Education Graduates `Guarantee' in Works Plan to Improve Teacher Qualifications
Salzer, James, The Florida Times Union
ATLANTA -- The University System of Georgia will guarantee its
education graduates, recommend for early-childhood certification
only those with academic minors in math and reading, and
aggressively recruit future teachers.
Those elements were included in a plan approved yesterday by
the state Board of Regents.
The plan caps the board's yearlong study of teacher
preparation, recruitment and retention.
Now, Chancellor Stephen Portch said, comes a "massive
implementation effort" by the system and its schools of
"My hope is the University System of Georgia will be regarded
as producing uniformly qualified teachers," Portch said.
"We may not be ahead of the curve in Georgia, but we're not
behind it," said Regent Tom Allgood of Augusta. "We are making
as much progress as anybody."
Several states are studying ways to improve the quality of
teachers, but Georgia's effort is among the most extensive in
the country, officials said.
Records and studies show students going into teaching generally
have, on average, lower Scholastic Assessment Test scores than
those going into other fields.
Once they graduate from college, many wind up teaching subjects
for which they are not fully prepared. About two-thirds of
physical science teachers, 49 percent of history teachers and 23
percent of mathematics teachers in Georgia do not have at least
an academic minor in the subjects they are teaching. …