Monday, November 24, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;41.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/nskc.png;2014-11-24 00:03:42
Thursday, July 3, 2014

Report analyzes teacher quality

tina forbes

If you’re looking to go to college in New Hampshire for teaching special education, Keene State College might be a choice institution, according to a teaching standards advocacy group.

The National Center on Teacher Quality released its second annual report ranking teacher preparedness programs in June. The evaluation rated New Hampshire standards across elementary and secondary education programs. ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

If you’re looking to go to college in New Hampshire for teaching special education, Keene State College might be a choice institution, according to a teaching standards advocacy group.

The National Center on Teacher Quality released its second annual report ranking teacher preparedness programs in June. The evaluation rated New Hampshire standards across elementary and secondary education programs.

The five New Hampshire programs reviewed were not the best or worst, but Keene State College’s special education program fell in the top half of its national ranking at 24 out of 55. The center evaluated Keene on its undergraduate special education program: Bachelor of Science in special education with elementary certification.

Several schools in the state were not included, such as Rivier University, Southern New Hampshire University and Antioch University New England. The report only reviewed the University of New Hampshire graduate secondary education program, ranking it 406 out of 430. Some programs were excluded because of their small size, and the center did not have sufficient data to rank others. Some institutions declined participation.

Keene received no report on its elementary education, but ranked 389 out of 430 for secondary education. Plymouth State University ranked 188 out of 412 for elementary education, and 380 out of 430 for graduate secondary education.

Rankings were based on the program’s adherence to standards, not on results gauging teacher effectiveness or students achievement. If you want to take a hard look at teaching programs in the state, there’s always a second opinion – or third. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education has a list of nationally recognized programs at Keene and Plymouth, and UNH is an accredited member of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council.

The NCTQ study dissected New Hampshire standards into sections, making suggestions along the way. For admission requirements to teaching prep programs, the state “meets a small part of standard.” It advised more rigorous assessment of teaching candidates before admission.

The state “meets standard” on reading instruction preparation for elementary teachers. Math prep “nearly meets standard.” The center recommends more rigorous math assessment for early childhood education candidates.

Elementary content “meets standard” but the report warns that content tests should cover sufficient subject knowledge. Specifically, subject-matter tests for elementary teacher candidates need to be aligned with the Common Core State Standards.

Middle school prep “does not meet standard.” The Center stated that New Hampshire’s “generalist K-8” licensing for middle school teachers does not compel candidates to demonstrate specific subject-matter knowledge. It suggested eliminating the “generalist” license.

Secondary prep also “does not meet standard.” Analysis suggests further subject-matter testing. Special education prep does not meet standard for not requiring any subject-matter testing.

Student teaching preparation does not meet standard for several reasons. Cooperating teachers need a standard for proving effectiveness, student teaching time does not have to be full-time or local and the classroom time needs to last at least 10 weeks, according to the report.

And lastly, New Hampshire teacher preparation program accountability “meets a small part of the standard,” as it was not considered transparent enough. It suggests demonstrating a connection between student achievement with teacher prep programs.

The NCTQ made waves with its debut report in 2013, which was generally critical of the nation’s teacher prep programs.

“They have become an industry of mediocrity, churning out first-year teachers with classroom management skills and content knowledge inadequate to thrive in classrooms with ever-increasing ethnic and socioeconomic student diversity,” said the review.

The 2014 report said the nation’s teacher prep programs showed improvement. NCTQ partnered with U.S. News & World Report to publish its findings. The complete report can be found online at www.nctq.org.

The Learning Curve runs Wednesdays in The Telegraph. Tina Forbes can be reached at 594-6402 or tforbes@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Forbes on Twitter (@Telegraph_TinaF).