New Report Considers If Teachers Are Making The Grade
MURFREESBORO, Tenn.-- A new state report finds how well your child
does in school may depend on where the teacher went to college. Middle
Tennessee State University (MTSU) is training more teachers than any other
college in the state.
Five hundred and forty students graduated from the College of Education in
the 2010/2011 school year, but the Report Card on the Effectiveness of Teacher
Training Programs, commissioned by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission,
found that recent graduates are some of the least effective when it comes to
positively impacting student achievement.
"These data are historical. We're looking at it in retrospect,"
College of Education Dean Lana Sievers explained. "They're based on the
Sievers says the data is old news. The former State Education
Commissioner was first charged with addressing concerns with MTSU's education
program two years ago.
"We've eliminated some courses. We've completely revamped others,"
They're also strengthening partnerships with different university
departments and school districts to allow students more intensive "hands
on" experience. Like student-teaching opportunities at the Homer Pittard
"They work with small groups of students," said Chontel Bridgeman,
Principal of the Homer Pittard Campus School. "They teach them, and then
they teach the whole class under the supervision of my teachers."
It will be years before the effects of the changes will be reflected on a
"As time goes, our students will change so our teachers need to
change," MTSU Senior Loretta Simmons said. "We don't need to do the
same things they've done hundreds of years ago."
University leaders are certain each year the quality of their graduates will
continue to improve.
Along with MTSU, Tennessee Tech was part of the list of schools the report
found are producing less effective new teachers. Locally, Teach for America
Nashville was found to produce some of the state's best.