2010 Archives

Study slams some Texas colleges over teacher preparation

SMU praised for strong overall program


The following is from the April 28, 2010, edition of The Houston Chronicle.

April 29, 2010


Some of the largest colleges of education in Texas offer poorly designed programs that leave prospective teachers unprepared for the job, according to a new report that suggests more rigorous and meaningful coursework.

The two-year study from the National Council on Teacher Quality, a research and advocacy nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., slams eight of the largest education schools, including the University of Houston's, for seriously shortchanging aspiring teachers, particularly with inadequate math and reading instruction.

“The most consistent feature of teacher education in Texas is a lack of consistency,” according to the 500-page report, which is being officially released today. “Rather than consensus there is inter-institutional confusion as to what it means to fully prepare a teacher for the classroom.” . . .

The national council's report praised four colleges for their strong overall design: Dallas Baptist University, Southern Methodist University, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas-Pan American.

In all, the researchers studied 67 undergraduate education schools (the only ones not reviewed were Rice and Trinity universities). The largest number of schools — 48 — didn't get an overall rating because they fell in the middle of the pack and the researchers said they deserved a more thorough review.

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