Not long ago education schools had a virtual monopoly on the teaching profession. They dictated how and when people became teachers by offering coursework, arranging apprenticeships and granting master’s degrees.
But now those schools are feeling under siege. Officials in Washington, D.C., and New York State, where some of the best-known education schools are located, have stepped up criticisms that the schools are still too focused on theory and not enough on the craft of effective teaching.
In an ever-tightening job market, their graduates are competing with the products of alternative programs like Teach for America, which puts recent college graduates into teaching jobs without previous teaching experience or education coursework.
And this week, the New York State Board of Regents could deliver the biggest blow. It will vote on whether to greatly expand the role of the alternative organizations by allowing them to create their own master’s degree programs. At the extreme, the proposal could make education schools extraneous.
Related, Janet Mertz: An Email to Madison Superintendent Dan Nerad on Math Teacher Hiring Criteria.