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Opinion
The Editors

How to Teach Better Teachers

A new federal evaluation system should reward education schools that correct their flaws and punish those that don’t.
Their futures are in his hands. Photographer: Robert MacPherson/AFP/Getty Images
Their futures are in his hands. Photographer: Robert MacPherson/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. schools don't have enough great teachers. There are various reasons for that, chief among them tenure protections that prevent principals from cutting loose low performers and union contracts that require the worst teachers to be paid the same as the best. But the trouble begins even before teachers arrive in the classroom: Education schools at U.S. universities don't give them the preparation they need to succeed.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan wants to change that. Last week, he said he would draft new regulations to make federal aid to education schools contingent on the performance of their graduates. Duncan's crusade against ineffective teacher curriculums is admirable. Unfortunately, the proposed measuring standards won't begin to get to the root of what has been a national scandal for decades.