John Humphries
Press Release

National Group Concludes Current DPI Leadership Continues to Fail to Prepare New Wisconsin Teachers

Candidate for State Superintendent John Humphries released the following statement in response to the NCTQ report concluding most Wisconsin teacher training programs are failing to prepare new elementary teachers:

By - Dec 7th, 2016 11:03 pm

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), has released its 2016 report evaluating the quality of undergraduate programs that prepare elementary teachers. It highlights just how far behind Wisconsin has fallen.

Our problems are particularly troubling in teaching elementary reading, an area where, under the leadership of Tony Evers, Wisconsin has dropped from top 10 to 25th in the nation.

  • As with prior NCTQ reports, there are no A+ training programs in Wisconsin.
  • Just 28% of Wisconsin’s programs got an A rating, well below the national average.
  • 15 programs got a D or F rating (using letter grades or pass/fail), meaning that hundreds of new teachers enter Wisconsin schools without the training needed to teach children to read.
  • Just 11 Wisconsin programs earned a C or better.

In 2007, the NCTQ termed Wisconsin’s teacher preparation programs “languishing.” Then-Deputy State Superintendent Tony Evers responded, “”Languishing is not an accurate term. I think the department (DPI) has proven to be a leader in their outcomes-driven licensing and preparation system.”

Almost a decade later, impartial analyses like those from NCTQ, along with Wisconsin’s disappointing elementary reading outcomes, have proven him dead wrong. In fact these reports are a clear sign of a major problem in our state.

Candidate for State Superintendent John Humphries stated, “The NCTQ report marks yet another missed opportunity by the current DPI leadership to improve teacher training in Wisconsin. How long will we ignore this critical need? Let’s stop accepting the status quo because it protects favored interest groups and instead make sure our most important educational asset – our teachers – are prepared and supported.”

Humphries also expressed dismay at the apparent lack of follow-through on a 2011 law (Wisconsin Act 166) requiring DPI to create a system to evaluate teacher preparation programs and to publicly report the results of a test of reading knowledge for new graduates.

“Had Tony Evers not ignored the will of the legislature over the past five years perhaps he would have identified – and taken action to resolve – the failures highlighted by the new NCTQ report. Given the appalling lack of reading proficiency in our state, I would think that Tony Evers would have used every opportunity to improve teacher training.”

“The path for Wisconsin students is clear–we need new leadership at DPI who takes seriously the need for improvement in our colleges of education.”

The NCTQ “Board of Directors and Advisory Board are composed of Democrats, Republicans and Independents, all of whom believe that policy changes are overdue in the recruitment and retention of teachers.”

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