EduShyster here interviews Ken Zeichner of the University of Washington about teacher education.

They talk about the NCTQ report, whose findings were predetermined by its political agenda (I.e., university-based teacher preparation bad, alternative preparation good).

Zeichner says that no other country–certainly no high-performing country–has gone full-throttle for alternative teacher preparation.

He describes a phenomenon that he calls “knowledge ventriloquism:”

“Basically what you have is an echo chamber effect where think tanks and other advocacy groups just keep repeating each other’s claims until they become true. There’s a research component too, except that the research isn’t independent. In fact, you can usually predict what the findings are going to be be based on who is doing the research. Cherry picking is another essential component of *knowledge ventriloquism.* Advocates a particular position or program will selectively choose certain findings and ignore others. The problem is that by the time any of this reaches the mainstream media and the headlines, any nuance or complexity is lost.”

In another era, this was known as the Big Lie, repeated again and again in authoritative circles until the public assumed it must be true despite the lack of evidence.

Zeichner and colleagues recently published a study of the movement to privatize teacher education. The NCTQ ratings are a part of that movement.