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Are Higher Standards for Future Teachers the Answer?

(Source: Jason Weinstein)

Before they get to teach the class, the next generation of teachers will have to be at the head of the class as students - at least those who want to be trained at SUNY schools.

Last week the SUNY Board of Trustees approved new admissions standards that would require prospective teachers to have a minimum 3.0 grade point average as a college undergraduate and an entry assessment, such as the Graduate Record Examinations, or GRE.

"Those are good ideas. I don't think those ideas in and of themselves will magically produce Socrates but I think they are good steps," said S.G. Grant, Dean of the BU Graduate School of Education.

Others support the idea of higher standards but don't see test scores and GPA as the whole picture.

"It wasn't discussed with the faculty. These changes were done without talking to the people who are actually working with these students," said Catherine Klein of the New York State Union of Teachers.

"I don't think it's the whole picture. I don't think it's a sufficient way to look at this. There's a lot of skills and attributes and traits that teachers have that make them good teachers that really have nothing to do with their GPAs," said Broome-Tioga BOCES
Superintendent Allen Buyck.

What Buyck says is important is that what future teachers are learning is aligned with what New York state K-12 schools are teaching, such as the Common Core curriculum, and how, like on-line learning, and online assessments.

"I think there's an art to teaching, the relationship the teacher has with students, the ability to talk with them, to work with them," said Buyck.

"I think everybody is invested in having great teachers. There doesn't seem to be any magic formula for producing them," said Grant.

****In Broome County, Jason Weinstein, FOX 40 HD News****

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