Improving teachers: Millions spent, but little done to make sure it’s working


Helping struggling teachers improve has become a big concern–and a big business–across the country, especially as more states, including New York, introduce more rigorous teacher evaluations, says the Hechinger Report. The federal government gives local districts more than $1 billion annually for training programs. New York City schools spent close to $100 million last year just on private consultants. Yet even as districts increase accountability for teachers, few are checking on the companies, universities and in-school programs that are supposed to help them get better. On-the-job training for teachers, known as professional development, encompasses everything from day-long seminars, coaching provided by in-school specialists, courses in subjects like math and reading, and teachers working with one another to improve their skills. New York City even offers Yoga and dance classes to its teachers. Yet little reliable, independent research exists on what kind of training for teachers actually works…

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