Leslie Turk

NYT spotlights La.'s teacher prep efforts

by Leslie Turk

As Louisiana and Illinois battle it out for the title of most corrupt state in the country, the New York Times puts the Pelican State in the spotlight for all the right reasons. Louisiana's efforts to better prepare teachers for the classroom is the subject of an editorial in today's NYT.

For students to learn, they need well-trained teachers. Unfortunately, far too many teacher-preparation programs in this country are little more than diploma mills. As states and the federal government consider ways to fix this problem, they should look to Louisiana’s accountability-based reform efforts.

Louisiana already has required public- and private-teacher-education programs to offer more rigorous course work, and teachers must pass licensing exams in more subject areas than before. The most striking innovation is an evaluation system that judges teacher-preparation programs based on how much their graduates improve student performances in important areas, including reading, math and science.

Read the rest of the editorial here.