New study finds most teacher training is doomed to increase U.S. achievement gap

Lauren Williams's picture
Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A recent study which assessed more than 1,100 colleges and universities that prepare elementary and secondary teachers and their admission standards, training and value found most teacher training lacking in proficiency based teaching strategies which could add to the U.S. achievement gap.

The National Council on Teacher Quality, an advocacy group founded in 2000 with board members comprised of veterans of the Reagan, Clinton and George W. Bush administrations recently released a report entitled "Teacher Prep Review 2013". [1]

The study found:

  • 3-out-of-4 teacher training programs do not train potential educators on how to teach reading based on the latest research. Instead, future teachers are left to develop their own methods.

"That latest research points to teaching strategies that adopt proficiency based learning rather than time based, mass production classroom learning which can only guarantee that the subject was covered and cannot guarantee that the student can successfully do anything with what they learned in life and in the workplace," says Mark Siegel, member of the New Oregon Diploma Implementation Advisory Task Force and the Credit For Proficiency Task Force.

Additionally, researchers found:

  • Fewer than 1-in-9 programs for elementary educators are preparing students to teach Common Core State Standards[2], the achievement benchmarks for math and reading that have been adopted in 45 states and the District of Columbia. For programs preparing high school teachers, that rate is roughly a third of programs.

Commenting on the report, Cathy Viney, Executive Director and teaching strategies expert of the non-profit Applied Scholastics International,, points out, "Any curriculum is only as effective as it is applied in the classroom. Teachers are not prepared to address proficiency with ALL students. With the diversity teachers face in their classrooms today, and the speed with which information is made available to students via the internet, a fundamental change in teacher training that addresses these issues is needed to truly revert the educational decline nationally. It is vital the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and eventually in their careers, is addressed. This missing ingredient in teacher preparation is a train wreck that has either happened (reflected in the teacher attrition rates in the U.S.) or is waiting to happen and which must be remedied. The Teaching Strategies and Proficiency Based Learning: Applied Scholastics Achievement Programa (ASAP) based on the educational works of American author and educator, L. Ron Hubbard, provides schools and teachers the exact tools they need to implement effectiveness in their classrooms-no matter what the curriculum fads are."

"Many educators have told me that they wished they had this ASAP information from the beginning of their teacher training," noted George Ann Gregory, Ph.D., in Applied Linguistics.

Viney adds, "Teaching strategies that incorporate proficiency based learning prepare teachers across all grade levels and content areas to teach the most critical cognitive skills to their students. Proficiency and the ability to apply what is learned is utilized as the constant rather than using time as the constant. This is the answer to the U.S. Achievement Gap."

A Free Guide to the benefits of Applied Scholastics teaching strategies that incorporate proficiency based learning is available at or call Toll free: 877-75-LEARN.

For media inquiries, contact Christine Gerson at (314) 344-6355

About Applied Scholastics International

The nonprofit Applied Scholastics International is a trusted authority on the subject of teaching strategies and proficiency based learning and provides timely and useful information so as to help teachers and schools improve the lives of ALL students of all ages including those negatively affected by learning difficulties and the social, economic and emotional issues associated with these difficulties. For more information, go to