Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Better Tests for Teachers? Schrenko Urges Evaluation Upgrade

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Better Tests for Teachers? Schrenko Urges Evaluation Upgrade

Article excerpt

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. …

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