A very revealing newspaper article appeared on page A11 of The Salt Lake Tribune on June 25, 2011. It was an article titled, “Education’s dearth of well-trained teachers,” written by Marti Watson Garlett, the founding dean of the Teachers College at Western Governors University and a member of the National Council on Teacher Quality board of directors.
Near the start of the article, Ms. Garlett states, “A new study by the National Council on Teacher Quality shows that the majority of teacher preparation programs in the United States offer inadequate training to aspiring teachers, leaving them unprepared to enter classrooms ready for the instructional goals of public schools.” She follows with some of the details proving that statement.
From the standpoint of reading education, however, Ms. Garlett made a very revealing statement. “As for instruction across the country, the review found that nearly three quarters of the programs evaluated are not providing elementary teacher candidates with practical, research-based training in how to teach reading.” She did not explain why this was true. That was not her purpose. She was concentrating on the fact that U.S. elementary school teachers are not adequately trained. A similar statement, however, was not made about any other subject taught in elementary school. If she had extensively studied reading education, she would have found that, although numerous reading experts know how to make the teaching of reading English a little easier, NO ONE in public education knows how to make reading English EASY. My website, http://LearnToReadNow.org shows the only proven way of making English as easy to read as almost all other languages.
After presenting additional statistics, Ms. Garlett concludes with the following.
“These trends are underway as political leaders impose one policy du jour after another, from No Child Left Behind to Race to the Top to the Common Core State Standards.
“And all this is happening as countries like China and India, with populations that vastly outnumber our own, are pouring enormous new resources into education to prepare more of their people for jobs in the global economy.
“Worse yet, many U.S. teacher-prep schools have resisted making critical changes that would improve their programs’ effectiveness.
“Those of us in leadership positions need to take these NCTQ findings to heart and push for instructional strategies that align more closely with needs in the classroom. Our country can afford no less.”