Accountability measures are imperative for teacher education programs themselves because this is a time of profound, continuous and accelerating change. As programs undertake modernization, which all must do, they need compelling evidence to understand how well they are doing and the areas in which action is necessary.
There are a lot of schools in the U.S. that need to be achieving much better outcomes. However, there is a much smaller group of schools in which achievement levels are appalling. The solutions for garden-variety low-achieving schools are arguably different from those for schools with the very worst levels of performance.
The way we can find out what works is to compare schools or classrooms assigned to use any given program with those that continue current practices. Ideally, schools and classrooms are assigned at random to experimental or control groups. That's how we find out what works in medicine, agriculture, technology, and other areas.
Have you ever felt that you are privileged? That you could "give" to others with your experience and utilize your network of contacts to help those living in developing countries? I thought so too, until I participated in the Accountability Lab's Social Impact Tour in the poorest country in South Asia.
Asking nonprofits to voluntarily transform their behavior has done little to stomp out the biggest problems in the nonprofit world. The only way to end bad behavior is to pass more stringent laws and to put teeth into enforcing them. That's what Independent Sector should have been asking for when it visited Congress.