No Easy A's for UW Teacher Candidates

Nov 14, 2014

Grade inflation is a problem at teacher training programs around the country, but not so much at the University of Wyoming’s College of Education.

That’s according to a report by the National Council on Teacher Quality—a think tank that pushes for tougher evaluations of classroom teachers—called “Easy A’s And What’s Behind Them.”

The report looked at more than 500 institutions across the country and found that teacher candidates are much more likely to earn high grades and receive honors than the broad student population.

But at UW, just 4.5 percent of education students earned honors, compared to about 9 percent of the university’s general undergraduate population.

College of Education Associate Dean Leslie Rush says one thing that lends rigor to the program is that students take lots of courses outside of the College of Education.

“Our students are taking a large amount of their content through different colleges,” says Rush. “They are taking mathematics courses from the math faculty, history courses from the history faculty, and music courses from the music faculty. So, I think they are getting a broad range of instruction.”

Rush also says a set of common assessments tied to standards set by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education contribute to UW’s satisfactory results on the report.

In June, UW received low marks in a National Council on Teacher Quality report on teacher preparedness.

On Thursday, the University’s Board of Trustees announced a new initiative to improve the College of Education’s status nationwide.