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Group Signs Off With Progress Report on Teacher Quality

The Teaching Commission went out with a bang last week, with its chairman lambasting the nation's education schools as "vast wastelands of academic inferiority."

The commission's final report graded overall progress in various areas of teaching-profession reform over the past three years -- "reinventing" teacher preparation received a D-minus.

Louis Gerstner Jr., the former IBM head who founded and led the commission, also blasted higher education officials for treating their teacher-education programs like "cash cows."

The commission began meeting in 2003, and released a set of recommendations in 2004. Gerstner singled out Minnesota as one of the few states that has followed through on those recommendations. Many governors "have been reluctant to lean on entrenched interests and bureaucracies" to force change, he said.

The commission's report, "Teaching at Risk: Progress and Potholes," is available online.

Abstract from the NASSMC Briefing Service (NBS) that is supported in part by the National Science Teachers Association, International Technology Education Association, Triangle Coalition for Science and Technology Education, and National Science Resources Center, Tuesday, April 4, 2006. Original article appeared in Education Week, March 29, 2006, p. 14.