Teaching the teachers | Teachers College Columbia University

Skip to content Skip to main navigation
News & Events Header

Teachers College Newsroom

Skip to content Skip to content

Teaching the teachers

Almost eight years after the No Child Left Behind Act was adopted, Susan Neuman claims the billions of dollars invested in the federal education accountability law haven't improved the quality of teaching in U.S.
Almost eight years after the No Child Left Behind Act was adopted, the billions of dollars invested in the federal education accountability law haven’t improved the quality of teaching in U.S.
“Finally, we can say that all states now have a highly qualified teacher definition that is compliant with No Child Left Behind,” Susan Neuman, now professor in education studies at the University of Michigan told a Teachers College forum at Columbia University last week.
 
“No one is excited,” Neuman said. “I don’t see parents coming home and saying, ‘Guess what? I have a teacher who meets the definition of a highly qualified teacher that is compliant with No Child Left Behind.’ We’re not jumping up and down. Why? Because we’ve seen no change in the quality of teaching. In fact, I could argue that, at least anecdotally, the quality of education or the quality of teachers isn’t any better than it was before spending all these billions of dollars.”
 
That’s because the teacher quality standards of No Child Left Behind simply set minimum requirements: All teachers must have a bachelor’s degree, certification and knowledge of the subjects they teach. None of those alone ensures the teacher can engage students.
 
Most teachers, however, understand that the weakest link in a school is its weakest teacher. And if anyone understands that learning doesn’t end with a teaching degree, it should be a teacher.
 
The article “Teaching the teachers” was posted on May 13, 2009 in the journalgazette.net website. http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20090513/EDIT07/305139963/1147/EDIT07 

Published Wednesday, May. 20, 2009

Teaching the teachers

Almost eight years after the No Child Left Behind Act was adopted, the billions of dollars invested in the federal education accountability law haven’t improved the quality of teaching in U.S.
“Finally, we can say that all states now have a highly qualified teacher definition that is compliant with No Child Left Behind,” Susan Neuman, now professor in education studies at the University of Michigan told a Teachers College forum at Columbia University last week.
 
“No one is excited,” Neuman said. “I don’t see parents coming home and saying, ‘Guess what? I have a teacher who meets the definition of a highly qualified teacher that is compliant with No Child Left Behind.’ We’re not jumping up and down. Why? Because we’ve seen no change in the quality of teaching. In fact, I could argue that, at least anecdotally, the quality of education or the quality of teachers isn’t any better than it was before spending all these billions of dollars.”
 
That’s because the teacher quality standards of No Child Left Behind simply set minimum requirements: All teachers must have a bachelor’s degree, certification and knowledge of the subjects they teach. None of those alone ensures the teacher can engage students.
 
Most teachers, however, understand that the weakest link in a school is its weakest teacher. And if anyone understands that learning doesn’t end with a teaching degree, it should be a teacher.
 
The article “Teaching the teachers” was posted on May 13, 2009 in the journalgazette.net website. http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20090513/EDIT07/305139963/1147/EDIT07 
How This Gift Connects The Dots
 
Scholarships & Fellowships
 
Faculty & Programs
 
Campus & Technology
 
Financial Flexibility
 
Engage TC Alumni & Friends