Thursday, April 06, 2006

Teaching Illiteracy

If our goal is to attract the highest-caliber teaching talent into our nation's public schools, this isn't good news:
AIR released an important new study in January detailing the literacy levels of students about to graduate from college. While most of the press coverage focused on the headache-inducing, depressingly-low overall scores (e.g. only 4 in 10 students finishing 4-year degrees scored as "proficient" in prose and document literacy; quantitative scores were even worse), there's a lot of additional good information to be found deeper in the report, particularly in the tables that break down the numbers by various student characteristics.

Some of the most telling data relate to the gaps between white and black students; there's a new Chart You Can Trust detailing those numbers on the main Web site today, along with the transcript of our recent national standards debate, new ideas on preschool implementation, and an interesting story from a community college professor in New York.
Consider reading the whole thing. (Especially the table.)

If we're serious about attracting the best teaching talent into the classroom, then some way has got to be found to attract the best students into teaching.

Related: Joanne Jacobs
See this week's edition of The Carnival Of Education here and our latest posts over there.