We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
First, we concluded that teachers need a broad liberal arts education.
Second, we decided that future teachers need to know the subjects they will teach very well.
Third, we determined that the most important aspects of pedagogy—the function and work of a teacher—are best learned in a real classroom with real students under the tutelage of a master teacher.
One of the more frightening experiences of my life was when my wife and I played a game of Trivial Pursuit with a group of young teachers in Chicago. To say they were deeply, profoundly ignorant just doesn't get the job done. They knew nothing. I can't recall any of them getting anything other than entertainment questions correct, yet my wife and I stomped them. Though I never went to college and my wife left college after one semester.
It's actually not very surprising at all but not for the reasons that might be implied. First, most high school teachers have degrees in the subject they teach but will minor in education to get the certification stuff done more painlessly. I do not speak of elementary teachers, BTW; if the majority of them were ed. majors, I would not be at all surprised given what I see coming up to the high school.
Then, while teaching, they realize that the salary schedule is set up to give a bonus for higher degrees (usually about 1.5%, very worthwhile). At the same time, the state requires you to take courses for re-certification and the school offers to pay for a certain number of credits per year.
What is the easiest way to achieve that bonus, get re-cert? Take education-type courses. Sooner or later, you've built up enough to mashup a master's. Private school teachers, on the other hand, don't have the state re-cert requirement incentive so they can comfortably ignore summer course work.
I worked for years in private school after getting my engineering degree; I never bothered taking courses for credit - I just audited. It wasn't until I started teaching in public school that I had a reason to accumulate credits.
I'll end with this. Despite all the hoo-ah, teachers in public school compare very favorably to those in private schools. There are good ones and bad ones in both places, but the bad ones in private schools were bad because the school hired someone out of his field (coach teaching middle school science, history degree teaching 9th grade math) while the bad ones in public high school usually started off great but got demoralized or bitter from the politics and should have left to teach in private schools.
p.s. Trivial Pursuit fans usually forget that they LIVED through 60% of the trivia while those "young teachers in Chicago" didn't. That makes a huge difference. I can remember seeing the first color printing that Colorado paper had - Nixon resigned - that's something I know viscerally. For the young teachers, that's history. When I took history, US2 meant reconstruction to the present, 1865 - 1965 ... and we've added 50% to that. You can't fault people for not knowing about what you lived through but they didn't.