A non-partisan research and policy group says most of the undergraduate programs in Kansas that prepare high school teachers received a D or F grade in the latest ratings. Newman University in Wichita is one of two Kansas schools that scored in the top 25 percent.
The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) rated Benedictine College in the 83rd percentile and Newman University in the 76th percentile for their secondary education programs.
The ratings are based on the schools’ admission standards, content preparation, instruction on teaching methods and opportunities for student teaching practice.
Kate Walsh, president of NCTQ, says their research shows many colleges nationwide are struggling to provide training fundamentals.
"There is a misalignment between what happens on these campuses when they prepare [high school] teachers and what public schools need their new teachers to have learned and know how to do," Walsh says.
Nine other undergraduate programs for secondary education in Kansas received ratings below a C average. Wichita State University and the University of Kansas were not evaluated in this study.
The NCTQ studied more than 700 undergraduate programs that prepare high school teachers.
"What we find when a program makes a D or an F, they are not making sure that teachers know their content, they’re not making sure that they know how to teach their content and they are not doing anything to give them high-quality practice," Walsh says.
Walsh says the analysis identified 16 “top tier” programs in 14 states that are the most successful in preparing qualified high school teachers.
Last fall, the group released findings about college or university programs that prepare elementary teachers. The University of Kansas (96th percentile) and Wichita State University (83rd percentile) were the highest ranked of 17 undergraduate programs in Kansas.
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