Independent Teacher Education Programs: Apocryphal Claims, Illusory Evidence

Advocacy groups and self-proclaimed social entrepreneurs are working aggressively to deregulate the preparation of teachers and to expand independent, alternative routes into teaching. This policy brief surveys historical and contemporary trends in teacher preparation, and explores what is known about the quality of five of the most prominent independent teacher education programs in the U.S., including their impact on teacher quality and student learning. The author's analysis demonstrates that claims regarding the success of such programs are not substantiated by peer-reviewed research and program evaluations.