Teachers’ Test Scores Going Up
There’s good news in this article on teacher quality:
The average SAT verbal scores of prospective teachers passing the Praxis tests to teach English, science, social studies, math and art from 2002 to 2005 were higher than those of prospective teachers in the mid-1990s and were also higher than the average SAT scores for all college graduates, the report said.
I wonder how much of this improvement has to do with alternative teacher certification, which allows people who majored in subjects other than education, and who may have work experience in other fields, to become teachers. (Statistics on the growing numbers of teachers who have completed alternative routes are available at www.teach-now.org.) Under alternative certification, a retired scientist could teach a high school biology course or a history professor could teach AP Government without having to go back to college for an undergraduate education degree.
The article notes that the SAT scores of potential elementary school and physical education teachers are still below the average for college graduates. For physical education, I don’t think we need to care. Teaching kids about basketball and teamwork just doesn’t require a lot of complex reasoning. But maybe we still have work to do at the elementary level.