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National Council on Teacher Quality Says Ohio Should Hold Colleges of Education Accountable, Make Them More Selective

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 5:25 AM

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New state performance reports on the Ohio schools that produce new teachers are a step in the right direction, the National Council on Teacher Quality says. But Ohio still needs to do more to improve the quality of its new teachers.

Overall, the National Council on Teacher Quality gives Ohio a C- in the group’s annual, national report on how states prepare teachers to teach. That’s up from a D+ last year.

The National Council on Teacher Quality is a non-partisan group focused on increasing the number of good teachers. Its report looks at states' policies rather than actual teacher performance.

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The reports the Ohio Board of Regents released earlier this month on education bachelor degree programs make Ohio one of just eight states that connect colleges of education to the performance of their graduates’ students.

The Ohio reports also include information about how many prospective teachers from each college pass licensure exams and graduates’ own ratings of their schools.

The Board of Regents reports don’t actually give schools grades.

But the National Council on Teacher Quality says Ohio should set minimum standards for the performance of colleges of education and close programs that don't meet those standards.

The Board of Regents is already using performance data when it reviews public programs for approval, officials say. But the board is unlikely to eliminate a program just because its numbers fall short in a single year.

“It's not like [we'd say] 'Your numbers look bad this year, we're going to shut your program down,'” Associate Vice Chancellor Rebecca Watts says.

The National Council on Teacher also says Ohio should make teacher preparation programs more selective. Currently, most Ohio teacher preparation programs require candidates' to have a minimum grade point average roughly equivalent to a C+.

The work to raise the bar to get into a college of education is already underway on “an aggressive timeline,” state officials told the group.

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