There's little consensus about the best way to prepare teachers for today's schools. Education reformers and academics continue to punch and counterpunch as they circle the ring, trying to gain the advantage in what has become one of education's most hotly contested policy fights.
The contestants don't dispute whether good teaching makes a difference in student performance. Study after study has shown that students -- whatever their backgrounds and innate abilities may be -- achieve more when they have high-quality teachers.
No, the feisty think tank folks are feinting and jabbing over how best to produce a high-quality teacher.
Advocates on one side believe teachers should prepare for their classroom careers in the traditional way: attending schools of education where they learn a lot about teaching technique (but often spend too little time learning academic content). The other side favors fast track alternative certification programs that emphasize a prospective teacher's knowledge of the content he or she will teach.
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