by Brenée Goforth
Communications Associate, John Locke Foundation
JLF’s Terry Stoops was referenced this week in a story about teacher education from The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal. The piece focused on undergraduate teacher education and the potential impacts it has on K-12 student learning. According to the story:
In its 2018 Teacher Prep Review, the NCTQ graded education programs according to how they measured up to their content knowledge standards. Based on NCTQ’s criteria, the following UNC system schools’ undergraduate elementary teacher programs received an “F” grade in how they teach content knowledge: UNC Greensboro, UNC Wilmington, UNC Pembroke, Winston-Salem State University, Western Carolina University, Appalachian State University, and North Carolina State University.
And the following schools received a “D” grade: East Carolina University, North Carolina Central, and UNC Charlotte
That means, according to NCTQ, 10 of 12 schools of education in the UNC system that teach elementary education at the undergraduate level are extremely deficient.
The story reports that a recently convened Educator Preparation Advisory Group has begun to take a look at these issues. However, JLF’s Terry Stoops is skeptical of the realistic impact:
Terry Stoops, education analyst at the John Locke Foundation, told the Martin Center that he hopes the Advisory Group’s efforts to reform teacher education are successful, but has some doubts as to whether they will lead to significant changes in student learning.
Stoops noted that it is difficult to ensure changes that happen at the UNC system level trickle down into actual K-12 classroom practice. “There’s this multi-layer issue of having to take any recommendations at the UNC system level and making sure that they persist through multiple layers of teacher preparation and practice,” he said.
One can only hope whatever recommendations the advisory group makes will help. With less than 40 percent of N.C. fourth graders reading at grade level, something has got to change.