Thursday, February 26, 2004

Are higher standards in colleges of education to come? 

Yes, thinks Joanne Jacobs. Reporting on this story by Jill Stewart from the San Francisco Chronicle suggests that student teachers are being graduated who cannot do long division.
. . . One problem is that skills such as arithmetic are rejected by many teachers as "drill." Professor (David) Klein blames UC and CSU teacher colleges who hammered that view into teachers.

At Cal State Northridge, Klein is required to allow the use of calculators during finals. "My students who are going to become middle-school teachers leave Cal State Northridge unable to do long division or to multiply. ... Then they go off to teach math to teenagers -- but can't do it."
Does it make sense to spend an extra $7000-$10000 per student to send them to a state university or land-grant university instead of a community college? Do we need Ph.D.s in math to teach ninth-grade algebra to those that didn't learn it the first time? I agree with Jacobs; it also makes me wonder whether the forced integration of MnSCU is a good idea.