Thursday, December 5, 2013

Poverty, not teacher preparation, holds American students back

Published in Education Week, January  4, 2014

Developing and requiring a new test for teacher-candidates is based on the belief that something is wrong with teacher preparation ("Performance-Based Test for Teachers Rolls Out," Dec. 4).
The evidence suggests the opposite is the case.

When we control for the effects of poverty, American students rank near the top of the world on international tests. Also, graduates of American schools go on to perform impressively in the real world: According to the 2013 Global Innovation Index, which is based partly on new patents and the publication of scientific and technical journal articles, the US economy ranks 5th in the world out of 142.

It is hard to conclude from these results that we have a problem in teacher education or teacher quality.

Stephen Krashen

article at:

This letter published in Education Week:


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. RLBJanuary 14, 2014 at 4:25 PM
    When is the last time you Dr. Krashen have spent any time in any teaceher prep program? It is one thing to sit in your tower and pretend to know based on these biased studies, it is another thing to have your boots on the ground in the prep program and the classroom. Do you wear boots Stephen? Proof does not rest in these university sponsored studies. If poverty is an excuse for poor teaching then surely we should abandon this country as we are clearly becoming an impoverished nation. Effective teachers, from effective prep programs, learn to overcome these variables.


  3. RLB, with all due respect, Dr. Krashen defends teachers and promotes education justice. If you follow him, you will know that this post speaks about the corporate reform movement's agenda to hold teacher's accountable with data that does not necessarily reflect student achievement. You are right, effective teachers and programs figure out to overcome these variables, but the policies being pushed by our federal government stand to benefit companies looking to profit, not the programs that are effective.

  4. You also do not have to be so condescending and disrespectful to a man who has dedicated his life to children and shaping educators. Disagree all you want but your condescending tone is not appropriate in intelligent discourse.