Here’s an excellent long take from Sharon Otterman about the vexed issue of training teachers. The point where “reformers” and skeptics are probably most in agreement is on the desirability of improving training, and since America already has a lot of teachers it already has a lot of education schools and training programs. But very little is known about best practices in this regard and the actual quality of the instruction involved seems to be pretty poor on average. There’s scant evidence that the master’s degrees many teachers are encouraged to obtain actually help anyone, and on average education majors show less learning gains while in college than people studying any other field.
None of this is new to anyone, but what exactly to do about it is contentious. Otterman gives a great overview of some of the practitioners making efforts to improve things in a first-order way with new programs. On a more structural note, Edward Crowe did a paper for CAP arguing that we ought to at least try to measure which schools are graduating good teachers.