I’m a former math professor. I have seen firsthand why so many high school students don’t have a chance to learn. It all starts in college.
Here is how it happens, what to do about it, why testing is critical, and, why I believe the DOE may be effective at changing all of this – if the public understands the problem and, thus, has the political will to change things.
Colleges cater to “consumer wants” instead of “student needs” (aka “learning” aka “studying”.) This is the most obvious way we get poorly educated teachers.
Here is the other way, much more insidious. It is a sequence of events.
Universities are motivated to produce faux-phds , many of them become “professors” at colleges where many teachers are taught their subject. I don’t have space to explain why these professors’ students don’t learn, but they don’t. (Cases are described on my blog under the category “Regional State Schools – What Does a Future High School Teacher Get? Look Here” and in the post “No Jobs for Phd’s….”. My blog is inside-higher-ed .)
I have suggested testing teachers on subject matter and publishing the data by college, while keeping the teachers’ names anonymous. (It isn’t their fault they didn’t have a chance to learn in college.)
You can find more on my blog inside-higher-ed, including documented cases, demonstrating what I have described above.