Two reports by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) do a fantastic job of showing just where education colleges are failing students who want to become teachers, and then our children who are taught by these teachers. One report was released in June 2008 for mathematics preparation of teachers entitled “No Common Denominator–The Preparation of Elementary Teachers in Mathematics by America’s Education Schools.” The second, released in May 2006, is on reading and is titled “What Educations Schools Aren’t Teaching About Reading and What Elementary Teachers Aren’t Learning.”
The math report examined 77 schools around the country and Utah State University was the only college in Utah that was examined, and also received a failing mark for teacher preparation.
This August, thanks to a grant by a generous donor, a report will be revealed that examines all 8 major colleges in Utah. I understand that only 1 college has received a passing mark, while 3 would pass if they required more courses of elementary education students, and 4 fail completely.
The links below will take you to the math and reading reports, but the gist of them was to give a few standards for teachers and development of a proper education base before they go off to teach impressionable minds. The math report details 5 standards as follows:
1) Teachers must acquire a deep conceptual knowledge of math focused on
1. numbers and operations,
3. geometry and measurement, and — to a lesser degree —
4. data analysis and probability.
2) Higher entry standards into the program with teachers demonstrating mastery of geometry and algebra 2 at the high school level
3) Must demonstrate a deeper understanding of math than what they must teach to children
4) Elementary content courses must emphasize numbers and operations and student teaching must focus on delivery of math content
5) Math content delivered to teachers should be done within the purview of a MATH DEPARTMENT
The entire math report is 28 pages and contains some other interesting things should any of you wish to look over it. I am eager for the report in August and can’t wait to see how <cough>BYU</cough> fares. I’m not expecting it will be the lone passing school in the state.
The reading report is also great and tells us what we already knew, that phonics and explicit instruction work best. Sorry whole language constructivism. You lose again.