Readings on Teacher Issues

NYC HOLD: Honest Open Logical Decisions on Mathematics Education Reform

This page contains links to articles and news and opinion pieces that will be of interest to readers of the NYC HOLD web pages. The collection is edited and annotated by Bas Braams and NYC HOLD.


Interpret with Caution: The First State Title II Reports on the Quality of Teacher Preparation, by the Education Trust (2002). The mentioned State Reports give the impression that concerns about teacher quality are overblown. The Education Trust finds, however, that much of the State reporting was inconsistent, incomplete, and utterly incomprehensible... [more] (PDF format). Richard Innes writes that it looks worse... [more]

What is So Difficult About the Preparation of Mathematics Teachers, by H. Wu (preprint, 2002). The author sees a gap between the mathematics that teachers learn in the undergraduate curriculum and what they teach in school. The university does not do enough to help teachers understand the essential characteristics of mathematics: its precision, the ubiquity of logical reasoning, and its coherence as a discipline. The article looks specifically at the teaching of fractions and of school geometry... [more] (PDF format)

Some Lessons from California, by Mary Burmeister and H. Wu (manuscript, Jan 2002). Perspectives on mathematics professional development through content oriented summer institutes for elementary school teachers. The authors are a school teacher and a university mathematician... [more] (PDF format)

To Certify or Not to Certify: That is Not the Question, by Kathleen Madigan and Michael Poliakoff (NCTQ, Nov 28, 2001). Reviews a report by Kate Walsh for the Abell Foundation on teacher certification (cited below) and a rejoinder to that report by Linda Darling-Hammond. "We find it disturbing that Dr. Darling-Hammond has misrepresented the nature of the issues that the Abell Report addresses. We are yet more disturbed that in factual matters, even in her attempt to criticize scholarly errors in Ms. Walsh's report, Dr. Darling-Hammond allows her rhetoric to run away from accurate reporting of data and even documents"... [more]

Teacher Certification Reconsidered: Stumbling for Quality, by Kate Walsh (Abell Foundation, Oct 2001). The report finds that the academic research attempting to link teacher certification with student achievement is astonishingly deficient: selective in its citations; padded with misrepresented references; giving undue weight to non-reviewed studies; avoiding standardized achievement measures; and routinely violating principles of sound statistical analysis. The core recommendation of the report is to eliminate coursework requirements for teacher certification, in favor of much simpler and more flexible rules for entry... [more]. A critique from the education establishment was followed by a rejoinder by Walsh with Michael Podgursky... [more]

Facing the Classroom Challenge: Teacher Quality and Teacher Training in California's Schools of Education, by Lance T. Izumi with K. Gwynne Coburn (PRI, April 2001). Definitely of interest also outside CA, this report contains a good overview of teaching methods and philosophies. Singapore, Kumon, and Bennett-Kew are presented as models for reform... [more]

News and Views

Lost at Sea: Without a Curriculum, Navigating Instruction Can Be Tough --Especially for New Teachers, by David Kauffman, Susan Moore Johnson, Susan M. Kardos, Edward Liu, and Heather G. Peske (American Educator, Summer 2002). Without a curriculum to guide them, new teachers in Massachusetts struggle to figure out what to teach -- and have little time to figure out how to teach... [more]

Paige Makes Teacher-Ed Hive Buzz, by Chester E. Finn Jr. (The Gadfly, 020815). A report by Secretary Paige, Meeting the Highly Qualified Teachers Challenge, offered, as Finn describes it, a searching discussion of the ways in which the current teacher preparation-and-licensure system is "broken" and the bold steps that, in the Secretary's view, must to be taken to rectify matters. The teacher-ed community did not swallow this well... [more]

Related Collections

Maintained by NYC HOLD

Math and Science Curriculum
Philosophy of Education
Standards and Assessment
Education Research
Education Policy
Teacher Issues

Maintained by Others

Illinois Loop, by Kevin Killion. Articles are organized thematically under these headings: Reading; Literature; Math; Science; Computers; Social Studies; Art and Music; Projects vs. Learning; Tests and Assessment; Textbooks; Homework; and several others.

Bastiaan J. Braams
Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences
New York University