Erica L. Green
2:59 PM EST, January 23, 2013
Maryland's teacher preparation programs remain lackluster as the state continues to fall short in standards that would attract candidates with strong academic backgrounds, and ensuring that teachers are properly qualified to teach in their subject areas, according to a report published Wednesday by the National Council on Teacher Quality.
The Council, a leading policy group that advocates policies for strengthening the teaching profession, issued the state's teacher preparation policies a grade of D+- --the same grade it received last year-- which mirrors the national average for all states in 2012.
According to the report, Maryland needs to raise admission requirements for teacher prep programs in schools of education, and hold the programs accountable for the quality of the teachers they produce.
The NCTQ also recommended the state do more to ensure teachers are proficient in their subject areas and grade-levels, and that they better prepare elementary school teachers for the shift to teaching common-core standards which focuses heavily on literacy.
"With so much attention on the issue of teacher effectiveness, the relative lack of attention to how candidates for teaching are prepared for the job in the first place is puzzling," said Kate Walsh, president of the NCTQ and former Maryland state school board member, in a release.
The state did, however, receive higher marks for its accessibility to alternative certification programs.
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