Pass / Fail | So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

National group says teacher training programs in California, nationwide are deficient

A fifth grade classroom at San Pedro Street Elementary.
A fifth grade classroom at San Pedro Street Elementary.
Rebecca Hill/KPCC

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A study out Tuesday by the National Council on Teacher Quality concluded that many teacher education programs in California and nationwide are mediocre and not worth attending.

The NCTQ examined more than a thousand programs for the study. The group’s president, Kate Walsh, says schools should be more selective of who they admit. Once in, Walsh said, training of future teachers is inadequate.

“Seventy percent of the institutions, of the programs in our sample, do not require their elementary (school) teacher to ever take a single science course,” she said.

Walsh said teacher education at UCLA and Loyola Marymount University falls under the mediocre category, a claim leaders at those institutions disagree with.

David Rattray of the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce says the teacher training study is flawed. His group’s working with 11 Southland teacher training programs.

“We see evidence of teachers graduating that are going into high schools and we see tremendous improvements in graduation rates," Rattray said. "So we’re seeing all sorts of evidence that they’re graduating very strong teachers.”

He says the upside of the study is that there is room for improving teacher education programs.