D.C. grads flunk ed school

Few would-be teachers earn an education degree in six years at the University of the District of Columbia, whose president wants to eliminate the education major.

Usually, 7 or 8 percent of the students who enroll in the department have graduated from it within six years, according to UDC data. Professors said that is primarily because many cannot pass a national standardized test of basic high school-level reading, writing and math skills.

In the early childhood education major, typically four to six of the approximately 150 students graduate each year.

President Allen Sessoms, who’s trying to raise standards at UDC, proposes replacing the education bachelor’s with a master’s degree in urban education.

Administrators say they are trying to break the cycle of training teachers who lack basic skills because they are products of D.C.’s schools, then return to teach in those schools if they manage to graduate.

Via NCTQ Bulletin.

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  1. Tracy W says:

    Only 7 to 8 percent in 6 years? That’s incredible! No wonder the President is considering radical change. Don’t know if it’s the right change, but kudos to him for taking on the scale of the problem.

  2. More than just a school in DC should “eliminate the education degree.” A training regimen on par with European and Asian schools – the likes of which we are always so jealous – should be adapted to American society and implemented.

  3. Americans won’t tolerate a system that tracks young children into a vocational track. “My baby’s a late bloomer!”

  4. Education schools at ALL colleges and universities should be eliminated.

  5. As a teacher, what they ought to do is require students to pass these basic skills tests as a requirement of GETTING IN to college–BEFORE they start taking classes for their degree. This way both the school would benefit from having students who CAN pass, and the students would not waste money on a degree they cannot ever obtain!

    Dedicated Elementary Teacher Overseas

  6. Why does anyone need a MA in “urban education”? Degree escalation is one reason colleges are so expensive.

  7. How can you fail to get a degree that has classes like “Child Development” and actually has projects that use dried macaroni, wire hangers and glue?

    It seems that U. of DC scrapes the bottom of the nation’s high school graduate pool’s barrel, and Education majors in general scrape the bottom of the college student pool’s barrel…

  8. I think urban education is a sub-specialty. The issues in an urban district are different from those in a suburban district, and my ed school experience is that the classes assume suburban. If it is a legitimate program, I don’t have a problem with it.

  9. What Eileen said (I’ve been saying it for years).

    Of course, one of the effects of such a change is that the DC schools would not graduate anyone qualified to enter ed school, which would both create a huge dearth of teachers willing to go teach in those schools and change the population to overwhelmingly from elsewhere.  Could be interesting (as in “may you live in interesting times”).