State school boards want teacher prep to catch up with . . . the NCAA

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Well, not exactly.

But two stories over the past couple of days reminded us that teacher prep could take a page from the ongoing reform of collegiate athletics.

The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) released a report yesterday that, among other things, calls on teacher preparation programs to raise admission standards by demanding minimum test scores and GPAs of incoming candidates.

As we said a few months back, it's easier academically to get into a lot of ed schools than to play Division I football. And now NCAA President Mark Emmert is putting his foot on the accelerator on raising academic standards in collegiate athletics — to the point where last year's national men's basketball champion Connecticut Huskies might not even qualify for the post season this year.

If only the main accrediting organization in teacher prep, NCATE (soon to be CAEP), could act with similar urgency.

Arthur McKee

Update: Yesterday (October 27), the NCAA board passed a raft of reforms raising academic standards for student-athletes, including a significant rise in eligibility requirements (For more details, see Inside Higher Ed's story). The ball is now in teacher prep's court.