The Commercial Appeal
U of M ranks high
After taking a hit last year for its teacher training program, the University of Memphis has to be beaming over U.S. News & World Report ranking the program among the highest performing in the nation.
The publication compiled the rankings after joint research with the National Council on Teacher Quality.
The university earned three stars out of a possible four in its program for undergraduate elementary teachers and its graduate program for secondary teachers. Only 12 other universities scored as high in the 105-page report, which is openly critical of the nation’s teacher training programs.
The ranking is a significant accomplishment for a program that last fall, according to data released by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, was listed among 12 teacher training programs with low marks.
Given the preponderance of area teachers that emerged from the U of M and the heightened push to get more effective teachers into classrooms, the value of the latest ranking should not be underestimated.
While U.S. News research did not analyze data to show how program graduates performed once they were hired, that should not diminish its significance. From a practical standpoint it means students interested in becoming educators will get value for their tuition in terms of instruction and preparation for the more stringent classroom expectations for teachers.
All graduates will not succeed, but it will not be because the U of M teacher training program was deficient.