Teacher Prep Admission

Melissa Shaw

Higher Entry Bar, Better Teachers?

Webinar Presenters:

Sandi Jacobs, vice president and managing director for state policy, National Council on Teacher Quality

Michael J. Maher, assistant dean for professional education, North Carolina State University

Key Points

  • The Council of Chief State School Officers, American Federation of Teachers, NCTQ Teacher Prep Review, and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation are calling for improvement in teacher preparation programs.
  • According to the 2012 NCTQ State Teacher Policy Yearbook, state policies are generally lax in regulating who is admitted into teacher preparation programs.
  • Only 24 states currently require a basic skills test prior to admission; only 15 states have a minimum GPA requirement for admission into a teacher preparation program.
  • CAEP has drafted a standard that would require the average GPA of the cohort to meet or exceed a 3.0 and a group average performance in the top third for those who pass an assessment such as SAT, ACT or GRE.
  • According to Michael Mayer, assistant dean of professional education at North Carolina State University, the majority of cohorts would meet or exceed this standard.


Related Articles

This article focuses primarily on a recent NCTQ report rating Georgia with a C for its teacher preparation programs. Some of the recommendations from the NCTQ report push for a standardized test normed to the general college population, higher GPA requirements and content tests prior to admission. The national average from the NCTQ report for prep programs was a D. This is the second year in a row that Georgia has received a C on the report.


Regarding admissions standards into teacher preparation programs, this article focuses on the new CAEP draft standard which would propose an average GPA of 3.0 for a cohort and raise the requirement related to SAT, ACT and GRE scores. The article does raise some of the concerns related to this issue. One concern is regarding how realistic the new standard is for budget strapped institutions. Additional concerns are that the teacher pool will be less diverse and that fewer students will enter the profession.


A Different View on the NCTQ Report

AACTE presents an opposing view regarding the NCTQ report. They state that NCTQ is not objective, is a public relations campaign and in fact, undermines teacher preparation programs. They question the validity of the data because the review was based primarily on a review of documents. (Just a reminder: Sandi Jacobs, presenter of the webinar is affiliated with NCTQ.)


What others are saying.

This is a blog from Mike Goldstein, founder of the Match Charter School. He poses three questions for response: "For purposes of a policy like this, does it matter if the 3.0 GPA is comes from education classes versus from those in another major?" "How much would be 3.0 GPA requirement affect most schools?" and "What evidence supports that high GPA teachers are much better teachers?"


Reflection

I found this webinar to be very relevant to teacher preparation today. The debate of how to “fix” public schools has now shifted to placing responsibility on teacher preparation programs within higher education for producing teachers who are proficient upon completion of their degree. Part of this emphasis revolves around placing higher admissions standards on students enrolling in teacher preparation programs. Having witnessed firsthand the teacher candidate who gained provisional admittance into the program due to less than stellar prior academic success rise to the challenge and become a proficient educator, I am reluctant to place these restraints on our candidates. Motivation and persistence, as well as disposition also play a key role in the success of the candidate. However, I am a proponent of making the exit requirements stronger so that institutions of higher learning are compelled to maintain academic rigor in their programs and to provide a balance between content and pedagogy.