Seven Trends to Reform U.S. Teacher Education, and the Need to Address Systemic Injustices

The Education Deans for Justice and Equity in partnership with the National Education Policy Center has released a statement calling for a significant shift in teacher education programs. Over 350 deans and other leaders caution against many of the current trends for “reforming” how we prepare teachers for our nation’s public schools. They argue that several of these trends share the fundamental flaw of focusing on hyper-individualistic, market-based solutions linked to failed ideas about student achievement, teacher accountability, rewards, and punishments, rather than addressing legacies of systemic injustices in educational institutions and strategies to increase participatory democracy. 

The group posits that teacher  education should be guided by  a deep understanding of the roles  of schools and universities within a larger society that is strikingly unequal. They offer a framework that supports programs in identifying these legacies in various aspects of work, and then strategizing interventions and changes. As education deans who are committed to justice and equity and to meeting the daunting responsibility of preparing educators for our nation’s schools, they call for and commit to a retreat from thin-equity reforms, and simultaneously, a move toward strong equity and teacher preparation approaches that hold the most promise for improving education and advancing democracy.

The framework offers guiding questions in the following areas:

Governance and Finance

  • Centering Justice and Equity in Our COE’s Strategic Planning and Implementation
  • Democratizing Our Governance and Leadership
  • Aligning Our Budgets and Budgeting
  • Increasing Our Fundraising & Development

Teaching and Learning

  • Strengthening Our Programs and Curriculum
  • Supporting Our Students 

Faculty and Staff

  • Increasing the Racial Diversity of Our Faculty
  • Supporting Our Faculty
  • Supporting Our Staff
  • Improving the Institutional climate within Our COE

Partnerships and Public Impact

  • Deepening Our External Partnerships
  • Managing Crises within and Beyond Our COE
  • Developing Our Public Voice

For the full statement, see:

For the framework, visit: