Alabama improving teacher preparation programs

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Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013 7:26 pm

Alabama is getting high marks for its efforts to improve teacher quality.

The National Council on Teacher Quality released its sixth annual State Teacher Policy Yearbook onWednesday, and Alabama received a B- for its teacher preparation policies in 2012. That’s up from a C in 2011. Alabama is just one of four states to receive a B-. The average nationwide grade is a D+.

Robin Bynum, dean of the college of education at Troy University, said the state has done a number of things to improve teacher preparation in recent years. Bynum said the state has set a minimum GPA for college students entering education programs and increased the hours education students must spend working in live classrooms and in internships before becoming teachers. Prospective Alabama teachers are also now evaluated in their internships using the same system used to evaluate teachers in the classroom.

According to the report, Alabama still needs to do a number of things to further improve its teacher preparation efforts. The report says the state needs to raise admission requirements into teacher preparation programs even more. Secondary science and social studies teachers should no longer be allowed to teach subjects in which they may lack content knowledge.

The report also suggests teacher preparation programs should be held more accountable for their graduates’ performance and that more should be done to ensure elementary educators are ready to teach to the Common Core Standards.

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