Raising the bar for teacher candidates

Blog readers know that one reason I favor like Teach for America and various urban teaching fellows programs is that they help attract men and women with strong academic backgrounds to the profession. So I was intrigued by today’s Education Week Online report on proposals coming from the governor and state school chief of Iowa. Here’s what they’re proposing:

“[Governor] Branstad, a Republican, has proposed requiring a minimum 3.0 grade-point average for admission to teacher-education colleges in the state. . .He’s also called for creating a more rigorous screening process for candidates for teacher education programs; establishing new teacher-education scholarships with the goal of luring more educators into high-need subjects; requiring teachers to take more subject-specific coursework and classes in core academic subjects; and placing more of an emphasis on in-class training for aspiring teachers, and giving them access to mentors, among other changes. Selective admissions requirements for aspiring educators – coupled with ongoing training and support – is a staple of some high-performing countries’ systems, as Ed Week has reported.
A 3.0 threshold doesn’t strike me as unreasonably high, and I also like the emphasis of on the job training and mentoring.
Here’s a link to the article: blogs.edweek.org/

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