Urban superintendents want review of teacher-prep programs
The national network schools has endorsed a review of the nation's teaching programs, a feat that has been taken up by the National Council on Teacher Quality this year. The Council of Great City Schools represents more than 60 superintendents from large, urban cities, including Baltimore city schools CEO Andres Alonso.
The Council on Teacher Quality, which supported Baltimore's new teacher's union contract last fall, will review the nation's teacher preparation programs, but has met opposition from the higher education community. The results are due to be released in conjunction with U.S. News & World Report in late 2012.
Last month, NCTQ released a report which ranked a random sample of three institutions in each state, including Maryland. Mount St. Mary's University and Salisbury University received "weak" ratings and University of Maryland, Baltimore County a rating of "good." Mount St. Mary's and Salisbury disputed the report, which you can read more about in a story here.
The council spent two years working on the study, which looks at the student teaching experience at 134 institutions of higher education. The rating was based on factors that include whether the teachers who train the college students in their classrooms during student teaching are good teachers themselves, whether the teachers are selected in part by the school of education rather than a school's principal, and whether there is mentoring during the internship.
In its endorsement, the Council of Great City Schools likened the review to the same scrutiny that urban districts experience.
“Our governing body remains concerned that too many Colleges of Education are graduating students who are poorly prepared academically and not ready to provide quality instruction in our urban classrooms," said Mike Casserly, executive director of the council.
"We are frequently the subject of research, analysis, and study by a wide range of groups and organizations, and are puzzled by the opposition from the higher education community to the examination..."
Kate Walsh, president of NCTQ, said the endorsement validated the need for higher education institutions to learn the strengths and weaknesses in their programs.
"For years, district superintendents, particularly those leading districts that serve predominantly poor and minority children, have raised concerns about the uneven quality of the teacher preparation their new teachers received," Walsh said in the release. "The Council's endorsement of the national review shows that these superintendents believe that the time has come to shine a spotlight on what is working in teacher preparation and what needs to beimproved."