“The results were dismal,” said Kate Walsh, president of the council. “There are many shortfalls in the American system.”
The quality of student teaching programs nationwide was of particular concern, Walsh said. Students in 70 percent of the student teaching programs reviewed got support from program staff and teachers at the schools where they were working, according to the report. Only 7 percent of the student teaching programs nationwide offered their students strong support.
Teachers nationwide cite student teaching as a key experience in their training, Walsh said. Despite that, she said, education programs aren't offering prospective teachers the support they need.
“If a teacher has a good experience, it's generally because they lucked out,” she said. “They happened to get a great mentor.”
Bright spots in state
The report did offer bright spots for Oklahoma. Programs at Oklahoma Baptist University, Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma were listed as highly ranked, earning at least three out of four possible stars.
OSU's undergraduate elementary program and OU's undergraduate secondary program were highlighted in the review's section for bargain teacher preparatory programs.
Although she congratulated the three universities the ranking highlighted, state schools Superintendent Janet Barresi said she was concerned about a lack of high-quality student teaching programs and courses to help prospective teachers deal with students who are struggling with reading.
“We look forward to working with our colleagues in higher education to improve programs that will benefit all of the students in our state,” Barresi said.