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.

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