TeachingWorks (or Doesn’t) at the University of Michigan: The Corporatization of Teacher Education


It is with concern that I write about the Gates influence on the University of Michigan’s College of Education and the new program called TeachingWorks. The Gates Foundation is giving $6.8 million to the U of M to influence how they will transform teacher preparation. The Helmsley Charitable Trust Grant also provided $1.1 million. This program will affect how teachers are made in universities across the country.

Valerie Strauss had an interesting piece by Kenneth Zeichner, a professor in teacher education at the University of Washington at Seattle, indicating that the new Every Student Succeeds Act has provisions to primarily support non-traditional, non-university programs such as those funded by venture philanthropists.Many of us see these programs rapidly popping up in colleges and school districts near where we live.

Both parents and educators should be concerned about TeachingWorks. It is taking place in a major university that once had a dynamic teacher education program, it focuses on novices, and it will affect the kind of teachers children will get for years to come.

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