Washington Post: U.S. teaching practices oppose

This article from Linda Darling-Hammond at the Washington Post summed up what I have noticed and feared about education for some time now.

"The first ever International Summit on Teaching, convened last week in New York City, showed perhaps more clearly than ever that the United States has been pursuing an approach to teaching almost diametrically opposed to that pursued by the highest-achieving nations."

It has been clear to me in my experience as a student that teaching practices rarely match what we know about how people learn. And yet, many other countries seem to understand it pretty well.

"…[G]overnment officials and union leaders from 16 nations met together in candid conversations that found substantial consensus about how to create a well-prepared and accountable teaching profession. … The growing de-professionalization of teaching in America was recognized as out of step with the strategies pursued by the world’s educational leaders."

I understand that the country has deep economic issues., but those in charge seem to be narrowly focused on the budget issues at hand, rather than looking at return on investment.

"And with states’ willingness to lower standards rather than raise salaries for the teachers of the poor, a growing number of recruits enter with little prior training, trying to learn on-the-job with the uneven mentoring provided by cash-strapped districts."

And yet, I am not sure what the solution is...

"Meanwhile, some policymakers argue that we should eliminate requirements for teacher training, stop paying teachers for gaining more education, let anyone enter teaching, and fire those later who fail to raise student test scores. And efforts like those in Wisconsin to eliminate collective bargaining create the prospect that salaries and working conditions will sink even lower, making teaching an unattractive career for anyone with other professional options."