Colorado Teacher Education 2000: A Review of Four Institutions, Colorado Commission on Higher Education/National Association of Scholars
June 06, 2001
The Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) wanted to determine whether the state's ed schools were tailoring their teacher training programs to the state's academic standards for students as well as to new performance standards (set by the state Board of Education) for schools of education. The CCHE asked the National Association of Scholars (NAS) to examine four teacher ed programs. In turn, the NAS commissioned a study by David Warren Saxe, a professor of social studies education at Penn State (and a member of the Pennsylvania state board of education). His report was submitted to Colorado authorities last year but has only now become public. After examining reams of documents describing the teacher training programs (which were provided by the ed schools themselves) and visiting all four schools, Saxe has penned a devastating critique. His report paints a vivid picture of ed schools bowing to the gods of progressivism and national accreditation rather than to traditional academic content and effective instruction, notwithstanding state policies requiring the latter. Saxe finds many of the training programs to be overly politicized, with courses and training sessions emphasizing social justice, cultural relativism, racism and homophobia. Much of the coursework is at best irrelevant and at worst destructive to training teachers who will be expected to help their students master the state's content standards. We wonder how many others among the nation's hundreds of teacher preparation programs could be described in similar terms. You can obtain a copy of the report by sending a check for $18.00 made out to CCHE to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, 1380 Lawrence Street, Suite 1200, Denver, CO 80204. The Commission can be also be reached by phone at (303) 866-2723 or by fax at (303) 866-4266.