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Kentucky Colleges Should Improve Recruitment, Training for Would-Be Teachers, Education Leaders Say


Kentucky colleges and universities need to do a better job recruiting and training good teachers, said Bob King, president of the state's Council on Postsecondary Education.

King told the Kentucky Board of Education on Tuesday that there's an issue with many college students studying to become elementary school teachers in the state. The Council on Postsecondary Education is a state agency that coordinates and monitors Kentucky's state universities and colleges.

CPE data shows that among the 10 ten majors at Kentucky's public institutions, elementary education majors have the lowest ACT averages.

“Students that go into those programs have the lowest ACT scores. They have the highest proportion of students who were admitted to the universities in need of remediation," King says.

Kentucky universities need to be more selective when admitting students for education and the programs themselves need to change, he says.

“We need to do a better job in our institutions both in recruiting and training teachers and then supporting them through a much more extensive interaction with professional development. Until we do that, I fear we’re not going to make the kind of progress we need to make,” he says.

King’s remarks followed those made by Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday, who said the state needs to improve professional development for teachers.

Many educators say they need more targeted professional development to educate minority and special needs studentswho are struggling to close the achievement gap, according to a 2013 teacher survey.

Kentucky officials reported to the school board Tuesday that minority and special student population scores aren't making the necessary academic progress to meet the state's multi-year goals. Holliday said the state recognizes this problem and is working to change professional development to better serve teachers.

Around 65 percent of teachers surveyed say "professional development is differentiated to meet the needs of individual teachers." This is among the lowest rates of agreement in the "professional development" category and something that Holliday says the state needs to address.

(Image via Shutterstock)