Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Teacher Pipeline: Quantity of Quality?

On April 17th, Dean Metcalf was interviewed by Las Vegas' Channel 8 News about the national decline of enrollment in Teacher Education Programs.  Clark County School District plans to hire over 2,000 new teachers in the 2014-2015 school year in order to meet the increase of expected student enrollments.  Dean Metcalf has been involved in several meetings as of late to discuss the increase in CCSD teachers, and how both traditional and alternative Teacher Education Programs can aid CCSD in the recruitment, preparation, and retainment of the projected amount of teachers needed.

As of this past year, UNLV College of Education graduated around 300 new teachers. Currently, just over 98% of our graduating teachers acquire positions in CCSD. In an e-mail to COE faculty, Dean Metcalf related his response to the reporter's request for justification at the relatively low number of teachers coming through UNLV's "teacher pipeline."

"My answer noted that the teachers who graduated from our programs last year (2012-13) would have entered the program from one to up to almost three years earlier.  At that time, school budgets were horrible, education was enforcing higher entry standards and more rigorous exit tests and assessments for licensure, and teachers and schools were continually subjected to negative critiques from nearly all quarters. In parallel to this, university budgets were reduced across the board, but in many places--UNLV included--these were focused most severely on colleges of education. As a result, the capacity of teacher education institutions to prepare educators for licensure was greatly reduced (in our own case by just less that 40%).  In this context, it isn't really surprising that the total number of teachers produced, either by our College or across the country, generally declined."
--Dean Metcalf

Despite the challenges that the country has faced in regards to preparing the next generation of educators, UNLV College of Education has remained steadfast in making sure students receive the quality of education that will produce the caring teachers CCSD needs.   While Dean Metcalf is becoming increasingly involved in the discussion on the teacher pipeline, he is adamant that the UNLV College of Education will continue to produce quality over quantity, in order to further help CCSD improve the education of young Nevadans.

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