University System News
State to raise teacher standards
By Nancy Badertscher
The state is preparing to set tougher standards for its teaching colleges and newest educators, a move that a new national report suggests cannot come fast enough.
The report, released Tuesday by the National Council on Teacher Quality, found a majority of teaching colleges in Georgia and across the country are churning out first-year teachers who lack the needed classroom management skills and subject knowledge.
Nationally, only four — all high school teacher-preparation programs — received the report’s top, four-star rating.
None of those programs were in Georgia, where changes are already in the works.
Mixed results for Georgia in teacher training report
By Christina A. Cassidy, Associated Press
Updated Tuesday, June 18, 2013 – 10:57pm
Just four teacher-training programs at Georgia’s college and universities earned high marks on a national survey released Tuesday looking at more than 1,000 programs across the country. The review by the National Council on Teacher Quality overall found colleges’ education programs are not adequately preparing future teachers and criticized their admission standards, training and value. The assessments faced criticism even before they were released and set off a debate on whom and what belong in teacher training programs.
Georgia Tech Chemist Designs Molecules That May Stop Or Slow Effects Of Alzheimer’s (Video)
Provided by the National Science Foundation & NBC Learn
In this 21st Century Chemist profile, Georgia Institute of Technology chemist Stefan France describes his work designing “neuro-protective” molecules that he hopes might be used to prevent or slow the effects of diseases such as Alzheimer’s in patients’ brains.
Top-Ranked Universities That Grant the Most STEM Degrees
By Diane Tolis and Robert J. Morse
What are the leading STEM universities in the U.S.? As part of the U.S. News STEM Solutions conference, we are publishing an exclusive new list of the National Universities from our 2013 Best Colleges rankings that grant the largest proportion of bachelor’s degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. California Institute of Technology and Colorado School of Mines tied for first place with 98 percent of their degrees granted in STEM fields. Missouri University of Science & Technology came in third with 91 percent; Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts finished fourth with 88 percent; and Massachusetts Institute of Technology was in fifth with 86 percent. To determine which college majors to evaluate, U.S. News used the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s list of science, technology, engineering and math designated-degree programs.
Is anyone surprised at a critical review of how we train teachers? Are teachers?
By Maureen Downey
June 19, 2013
I have been inundated with comments and links to academics and educators protesting the National Council on Teacher Quality’s ratings of teacher preparation programs, which were released yesterday to hisses and boos from many respected education experts around the country.
“NCTQ’s methodology is a paper review of published course requirements and course syllabi against a check list that does not consider the actual quality of instruction that the programs offer, evidence of what their students learn, or whether graduates can actually teach. Concerns about the organization’s methods led most schools of education nationally and in California to decline to participate in the data collection. (NCTQ’s website indicated that fewer than 1% of programs in the country “fully cooperated” with the study.) NCTQ collected documents through websites and public records requests. The ratings published in this report are, thus, based on partial and often inaccurate data, and fail to evaluate teacher education quality,” wrote Linda Darling-Hammond in the Washington Post’s Answer Sheet blog.
Controversial new ratings: No four-star teacher prep programs in Georgia
By Maureen Downey
Posted: 12:04 a.m. Tuesday, June 18, 2013
In a much-anticipated report released Tuesday, the National Council on Teacher Quality rates teacher preparation programs, concluding that ”a vast majority of teacher preparation programs do not give aspiring teachers adequate return on their investment of time and tuition dollars.” The review and the four-star rating system set out to answer this question: “More than 200,000 candidates graduate each year from teacher preparation programs, having spent on average two years and thousands of tuition dollars to qualify for a teaching credential. Did their preparation make them more effective teachers than they would have been without the experience?”
Georgia scores low grade for content preparation of elementary teachers
By Maureen Downey
Posted: 10:59 a.m. Tuesday, June 18, 2013
I wrote last night about the controversial new evaluation of teacher prep training released at midnight by the National Council on Teacher Quality.
This morning the council sent out a release specifically related to Georgia. I am sharing it here.
The AJC is planning a story with response from the teacher prep programs and school leaders. I will share the responses — many of which are skeptical of the findings and the conclusions about the quality of Georgia programs — later today.
Georgia Teacher Training Programs Falling Short
By Rosemary Jean-Louis
Posted June 18, 2013 10:28am
There is a new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) on Georgia teach prep programs and the findings are not good. The study concludes that new teacher training programs in Georgia are not adequately preparing instructors for the classroom. In the study teacher training programs were evaluated nationally. The study assigned a rating system to them. Four stars are the highest. Thirty-two Georgia institutions were included in the review. None of them received the highest score overall.
Why the NCTQ teacher prep ratings are nonsense
By Valerie Strauss, Updated: June 18, 2013
The National Council on Teacher Quality, an organization that is funded by organizations that promote a corporate-influenced school reform agenda, just issued ratings of teacher preparation programs that is getting a lot of attention in the ed world. The ratings are seriously flawed. Explaining how in this post is teacher education expert Linda Darling-Hammond, chair of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University.
This week, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) issued a report titled: NCTQ Teacher Prep Review. Billed as a consumer’s guide, the report rates programs on a list of criteria ranging from selection and content preparation to coursework and student teaching aimed at the development of teaching skills. While the report appropriately focuses on these aspects of teacher education, it does not, unfortunately, accurately reflect the work of teacher education programs in California or nationally.
NCTQ’s methodology is a paper review of published course requirements and course syllabi against a check list that does not consider the actual quality of instruction that the programs offer, evidence of what their students learn, or whether graduates can actually teach. Concerns about the organization’s methods led most schools of education nationally and in California to decline to participate in the data collection. (NCTQ’s website indicated that fewer than 1% of programs in the country “fully cooperated” with the study.) NCTQ collected documents through websites and public records requests. The ratings published in this report are, thus, based on partial and often inaccurate data, and fail to evaluate teacher education quality.
Judge appears ready to rule against APS prosecution
By Mark Niesse and Bill Rankin
Posted: 7:50 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, 2013
A Fulton County judge on Tuesday indicated he would find that defendants in the Atlanta Public Schools test-cheating scandal gave coerced statements when interviewed by investigators, putting the 65-count indictment against 35 educators and administrators in jeopardy.
At the close of a two-day hearing, Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter reserved from making a final ruling on the thorny legal issue. But he told prosecutors it appeared to him that defendants had been threatened with the prospect of losing their jobs if they did not cooperate with the investigation.
“I think you can sort of get where I’m headed,” Baxter told prosecutors and defense attorneys.
Gwinnett Daily Post
Governor commends Master Teachers
By Frank Reddy (1232)
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Gov. Nathan Deal announced Tuesday the names of 58 Georgia teachers who have earned the Master Teacher certification, a designation awarded based on demonstrated excellence in student achievement and student growth for 2013. Of those chosen, 13 hail from Gwinnett County Public Schools. “I am proud of Georgia’s Master Teachers for their tireless efforts to enrich the minds and lives of our students and for their ongoing work toward reaching our state’s goal of providing a high-quality teacher in every classroom,” Deal said. “Georgia continues to make tremendous strides in improving educational opportunities for our students, and I am unwavering in my support of the critical link between effective teachers and student achievement.”
Report: Too many teachers, too little quality
By PHILIP ELLIOTT
Jun 18, 4:14 PM EDT
The nation’s teacher-training programs do not adequately prepare would-be educators for the classroom, even as they produce almost triple the number of graduates needed, according to a survey of more than 1,000 programs released Tuesday.
The National Council on Teacher Quality review is a scathing assessment of colleges’ education programs and their admission standards, training and value. The report, which drew immediate criticism, was designed to be provocative and urges leaders at teacher-training programs to rethink what skills would-be educators need to be taught to thrive in the classrooms of today and tomorrow.
Teacher Prep Programs Receive Failing Reviews
by Jamaal Abdul-Alim
June 18, 2013
Teacher preparation programs in the United States have largely become an “industry of mediocrity” that routinely produces first-year teachers who are ill prepared to teach the nation’s increasingly diverse student population.
The quality of teacher education programs is deficient according to a new report.
This is one of the key contentions in a scathing new report that the National Council on Teacher Quality released Tuesday in conjunction with its long-awaited and controversial rankings known as the Teacher Prep Review.
“I’d like to remind folks that this is not NCTQ reaching this conclusion that others haven’t arrived at many times before,” said Walsh. “What is different here is we are the first to quantify the depth of this problem.”
Disputed Review Finds Disparities in Teacher Prep
By Stephen Sawchuk
Published Online: June 18, 2013
Includes correction(s): June 18, 2013
Only a small number of teacher education programs nationally are designed so that new teachers are adequately prepared, concludes a long-awaited and deeply contested independent review. Released today by the Washington-based National Council on Teacher Quality and U.S. News and World Report, the project grades programs on up to 18 standards on a scale of zero to four stars. Just four programs, all in secondary teacher preparation, earned a four-star overall rating—Furman University, in South Carolina; Lipscomb and Vanderbilt universities, in Tennessee; and Ohio State University. Earning at least three stars were 104 programs. About 160 programs were deemed so weak that they were put on a “consumer alert” list by the council. Institutions received their ratings yesterday. Many schools are expected to contest the findings, and the NCTQ says it will make those documents and its own responses available to the public on its website.
UNF scores low in national teacher education ratings
FSCJ receives grade from the council for a program it doesn’t even have
Posted: June 18, 2013 – 10:14pm | Updated: June 19, 2013 – 6:50am
By Khristopher J. Brooks
Teacher education programs at two local colleges scored poorly in a new ratings report from a national teacher quality group. The National Council for Teacher Quality rated 1,300 public and private colleges with elementary or secondary education programs. The best programs received a four-star label and the worst received no stars and a warning to avoid. University of North Florida received two; Florida State College at Jacksonville received none. Jacksonville University and Edward Waters College were not rated. Larry Daniel, dean of UNF’s education college, said readers should be skeptical of those results because the ratings are based on the council reviewing documents, syllabi and textbooks.
Three Ways MOOCs Will Change Colleges
By Danielle Kurtzleben
June 18, 2013
With college tuition prices spiraling ever upward, it seems counter-intuitive that top schools like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University would also be racing to make their courses free online. Massive open online courses, also known as MOOCs, have taken off in the last few years as universities have made classes available online, both directly and via services like Coursera. As the MOOC landscape shifts quickly and schools race to keep up, here are a few of the ways that the trend of free online courses could significantly reshape the higher education landscape.
Chronicle of Higher Education
Sandusky Scandal Shapes Higher-Education Legal and Governance Policies
By Eric Kelderman
June 19, 2013
One year after Jerry Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, the case of the former Pennsylvania State University football coach continues to reverberate through the legal and governance landscape of higher education. The arrest, trial, conviction, and sentencing of Mr. Sandusky shocked the nation as allegations emerged of his using his connection to the university’s storied football program to lure young boys to the campus, where he molested them.
Making the Case for Liberal Arts
By Colleen Flaherty
June 19, 2013
From states considering differential tuition that would be punitive toward the humanities to talk of tying state funding to the production of “high-demand” degrees, there’s a general sense that the humanities and social sciences are under attack. But a new report out today argues that they play a vital role in growing an informed, career-oriented population equipped for leadership in an increasingly interconnected world. “At the very moment when China and some European nations are seeking to replicate our model of broad education in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences as a stimulus to innovation and a source of social cohesion,” the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ “The Heart of the Matter” report reads, “we are instead narrowing our focus and abandoning our sense of what education has been and should continue to be – our sense of what makes America great.”
June 19, 2013
The provosts of Big 10 universities and the University of Chicago are in high-level talks to create an online education network across their campuses, which collectively enroll more than 500,000 students a year.
And these provosts from some of America’s top research universities have concluded that they – not corporate entrepreneurs and investors — must drive online education efforts.
The plans and concerns are outlined in a position paper that comes just as education technology companies, including Coursera and 2U, are working to expand or deepen their ties to universities, including universities in the Big 10-related group of provosts known as the Committee on Institutional Cooperation.
Unpaid Internship? Some Colleges Pick Up the Tab
By MELISSA KORN
Updated June 19, 2013, 2:29 a.m. ET
The plight of the unpaid intern is improving. Not because businesses are paying more for summer helpers, but because colleges are stepping in to pay when companies can’t, or won’t, compensate student hires. Schools have long granted stipends for stints in nonprofits and the arts, where unpaid labor is common, but now they are paying the way for students to work at profit-making enterprises, including a New York money-management firm, a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm and even a General Motors Co. GM -0.18% plant. Colleges’ job-placement rates have come under intense scrutiny as cost-conscious families, stung by rapidly rising tuition, want proof that universities can deliver on both academic and career fronts.