The University of the District of Columbia's student-teacher program was ranked "weak" by the National Council on Teacher Quality.
Kate Walsh, president of NCTQ, says the group evaluated approximately 10 percent of teacher training programs in the country.
The University of the District of Columbia, Mount St. Mary's University in Maryland, and the College of William and Mary in Virginia were all rated "weak" in the study.
The University of Maryland, Baltimore County scored a "good" in the study, and Bridgewater College near Charlottesville, Va. received a "model" ranking.
Walsh says the focus was on the student teaching experience rather than the course content. The actual in-classroom training portion of teacher education is considered critical, where students training to be teachers get "real world" experience and develop their skills.
Students typically spend a semester in a classroom learning from mentors how to prepare a lesson, interact with children, and maintain order.
Some institutions don't have the basic components in place for student teachers to learn, however, such as effective teacher mentors or evaluation forms for feedback, she adds.
This leads to poorly prepared teachers. "We don't think it's acceptable for students to have to experience a poorly prepared teacher nor is it acceptable to put teachers in that position," she says. "A teacher that's going into the classroom with hours of quality practice behind him or her already is going to be at a great advantage over someone who has not had such practice."
The report recommends raising admission standards as well as a more rigorous selection of mentor teachers.
National Council on Teacher Quality Rankings
|D.C. ||University of the District of Columbia ||Weak |
|Maryland||University of Maryland, Baltimore County ||Good |
| ||Mount St. Mary's University ||Weak |
| ||Salisbury University ||Weak |
|Virginia||Bridgewater College ||Model |
| ||College of William and Mary ||Weak |
| ||Longwood University ||Poor |
Rankings provided from the NCTQ