More on teacher prep selectivity

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When NCTQ's president Kate Walsh told Congress earlier this year that "it's easier to get into an ed school than to become a college football player," quite a few eyebrows were raised. It seems absurd on its face that football players would be held to a higher academic standard than professionals who are, you know, supposed to help their students achieve academically.

But this is indeed the case: in almost every state there are teacher preparation programs that have lower admissions standards, in terms of a combination of GPA and SAT/ACT scores, than what the NCAA requires of Division I athletes. We've put together a fact pack which looks at this issue in more depth and has a list of citations to research showing that, just as the public suspects, there is a robust correlation between academic aptitude and a teacher's effectiveness.

We're encouraged to hear that the teacher preparation field itself is now taking a hard look at academic standards for admission. It will go a long way to raising the status of teaching — and helping our kids succeed — when teacher preparation is no longer lagging behind college athletics in setting the academic bar for entry into the field.

Arthur McKee and Amy MacKown