In a blog post for the Washington Post’s “Answer Sheet,” Jack Schneider, assistant professor of education at the College of the Holy Cross, dispels the common assumption that America needs to recruit smarter teachers from more prestigious schools in order for the country’s education system to improve. He argues that current United States teachers generally have substantial academic backgrounds, and judging a teacher based on the prestige of their alma mater can prove to be somewhat impractical.
“It is not unreasonable to think that if a teacher with a B average from a good college is sufficient, a teacher with an A average from the Ivy League must be better,” writes Schneider. “Yet that isn’t the case. Consider the content of an average standardized test for 7th grade math and then check out the senior thesis of a Harvard math major. The two documents are worlds apart. In short, the academic backgrounds of teachers matter; but only up to a point.”
Instead, Schneider suggests that education policymakers and interested public should make efforts to improve teachers that the nation’s schools already have by providing them with more time, support, and guidance.
This “Holy Cross in the News” item is by Sara Bovat ’14.