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Kentucky's Teacher Education Efforts Get Mixed Results, Study Says


The programs that aim to prepare Kentucky teachers for the classroom got mixed reviews in a study by the National Council on Teacher Equality.The council reviewed 2,400 elementary, secondary and special education programs around the country.In Kentucky, 47 programs were evaluated at 37 different post secondary institutions.For a full review of the Kentucky programs that were evaluated, go here.Programs at the University of Louisville, Murray State University and the University of Kentucky received some of the highest rankings.  Some 17 programs, however, fell in the bottom half of programs reviewed and, therefore, received no ranking.Council on Postsecondary Education President Robert King said education officials are “very concerned” about those programs that are struggling and efforts are being made to improve the quality and effectiveness of teachers in the state.“I think the state is going to have to come to grips with the reality that if we are going to attract top performing young people into teaching, then we are going to have to offer real career pathways that allow for advancement through the profession over an extended period of time,” said King, whose agency oversees Kentucky's state higher education institutions. State education commissioner Terry Holliday said the report emphasizes the need for “overhaul of teacher preparation.”The state's K-12 schools must work closely with colleges and the state Education Professional Standards Board to give student teachers more quality in experience and first-year internships, he said.“Our universities are working hard to improve selection of potential candidates for teaching and improving the teacher preparation process," he said. Of the Kentucky programs that were evaluated, the graduate special education program at University of Louisville ranked highest at 18th in the nation.

Jacob Ryan is an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.