Education schools still have work to do, but they are making needed improvements in the way they train teachers, a review of 875 undergraduate elementary education programs concludes.
The review by the National Council for Teacher Quality ranked programs using percentiles based on the letter grades (A-plus through F) they earned in these areas: admissions criteria; the teacher’s knowledge of early reading, math, and other elementary content; student teaching; and classroom management. In reading instruction, for example, 39 percent of programs, or 320, earned an A or A-plus, up from 29 percent earning the same grades in 2014, the last time the programs were reviewed.
Among other findings:
•Of the programs reviewed, 26 percent admit most of their teacher-candidates from the top half of the college population.
•The number of “less selective” programs requiring at least a 3.0 GPA for admission has increased from 44 in 2014 to 71.
•Only 112 programs earned an A for requiring at least one methods course and at least three courses covering topics that mathematicians deem critical.
The council’s teacher-preparation program reviews have been controversial for their methodology, which relies on reviews of course syllabi, course catalogues, and textbooks.
A version of this article appeared in the December 14, 2016 edition of Education Week as Teacher Education