AL education official feels 'very good’ about teacher preparation

Education official “feels very good” about teacher preparation

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Alabama State Schools Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey said Tuesday he feels "very good” about teacher preparation for the classroom. This comes after the Alabama State Department of Education released a report surveying how well teachers are prepared.

“We’re actually very pleased with the teacher report cards or the teacher institution report cards," Mackey explained. He did say, however there are some areas Alabama teachers need to work on.

“I keep talking about math, math, math," Mackey pushed. “There’s no question that we really do need to focus on mathematics and science.”

The report cards included survey responses from first-year teachers and officials where they taught. It surveyed how many times teachers took certification tests before passing.

For example, one report card shows for the English language arts teacher certification test, out of 128 test takers 124 passed after one attempt. For the Sciences teacher certification test, out of 34 test takers 28 passed after one attempt.

"We really want to focus on mathematics and science and make sure that our teachers are getting the content they need so that they pass on the first or second attempt,” Mackey went on.

The survey also asked teachers questions like how well they “practice the profession in an ethical manner,” “engage learners in critical thinking,” and “use assessment to engage learners in their own growth.”

You can click here to view the report cards from each individual college on the state department’s website.

The report cards also show how teachers who graduated from individual colleges did. Mackey said sometimes the hard sciences like math and social studies are taught outside of the college of education in most institutions. Many times the colleges of education do not have influence over what is taught in those hard science classes.

"Our next step is to reach out to those institutions at every level, including the provost and presidents’ offices to really make sure they are focusing on the areas where we need that content strength,” Mackey explained.

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