NCTQ study sees turnaround for teacher math education

NCTQ study sees turnaround for teacher math education

NCTQ study sees turnaround for teacher math education

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In a new study released today by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), a high-quality math education ranks as one of the three key priorities for federal government in terms of improving teaching and learning across the nation.

The report, known as “3/1: Rethinking Secondary Mathematics,” argues that the increased emphasis on student achievement for all students – particularly those from disadvantaged communities – has created a challenge for teacher preparation programs designed to produce well-rounded students who can succeed in college- and career-ready math.

The NCTQ study outlines a number of recommendations for federal government, state governments and educators, including reducing inequities in the math teacher pipeline; leveraging resources to increase enrollment in high-quality math teacher preparation programs; improving the alignment of math teacher preparation to state standards; and implementing greater transparency to evaluate teacher preparation programs on their performance against these benchmarks.

“Not only are many teacher preparation programs failing to prepare high-quality teachers, they are also not delivering equitable levels of math instruction for students,” said Katie Wolf, a senior policy analyst at NCTQ and author of the report. “This gap is devastating for students, schools and districts, but it can also leave a teacher shortage because experienced teachers who have left underperforming programs can no longer find high-quality jobs in public schools.”

The vast majority of teacher preparation programs are now required to undertake a minimum of 20 professional development hours per year, which, in total, add up to around 300 hours. But according to NCTQ, if all math teacher preparation programs in the United States took into account full incorporation of mathematics content in their graduate courses, many could increase the number of hours they spend on mathematics to around 500 per year. The report concluded, “Given the important role that mathematics plays in all student achievement, as well as the challenges facing teachers seeking high-quality math education, the commitment to quality math education is especially critical.”

NAE — the organization whose members are the largest teachers’ union, with active membership in every state and territory — released its own report — “No More Forgotten: Students who begin math below the proficient level do worse on tests.” The report, issued by the National Education Association Education Policy Center, found that while America’s students started high school with a base level of mathematical competency, many went on to have their scores deteriorate and continued to experience huge academic gaps between themselves and their peers as they progressed through high school. The report recommended “quickly” implementing a three-year kindergarten to third grade curriculum “that includes phonics, mathematics, and science.”

SOURCE: NCTQ and NEEPC.

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