The National Council for Teacher Quality released reports today on teacher training programs in Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico, as part of an ongoing study of teacher training programs. The report on New Mexico looked at each of the eight institutions with teacher preparation programs and, without quite saying so, flunked all but the University of New Mexico. However, even UNM was criticized for inadequate training for mathematics instruction in grades 7 and 8.
Two Major Findings: 1. "New Mexico’s teacher preparation programs have admission standards that are so low as to be meaningless."
2. "No preparation program in the state ensures that aspiring elementary teachers know the science of reading instruction and understand elementary mathematics content at a depth that is sufficient for instruction."
The report has a brief section on each of the eight teacher training programs and concludes that only the University of New Mexico has adequate preparation for teachers in reading and math.
New Mexico State University, which is the second largest program in the state was evaluated as follows:
1. "No preparation is provided in the science of reading"
2. Coursework in math teaching preparation "does not cover essential topics and lacks depth."
3. "One course (in math teaching preparation) does not use a textbook and one course uses a methods textbook"
4. "preparation program does not verify that teacher candidates know content at a depth adequate for instruction."
The Albuquerque Journal had story ("Report Rips N.M Teacher Colleges")this morning by Andrea Schoellkopf summarizing the National Council for Teacher Quality report, plus an interview with several persons in New Mexico, including the interim dean of education at NMSU, who defended the university's program.
In a different report, on how state policies impact the retention of effective new teachers, by the same think tank, (http://www.nctq.org/stpy08/reports/stpy_newmexico.pdf) the authors rate New Mexico teacher training as follows:
Identifying effective teachers: C-
Retaining effective teachers: D
Eliminating ineffective teachers B
Overall rating: C
New Mexico is ranked 48th in education among the 50 states in the American Legislative Exchange Council report card for 2008. And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce this year gives New Mexico an "F" in its for overall academic achievement, and an "F" for the academic achievement of low income and minority students, and an "F" for the return on investment per dollar spent.