Thursday, February 06, 2014

Colleges and schools teaming up to develop ways to raise standards for incoming teachers

This from cn/2:
Teacher candidates in Kentucky enter college with the lowest average ACT scores of a dozen majors and are most likely to need remedial courses, which has prompted colleges and schools to come up with ways to raise the standards. 

The Council on Postsecondary Education, which oversees Kentucky colleges and universities, has launched a program it’s calling Vanguard that is grouping educators from a dozen private and public universities and select school districts to come up with ways to increase standards for students who want to become teachers. 

“For the campuses that are participating in this essentially pilot project, it will be much more difficult to get into a teacher ed program. As a result, the size of those programs is going to shrink substantially because the admission criteria will be much higher,” King said (2:45). “But the objective there is to improve the quality and our effectiveness of our graduates who go into teaching.” 

Increasing the standards could include requiring hiring ACT scores or even an interview-like process in which teacher candidates are put in a room with children to see how well they communicate with kids, King said. 

This segment of the interview starts with the public universities’ request for an extra pot of money that would be doled out based on the number of degrees produced. That wasn’t included in Gov. Steve Beshear’s budget proposal, which called for a 2.5 percent cut to the eight public universities and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. 


The groupings in the Vanguard project, which is looking at new teacher candidate standards, are:
  • Western Kentucky University with Bowling Green Independent, Warren County and Owensboro Independent school districts.
  • University of Kentucky with Fayette County, Danville Independent, Eminence Independent and Trigg County school districts.
  • Asbury University with Knott County School District.
  • Georgetown College with Scott County School District.
  • Lindsey Wilson College with Adair County School District.
  • Campbellsville University with Taylor County, Hart County, Larue County and Campbellsville Independent school districts.
  • University of Louisville with Jefferson County School District and OVEC
  • Eastern Kentucky University, Morehead State University, University of the Cumberlands, University of Pikeville, KVEC and Southeast/Southcentral Co-ops
In addition, Murray State University and Northern Kentucky University have asked to be observers of the process, according to the CPE

Terry Holliday, the Kentucky education commissioner, said that as a member of the Education Professional Standards Board, he was aware of the numbers that showed weaker average ACT scores among teacher candidates relative to other college students. 

And he said the goal should be to institute admissions standard that mirror the world’s education leaders like Finland and Shanghai. 

At the same time, increasing teacher pay also is a factor in raising the bar for teachers. Many teachers start out with salaries in the $30,000s. The governor has proposed a 2 percent raise for teachers in 2015 and another 1 percent raise the following year. 

On Wednesday, Holliday and Education Department officials made their pitch for that to a receptive House budget panel. 

Rep. Kelly Flood, the Lexington Democrat who chairs the House budget committee on K-12 education, and Republican Rep. Bam Carney, a social studies teacher in Taylor County, both endorsed the governor’s proposed budget for K-12 that included $71 million in 2015 for the main funding formula for schools and $118 million more in 2016. 

The increase in the funding formula would cover between 90 percent and 110 percent of the cost of those raises for each district, said Hiren Desai, associate commissioner of the Department of Education.


Anonymous said...

Ok so if I start at $35,000 and get a 2% raise that puts me at $35,700. So minimally speaking, there are suppose to be 6 hours of instruction and I am on a 187 day contract, that means I am getting a $0.62 an hour raise! (I think the raise in minimum wage is getting a larger increase than that!) And the next year I get an additional $0.31 raise, woo hoo! Bottom line is the 2% salary increases aren't going to result in much more than an additional $30 a month once taxes are taken out. Now that sort of dough is going to get folks fleeing the engineering and physician ranks in droves.

Lets not forget that these proposed raises which some are surprisingly exited about are coming after at least 4 years of nothing. Spread that out over next year and the previous 4 and most folks' average raises for the last half a decade will end up being less than what they get for their annual step increases on their local salary schedules.

You know we have done a heck of a lot of curriculum and assessment revamping, retooling and cross walking and....(you get the idea) over the years and we are going to put the screws to educators with the new PGES system. I am just baffled why anyone would remain in K-12 education based upon the compensation package. Pretty soon the states's failure adequately fund KTRS will most likely bump retirement beyond 27 years and reduce benefits. There is only so much idealism and intrinsic desire to help children that one can have and still be able to take care of basic bills on the homefront.

Anonymous said...

What most folks don't understand is that it is not as simple as waving a wand and all districts will have the funds to pay this 2 +1 percent. There is a distinct chance that teachers may end up getting the little raises but the district will end up being forced to let some more folks go for the payroll in order to make ends meet.

Anonymous said...

Fact is this state has always skimped on paying teachers.

A starting teacher in Madison County Kentucky receives $36,000. I just googled "What Jobs pay $36,000 year" Here's what I got: paralegal, assistant retail store manager and an administrator bookkeeper. All positions which don't even require a college degree, much less an expectation that they obtain a master's degree within a few years of employment. Equally, I suspect that if one were to demonstrate strong skills in these professions he/she could actually reach the equivalent top end of the teacher salary schedule in the same 25 year period as we do.

It just doesn't make any sense to think that you are going create a high bar for entry into education programs with the expectation that folks are going to accept low pay and increasing external expectations in a profession which seems to be the popular whipping boy for everything from the break down to the family unit to the failure the US economy. Man, if I only knew then what I know now. THis isn't what I signed on for - at least I can redirect my own children from this train wreck.

Anonymous said...

There's a huge pile of evidence that we should be doing exactly the opposite: opening the doors and letting anyone in who wants to give it a shot. Entrance standards and teacher prep have almost no correlation with who ultimately flourishes as a teacher. Google "Most likely to succeed" by Malcolm Gladwell for an eye opening take on teacher prep.

John Russ said...

Teach Kentucky in Jefferson Co. is and has been recruiting high achieving college graduates from around the country to come and work in local public schools. Students participate in the alternative certification program at UofL. TeachKy partners with JCPS and other districts but is an independent, non-profit organization. Unlike Teach for America, TeachKY recruits those who want to stay in the profession.
Most of its participants go into high poverty middle and high schools.