Share This Page

At best, less than mediocre

| Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

There is little doubt in this retired Pittsburgh Public Schools teacher's mind that colleges' teacher training is, at best, less than mediocre (“National study: College teacher training is ‘industry of mediocrity,'” June 19 and TribLIVE.com).

In 2009, a colleague and I shared a student teacher from a local university in our English classes. She demonstrated no classroom management skills, nor did she possess basic knowledge of subject matter. Asked to evaluate 11th-grade essays, she obviously had little knowledge of grammar, editorial marks and common abbreviations. In evaluating her, she barely passed a ninth-grade grammar test I used over my career. She told me, “They don't teach us anything about grammar or punctuation in college.”

We recommended she not be given credit for student teaching. Not only did she get credit, the college also recommended we no longer be included as cooperating teachers.

It's no surprise that Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers president, finds the study faulting teacher training a “gimmick.” These new, undertrained teachers are the union's future dues-paying members.

A vicious cycle begins when universities accept below-average students — often under the guise of “open admissions,” an enabling social policy all colleges are addicted to — to gain the almighty guaranteed federal Pell Grant dollars.

Does anyone remember when “College Boards” determined whether one was qualified to pursue a college education?

Nicholas Evanish

South Park

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.