A new review of the nation's teacher-training programs finds many do not adequately prepare would-be educators for the classroom.
According to the study, the programs do produce almost triple the number of graduates needed.
The National Council on Teacher Quality review is a scathing assessment of colleges' education programs and their admission standards, training and value. The report, which drew immediate criticism, was designed to be provocative and urges leaders at teacher-training programs to rethink what skills would-be educators need to be taught to thrive in the classrooms of today and tomorrow.
"Through an exhaustive and unprecedented examination of how these schools operate, the review finds they have become an industry of mediocrity, churning out first-year teachers with classroom management skills and content knowledge inadequate to thrive in classrooms" with an ever-increasing diversity of ethnic and socioeconomic students, the report's authors wrote.
Only 13 Michigan colleges received a rating in the report because of limitations with getting enough data to evaluate them in each of the study's standards.
Democrat Markell said: "We have to attract the best candidates" possible.
Among the council's other findings:
-- Only a quarter of education programs limit admission to students in the top half of their high school class. The remaining three quarters of programs allow students who fared poorly in high school to train as teachers.
-- 3-out-of-4 teacher training programs do not train potential educators how to teach reading based on the latest research. Instead, future teachers are left to develop their own methods.
-- Fewer than 1-in-9 programs for elementary educators are preparing students to teach Common Core State Standards, the achievement benchmarks for math and reading that have been adopted in 45 states and the District of Columbia. For programs preparing high school teachers, that rate is roughly a third of programs.
The National Council on Teacher Quality, an advocacy group founded in 2000 to push an education overhaul that challenges the current system, has on its board veterans of the administrations of Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.