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Evaluating teacher training programs complex

Published: May 22, 2013

Regarding “Study shows need to better prepare teachers” (Our Views, May 10): I take exception to your endorsement of the study by the National Council on Teacher Quality evaluating the effectiveness of teacher training programs, and your recommendation that lawmakers “carefully review its findings on Oklahoma programs.” The NCTQ study is flawed at best and useless at worst. It does a disservice to programs across Oklahoma.

The standards espoused by the NCTQ are asserted without explanation why the standard is essential or even valid. The NCTQ standards are simply one group's beliefs how teachers should be prepared. The NCTQ determines whether a program meets standards by analysis of the syllabi, the course descriptions and how students are evaluated. This is a narrow and simplistic view of a complex scenario.

The NCTQ uses unsupported, unclear and poorly defined research. I also disagree with your statement that new teachers “are often sent to the classroom and expected to figure things out as they go along …” Nothing is further from the truth! I have a degree in elementary education. I can say unequivocally that I was well-prepared in all aspects of the teaching profession. My future students will be well-served.

Larry Spitzer, Blanchard

Spitzer is a 2013 graduate of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha.

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