It is never easy to challenge your own friends and colleagues. But Thomas Lasley, the former dean of education at the University of Dayton, does just that in his hard hitting piece in The Chronicle of Higher Education ??? ???Why do Teacher-Education Programs Fear a New Rating System???? I've worked with Dean Lasley for nearly a decade in Dayton and during that time we've argued over many issues around education reform in our community and state, but even in disagreement I came to appreciate that he always had the interest of kids foremost in his mind.??

Lasley is on the side of children and improving education when he defends the efforts of the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) to rate the nation's teacher preparation programs. NCTQ wants to ensure that our nation's teachers are well-trained, and as teachers are the single most important in-school factor for student learning it seems a matter of common sense to try and rate the performance of the programs responsible for preparing future educators.??

But, the education school community is opposed to rankings for their performance and have attacked the NCTQ effort to rate the more than 1,000 teacher-preparation programs across the country. Lasley calls out the education schools in his Chronicle piece and warns, ???the ???circle the wagons' defensive strategy of the card-carrying teacher-education monopoly is impeding further progress toward quality. This is neither in the best interest of teacher-preparation institutions nor, most important, of students in elementary and secondary classrooms.???

America's children need the very best teachers they can get, and as the nation's education schools are the overwhelming provider of new teachers to schools it is imperative to know which programs work and which don't. Lasley and NCTQ are to be applauded for taking on this fight and for calling out the self-interested behavior of those education schools that refuse to be held accountable for their performance and that of their students. Our children and schools deserve better.??

-Terry Ryan

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