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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Why all the opposition to grading teacher prep programs, big districts wonder



Word that US News & World Report would join the National Council on Teacher Quality to rate colleges of education quickly drew criticism from many of the schools that would be reviewed, including those in Florida.

But now a second major group, the Council of Great City Schools (of which Miami-Dade, Hillsborough and Florida's other largest districts are members) has indicated its support for the initiative.

"Our governing body remains concerned that too many Colleges of Education are graduating students who are poorly prepared academically and not ready to provide quality instruction in our urban classrooms," wrote Council executive director Michael Casserly. "We are frequently the subject of research, analysis and study by a wide range of groups and organizations, and are puzzled by the opposition from the higher education community to the examination that your group is proposing."

Casserly did note concerns that the study would provide an incomplete picture because of its data collection process. But he added that such concerns should override the "moral or political imperatives" for the study.

The CGCS follows the accountability-focused Chiefs for Change, an offshoot of Jeb Bush's education foundation, in endorsing the report. Former Florida education commissioner Eric Smith signed that statement, and current commissioner Gerard Robinson is a member.

Will this type of backing change the willingness of the state's colleges of education to participate? Stay tuned.

[Last modified: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 6:27am]


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