No cherry picking in teacher prep

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Teaching is one of the most difficult professions. So why is it so easy to get into? The second edition of the Teacher Prep Review shows that fewer than one in three programs make sure that they draw from the top half of the college-going population, even though decades of research and the experience of top-performing countries show that academic aptitude is correlated with teacher effectiveness.

Looking deeper, we found that:

·  Only 35% of undergraduate programs (n=1,722) and a scant 9% of graduate programs (n=674) are sufficiently selective.

·  More than 80% of all programs (n=2,396) evaluated do not require applicants to have a minimum 3.0 GPA.

·  Nearly three-quarters of undergraduate programs do not require that applicants score in the top half of college entrance exam-takers.

·  Only one-quarter of graduate programs require that applicants either complete an audition or provide a score for the GRE or other similar graduate school entrance exam. 

There are encouraging signs of progress:

·  Since the release of the first edition of the Teacher Prep Review last year, nine IHEs have raised their admissions standards to require applicants have a GPA of 3.0 or above.

·  In response to suggestions from a number of deans, NCTQ added an indicator in Teacher Prep Review 2014 that enables an average cohort GPA of 3.3 or above (prior to program admission) to satisfy the standard. An additional 41 programs met or partly met the standard due to this change.

·  On the state policy front, Rhode Island has recently passed legislation requiring that each class of candidates score in the top half and ultimately the top third of college entrance exam-takers.

For more on the importance of making it tougher to get into teaching, check out Amanda Ripley’s article on Slate.