A few years ago, the Powers-That-Be decided that the biggest problem in American education was the teachers. McKinsey said that other nations attracted the top performing graduates of the most prestigious universities into teaching, while our own sorry teachers came from the bottom of the barrel. In the hunt for perpetrators of what was wrongly assumed to be a national education disaster (after all, test scores and graduation rates were at an all-time high), the nation’s teacher-preparation institutions were a natural scapegoat. They were also an easy target, since people have complained about them for generations, and they have no high-profile defenders. Even Arthur Levine, former president of Teachers College, Columbia University, joined the ranks of the critics.

The answer: more tests for would-be teachers. Of course. And who would own the tests? Pearson. Of course.

Any policy talk about the proliferation of online masters’s degrees sold by for-profit diploma mills? No.

In part 1 of this two-part series, teacher educator Alexandra Miletta reviews the origins and workings of Pearson’s edTPA.