Skip to main content

NEPC’s April Education Interview of the Month Podcast Explores Teacher Accountability

BOULDER, CO (April 17, 2018) – In April’s NEPC Education Interview of the MonthGreg Smith discusses teacher accountability with Marilyn Cochran-Smith, Cawthorne Professor of Teacher Education for Urban Schools and Director of the Doctoral Program in Curriculum and Instruction at the Lynch School of Education, Boston College.

Smith and Cochran-Smith focus on national initiatives currently aimed at improving the quality of teacher education. Dr. Cochran-Smith challenges the widely held belief that preparing teachers to raise student test scores will enhance students' achievement and the economic opportunities available to them as adults. She points out that this narrowly defined perspective on teacher quality (and thus teacher education) often minimizes or ignores altogether the myriad other factors, such as poverty and systemic racism, that negatively impact student achievement. 

Research conducted by Dr. Cochran-Smith and her colleagues has led them to conclude there is little evidence that this paradigm of teacher education accountability will actually result in effective school improvement. This conclusion, however, has not resulted in their rejection of thoughtful and well-implemented accountability systems for teacher education. They call, instead, for the adoption of an alternative paradigm focused on the ability of teacher education graduates to prepare students for informed and active participation in a democratic society. 

A new NEPC Education Interview of the Month, hosted by Gregory A. Smith, Lewis and Clark College Emeritus Professor of Education, will be released each month from September through May. 

Don’t worry if you miss a month. All NEPC Education Interview of the Month podcasts are archived on the NEPC website and can be found here

Coming Next Month

In May, Greg’s guests will be Michael Barbour and Bryan Mann, who will focus on virtual schools in the United States. 

Stay tuned to NEPC for smart, engaging conversations about education policy.

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), a university research center housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education, produces and disseminates high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. Visit us at: