Not Making The Grade
Catherine Marshall wants to teach elementary education. She is going into her senior year at MU and doesn't think her education is below average. The National Council on Teacher Quality report, however, gave Missouri a "C" in teacher compensation and an overall grade of "D" in teacher training.
The report says that the state doesn't educate teachers in depth in any subject, but an MU dean disagrees.
"I think Mizzou has a good balance, but we work at it all the time," said Missouri College of Education Dean Carolyn Herrington.
According to Herrington, an advantage of the program is that students get to spend a lot of time in an actual classroom.
"I think one of the strongest things about Mizzou's College of Education is that we do student teach for an entire year instead of just a semester," she said.
The Missouri State Teachers Association says it wants other programs to follow Mizzou's lead and increase the hands-on part of elementary education.
"What we hear all the time is, 'I wish I'd had more time to spend in the classroom learning practical application techniques'," said Todd Fuller of the Missouri State Teacher's Association.
Both Fuller and Herrington agree that some of the criteria for the report doesn't accurately reflect education in Missouri.
"I think one of the reasons Missouri may have ranked low is because Missouri leaves a lot of decisions about schools should be made close to the student and close to the community," said Fuller.
The dean says she appreciates the report, but they won't make any drastic changes in their education progress.
"Well, I think real-world feedback is much more important than any national report," said Herrington.
Dean Herrington said she stays in close contact with mid-Missouri school boards and values their evaluations of Missouri's education program more than a national report. Twenty other schools nationwide joined Missouri and scored in the same "D" range. No school received an "A".