Selectivity or Bust

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It's about time someone took selectivity in teacher prep seriously. Kudos to the Iowa Department of Ed director, Jason Glass, who is pushing for higher standards for teacher prep in a newly released proposal. (Glass has also endorsed NCTQ's National Review of teacher preparation, which shares a similar goal.)

The Des Moines Register calculates that a minimum 3.0 GPA requirement for entry into teacher prep programs—as Iowa's education reform blueprint proposes—would mean that 20 percent of Iowa's current teacher candidates wouldn't have been admitted to their programs in the first place.

That might not be such a bad thing. Our student teaching study found that teacher preparation programs are already admitting more candidates than they can handle, making it impossible to properly train teachers. And that's not all. Well-established research from Illinois shows that having stronger teachers—determined by academic measures such as college competitiveness rankings and ACT scores—results in better outcomes for kids. 

Sarah Brody