ATLANTA -- School Superintendent Linda Schrenko told lawmakers
yesterday that she would like to see more extensive classroom
evaluations of first-year teachers to see whether they're
prepared for the profession.
Schrenko commented during a HouseSenate Appropriations
Committee meeting after being questioned by lawmakers about
reports that many of Georgia's top students are avoiding
teaching as a profession.
"We need to better test our teachers," said Sen. Don Cheeks,
D-Augusta, who cited statistics showing students entering the
state's colleges of education have among the lowest grade-point
averages and Scholastic Assessment Test scores of any group.
"Are we getting our money's worth?" he asked.
Schrenko called it a loaded question, but added, "We need to
set a higher standard for our teachers coming out of college."
The University System of Georgia Board of Regents is currently
in the middle of a year-long study on teacher recruitment,
preparation and retention.
Surveys show Georgia teachers are as well-educated as national
counterparts. About half have at least a master's degree.
Many are teaching classes outside of their field of study,
though. For instance, in Georgia, two-thirds of high school
physical science teachers do not hold a degree in that subject.
The same is true for nearly half of history teachers and almost
a quarter of math teachers.
Studies show more than a third of new Georgia teachers drop out
of the profession within five years, leading to shortages in
some key areas. …