incredibly ranked twice in the top 10 high schools in the America by US News and World Report doesn't just ridicule "ed school trained teachers" in its sales pitches, it refers to its own teachers as "subject specialists." (More on this some day.) Surely the clearest proof that "ed school training" of teachers is not just a waste but an abomination is the fact that "teachers" at grades 13-16 (Freshmen through Senior years of college) need no training at all. They are "subject specialists" and, like BASIS instructors, that is enough.
As in so many respects, the comparison between Grade 12 and Grade 13 in the American education system can be very revealing about some policy issues. If subject specialists are effective and competent teachers at Grades 13-16 without any "ed school training" whatsoever, then why insist on "ed school training" of teachers for Grades K-12? Why? Because subject specialists at Grades 13-16 are NOT effective and competent teachers. Indeed, as a matter of probability, your chances of encountering an awful college professor are many times greater than your chances of encountering an awful K-12 "ed school trained" teacher.
A personal reflection: Though I attended elementary and secondary school starting some 70 years ago, I can scarcely recall two teachers out of about 50 whom I would regard as not competent or very ineffective and one became my future father-in-law, I must report without prejudice. And yet, through seven years of university study and having taught for 50 years myself, I can confidently say that ineffective, untrained subject specialists were hardly rare. Indeed, the worst teaching I was ever subjected to and much of the worst teaching I have ever committed was done by college professors.
TFA & charter school teachers are not trained in ed schools.This syllogism suffers from an undistributed middle and begs the question that college subject matter specialists are good teachers. Many of them are not. Nor are many TFA and charter school subject matter specialists.
College professors are not trained in ed schools.
Therefore, TFA & charter school teachers are as effective as college professors.
In the spirit of hard-nosed quantitative research, I just checked the student ratings of the teachers in my high school (1955-58) and the professors in my college (1958-61) and the high school teachers beat the college professors.
For more on "Myth 14.Subject matter knowledge is the most important asset a teacher can possess," see 50 Myths & Lies that Threaten America's Public Schools.
Gene V Glass
Arizona State University
National Education Policy Center