best way to do it.”
There also were comments that curriculum isn’t standardized, even at the state level. That is certainly true in Kentucky where each individual school’s decision making council has ultimate control over the curriculum taught there. In a sense, that means there are over 1,000 different curriculum programs in Kentucky, one for each school in the state.
One bitter disagreement about what our schools should be teaching came out clearly last week in the Kentucky Legislature’s Interim Joint Committee on Education. Legislators sparred over whether evolution is a theory or fact and how it should be handled in high school biology classes.
Evidently, even the adoption of Common Core State Standards in Kentucky seems unlikely to end these sorts of debates. And, the confusing impact on teacher preparation is obvious.