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Calvin Leads State in Teacher Ed
April 17, 2006

A recent story in the Detroit News on how state colleges prepare prospective teachers was accompanied by a chart that rated the state's colleges on the teacher certification exam for a period from October 2001 to July 2004.

During that time period the number-one school in the state on the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification was Calvin College!

Calvin had 1,187 of 1,237 students pass the test during that period for a 96% pass rate. Next was the University of Michigan at 95.8%. Kalamazoo College, Michigan State University and Hope College rounded out the top five.

The April 16 Detroit News story began thusly:

"State officials want to crack down on state colleges to ensure they are preparing future teachers to meet the state and nation's rising education standards."

Until recently, the News noted, Michigan didn't report the number of prospective teachers from each university who failed certification exams, and it ignored a federal requirement to identify low-performing teacher colleges.

Now the state plans to change that situation.

Michael Flanagan, the state superintendent of public instruction, wants to create a system to evaluate and rate how the state of Michigan's colleges and universities are preparing prospective teachers.

Calvin education professors say that Flanagan will find at Calvin an education department that is one of the college's oldest and best-respected departments.

About 20 percent of Calvin's 4,200 students are in the teacher education program and those students can choose from over 30 subject area specializations.

In addition more than 200 local schools partner with Calvin to provide classroom field experiences.

An upcoming highlight of the school year for Calvin education students is the annual Teacher Commissioning Ceremony, which will be held in the college's Fine Arts Center on Friday, May 19 at 7:30 pm.