No Common Denominator: The Preparation of Elementary Teachers in Mathematics by America’s Education Schools, June 2008

National Council on Teacher Quality (3MB PDF):

American students’ chronically poor performance in mathematics on international tests may begin in the earliest grades, handicapped by the weak knowledge of mathematics of their own elementary teachers. NCTQ looks at the quality of preparation provided by a representative sampling of institutions in nearly every state. We also provide a test developed by leading mathematicians which assesses for the knowledge that elementary teachers should acquire during their preparation. Imagine the implications of an elementary teaching force being able to pass this test.

Brian Maffly:

Most of the nation’s undergraduate education programs do not adequately prepare elementary teachers to teach mathematics, according to a study released Thursday by an education-reform advocacy group. Utah State University is among the 83 percent of surveyed programs that didn’t meet what the National Council on Teacher Quality calls an emerging “consensus” on what elementary teachers must learn before joining professional ranks.
“There’s a long-standing belief in our country that elementary teachers don’t really need to get much math. The only thing you need to teach second-grade math is to learn third-grade math,” said Kate Walsh, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based group. “We haven’t put much attention to fact the elementary teachers are the first math teachers kids get. Their foundational skills have long-term ramifications whether that child will be able to do middle and high school math.”
The NCTQ’s findings are similar to a reading report the group released two years ago, claiming that 85 percent of undergraduate elementary education programs fail to adequately prepare students to teach reading.

Joanne has more. It will be interesting to see of the Madison Math Task Force addresses the question of teacher content knowledge. Related:

Teacher Preparation and Licensure: “EDUCATOR QUALITY TAKES ANOTHER SLAM: ABYSMAL GRE SCORES ACROSS THE BOARD”

National Council on Teacher Quality: A letter to the editor in today’s Wall Street Journal brings more attention to the low academic performance of the average teacher with more meaningful data than just how well (or poorly) aspiring teachers perform on the SAT. On the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) which many teachers take before entering … Continue reading Teacher Preparation and Licensure: “EDUCATOR QUALITY TAKES ANOTHER SLAM: ABYSMAL GRE SCORES ACROSS THE BOARD”

Wisconsin “Languishing” on Policies Affecting Teachers

National Council on Teacher Quality: [864K PDF Report] Area 1 – Meeting NCLB Teacher Quality Objectives: Grade C Wisconsin has better data policies than many states, which can help it ameliorate inequities in teacher assignments. The state’s subject matter preparation policies for future elementary teachers need improvement. Its requirements for future high school teachers are … Continue reading Wisconsin “Languishing” on Policies Affecting Teachers

Teacher Rules, Roles & Rights National Collective Bargaining Searchable Database

National Council on Teacher Quality: the portal is the first of its kind-empowering anyone to analyze and compare the day-to-day operations of teachers and schools in a single district or all fifty. You can choose to download the full text of a teacher contract, just the salary schedule, and even the school calendar. Or perhaps … Continue reading Teacher Rules, Roles & Rights National Collective Bargaining Searchable Database

Searchable Database of Big City School Board Policies and Teacher Contracts

Mike Antonucci: It was a big job, but the National Council on Teacher Quality has put together a database that will allow you to “easily search the contents of collective bargaining agreements and board policies from the nation’s 50 largest public school districts.” NCTQ will unveil it in DC on January 4. I’m guessing that … Continue reading Searchable Database of Big City School Board Policies and Teacher Contracts

What Education Schools Aren’t Teaching About Reading–and What Elementary Teachers Aren’t Learning

National Council on Teacher Quality: In this groundbreaking report, NCTQ studied a large representative sampling of ed schools to find out what future elementary teachers are–and are not–learning about reading instruction. The report, the most comprehensive of its kind, determined that education schools are ignoring the principles of good reading instruction that would prepare prospective … Continue reading What Education Schools Aren’t Teaching About Reading–and What Elementary Teachers Aren’t Learning