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Passion For Learning

Georgia Teacher Training Programs Falling Short

June 6, 2013 6:28am (EDT)

There is a new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) on Georgia teach prep programs and the findings are not good. The study concludes that new teacher training programs in Georgia are not adequately preparing instructors for the classroom.

In the study teacher training programs were evaluated nationally. The study assigned a rating system to them. Four stars are the highest. Thirty-two Georgia institutions were included in the review. None of them received the highest score overall.

Here are some takeaways from the study:
  • Highly rated programs -- Programs at University of Georgia (undergraduate and graduate secondary), Mercer University (undergraduate secondary) and Clayton State University (graduate secondary) are on the Teacher Prep Review's Honor Roll, earning at least three out of four possible stars. Across the country, NCTQ identified 21 elementary programs (4 percent of those rated) and 84 secondary programs (14 percent) for the Honor Roll.
  • Selectivity in admissions -- The Review found that only 15 percent of elementary and secondary programs in Georgia restrict admissions to the top half of the college-going population, compared to 28 percent nationwide. Countries where students consistently outperform the U.S. typically set an even higher bar, with teacher prep programs recruiting candidates from the top third of the college-going population. Half of Georgia's programs entirely failed this standard.
  • Student teaching -- Of the evaluated elementary and secondary programs in Georgia, 87 percent entirely fail to ensure a high quality student teaching experience, in which candidates are assigned only to highly skilled teachers and receive frequent concrete feedback, compared to 71 percent of programs across the country.
  • Classroom management -- 34 percent of the evaluated Georgia elementary and secondary programs earn a perfect four stars for providing feedback to teacher candidates on concrete classroom management strategies to improve classroom behavior, compared to 23 percent of evaluated programs nationwide.
    • Make it tougher to get into a teacher preparation program.
    • Make it tougher to be recommended for licensure.
    • Lower tuition for high-need areas such as special education and STEM preparation programs.
    • Require institutions to place their student teachers only with classroom teachers deemed to be effective.
    How to turn programs around:

    The study offers solutions to turning around teacher preparation programs in Georgia. These include:

    • Make it tougher to get into a teacher preparation program.
    • Make it tougher to be recommended for licensure.
    • Lower tuition for high-need areas such as special education and STEM preparation programs.
    • Require institutions to place their student teachers only with classroom teachers deemed to be effective.

    Read the full report and let us know your thoughts. How can teacher preparation programs be improved?

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