A first-ever national evaluation of teacher education programs is due out tomorrow. The controversial review, in the works for several years, is one that Florida's universities and colleges have been none too happy about.
The review -- done by the National Council on Teacher Quality with U.S. News & World Report -- aims to judge the quality of more than 1,000 teacher education programs across the country.
University of Central Florida, University of Florida and Florida State University are among the more than 30 state institutions included in the new rankings, due out after midnight.
The goal of the report, the council says, is to improve teacher quality by highlighting which teacher ed programs are top-notch and which need improvements.
It is an issue we wrote about back in 2011. And then, like today, the review worried teacher-ed officials.
FSU's college of education, for example, sent out a letter this morning that aimed to highlight the "strengths of our teacher education programs" and also criticized the review.
"It is important to note that the standards and methods used by NTCQ for rating teacher education programs have changed multiple times over the years, with very little transparency in the methods and materials used to rate teacher education programs," wrote two FSU deans.
The council, however, says it has used "specific and measurable standards" to find teacher education programs "most likely to get the best outcomes for their students."
The council's hope is that the review will provide "information that aspiring teachers and school leaders need to become strategic consumers and that institutions and states needs in order to rapidly improve how tomorrow's teachers are trained."
The ratings are based on admission standards, what would-be teachers are taught as far as content and skills and how their students do once they are in a classroom, among other criteria.
Frank Brogan, chancellor of Florida's State University System, previously has called the review "flawed" and said the grading system wouldn't capture the true quality of programs that have helped Florida's public schools make "significant achievement gains."
But Florida's public records laws largely meant colleges and universities turned over what was requested. Nationwide, few schools willingly joined the review, the council said.
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