Itâ€™s easier to get into an education school than to become a college football player. Academic standards for teachers and NCAA athletes compared
Most prospective teachers do not even have to pass a “basic skills” test before entering an education school.
While the majority of states administer standardized basic skills tests – which generally assess mastery of eighth grade skills – most do so after candidates are already in education school or have finished college.
Source: State Teacher Policy Yearbook 2009, National Council on Teacher Quality
By contrast, all NCAA Division I athletes must meet a bar on standardized assessments of college-level skills. NCAA has a sliding scale: the higher the athleteâ€™s high school GPA, the lower his or her SAT score need be for eligibility: High school GPA in core academic courses
SAT score (reading and math combined)
A-/B+ or higher (3.55 or higher)
Source: NCAA Freshman-Eligibility Standards Quick Reference Sheet
NCAA Division I athletes not normally eligible if their GPA falls below 2.0. 3
Almost every state has at least one teacher preparation program whose admissions standards are lower than NCAA Division I eligibility requirements Examples: Alaska
U. of Alaska, Anchorage
Grambling State U.
Central State U.
U. Of Arkansas, Little Rock
Washington Adventist U.
Cheyney U. of PA
Grand Canyon U.
U. of Maine, Farmington
Rhode Island College
Pacific Union College
Colorado Christian U.
Bethany Lutheran College
Oglaga Lakota College
Harris-Stowe State U.
Alcorn State U.
Florida Memorial U.
U. of Great Falls
Dixie State U.
Dalton State U.
Virginia Union U.
Brigham Young U.
Sitting Bull College
College of St. Joseph
William Penn U.
New England College
City U. of Seattle
Northeastern Illinois U.
New Jersey City U.
West Virginia State U.
Calumet C. of St. Joseph
Western New Mexico U.
Silver Lake College
Great Basin College
Kentucky State U.
Sources: Title II Report, Department of Education, 2011.; Institutional Websites; National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Educational Data System, 2011.; NCAA Academic Eligibility Standards, 2011.
Combined SAT math and reading scores
Shouldn’t the nation’s elementary teachers far outscore Division I college athletes? 1200
U.S. College graduate average SAT combined scores, 2002-5 = 1085
900 U. Michigan athletes (19992001)
Virginia Tech U.S. elementary athletes (2003-5) teachers (2002-5)
Georgia Tech football players (2003-5)
Indiana U. football players (2001-3)
Sources: D. Gitomer, Teacher Quality in a Changing Policy Landscape: Improvements in the teacher pool (ETS, 2007); M. Knobler, “Many athletes lag far behind on SAT scores.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution December 28, 2008; www.centraltendencies.com, “College Athletes’ SAT and IQ Scores,” January 2, 2009. Only male athletes included.
â‰ˆ40% of teachers come from non-selective institutions; 0% of national college football champions do.
BCS national champions, 1999-2011
Teachers graduating in 2009
Proportion drawn from institutions of higher education whose studentsâ€™ median SAT/ACT scores fall below the national average. Sources: IPEDS database, Department of Education; Title II Report 2010, Department of Education. Teacher sample drawn from 1,100 schools of education for which SAT/ACT scores available and so probably underestimates proportion. All test score data from 2009 (most recent year available).
Why this matters “Our results suggest that recruiting teachers with stronger observed qualifications, e.g., math SAT scores or certification status, could substantially improve student achievement . . . Much, though not all, of the recent research examining teacher effectiveness concludes that some teachers’ attributes, such as higher test scores and greater teaching experience, will produce students with higher achievement.” (emphasis added) --D. Boyd et al., “The Narrowing Gap in New York City Teacher Qualifications and Implications for Student Achievement in High Poverty Schools,” National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper No. 14021, June 2008. 7
A sample of research on why selecting teachers on the basis of academic aptitude matters •
B. White et al. Leveling up: Narrowing the teacher academic capital gap in Illinois. Illinois Education Research Council, 2008.
Drew Gitomer, “Teacher Quality in a Changing Policy Landscape: Improvements in the Teacher Pool,” Educational Testing Service, 2007.
D. Goldhaber et al., NBPTS certification: Who applies and what factors are associated with success? Center for Reinventing Public Education working paper, 2004.
A.J. Wayne and P. Youngs, “Teacher characteristics and student achievement gains: A review.” Review of Educational Research, 2003.
Grover Whitehurst, “Scientifically based research on teacher quality: Research on teacher preparation and professional development,” Paper presented at the White House Conference on Preparing Teachers, 2002.
J. Kain and K. Singleton, “Equality of Education Revisited” New England Economic Review, May-June 1996.
R. Ferguson and H. Ladd “How and Why Money Matters: An Analysis of Alabama Schools,” In H. Ladd (ed). Holding Schools Accountable. Brookings Institution, 1996. 8
A sample of research on why selecting teachers on the basis of academic aptitude matters (continued) •
R. Greenwald et al. “The Effect of School Resources on Student Achievement” Review of Educational Research, 1996.
R. Ehrenberg and D. Brewer, “Do School and Teacher Characteristics Matter? Evidence From High School and Beyond” Economics of Education Review, 1994.
Ron Ferguson, “Paying for public education: New evidenceon how and why money matters,” Harvard Journal on Legislation, 1991.
R. Strauss and E. Sawyer, “Some New Evidence on Teacher and Student Competencies” Economics of Education Review, 1986.
M. McLaughlin and D. Marsh, “Staff development and school change,” Teachers College Record, 1978.
D. Winkler, “Educational Achievment and School Peer Composition,” Journal of Human Resources, 1975.
A. Summers and B. Wolfe, “Do schools make a difference?” American Economic Review, 1977.
Eric Hanushek, “Teacher characteristics and gains in student achievement: Estimation using micro-data,” American Economic Review, 1971. 9