Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fixing science and math preparation begins with elementary school teachers

We’ve been saying that the under-performance of public education isn’t just a high school problem for years.

Now, a national research group has published a report that agrees with the obvious – and with us.

Education Week says a new report from the “Center for American Progress” shows you won’t get good math and science preparation at any school level if kids have elementary school teachers who are weak in those academic areas.

The new report points out that elementary school teachers can get a degree and be certified after taking an inadequate amount of coursework in math.

We pointed this very problem out following the August 8, 2005 meeting of the Kentucky legislature’s Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee (EAARS). A discussion pointed during the meeting out that it is possible for a teacher to graduate from our education schools and become certified after taking just one, extremely undemanding math course in college – something called “elementary math.” This is taught below the level of college algebra.

Indications are that this course is very undemanding and appears aimed at people who hate math and cannot do math.

Most recently, we mentioned this problem here.

Kentucky’s current requirements for elementary teachers create a set up for people who are math phoebes to get into teaching – a situation virtually guaranteed to create problems for students that will lock those kids out of any chance to go into the areas of science, technology, math and science – the so-called STEM areas.

We’ve been pointing this out for over half a decade. Now, others agree.

No comments: