The Educational Testing Service doesn’t just grade students and produce teacher licensing exams, they also study teachers. According to The New York Times, the ETS reported Tuesday that the teaching profession is attracting a stronger pool of applications. “We’re seeing a pretty big jump in qualifications,” said Drew H. Gitomer, the ETS researcher who led a recent study that looked at a pool of prospective teacher candidates.
The ETS reports that teachers taking the Praxis subject-area licensing exams between 2002 and 2005 had higher SAT scores and better college grades than their mid-1990’s counterparts. Coming out below average for all college graduates, however, were teaching candidates for elementary and physical education.
Encouraging as this news may be for the 90,000 public schools nationwide, some studies report that the United States now recruits from the bottom third of college graduates while other countries, including Singapore and Finland, recruit from the top third. Also striking, according to the ETS study, is the degree of homogeneity among the nation’s prospective teaching force—mostly white and female—at a time when minorities comprise almost fifty percent of the student body.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.