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Math teacher program receives national honor

(Dec. 7, 2000)   —   The U.S. Department of Education announced today (Dec. 7) that East Carolina University is a winner of the department's new National Awards Program for Effective Teacher Preparation.

In a ceremony held in Washington, D.C., education Secretary Richard W. Riley named ECU's Middle School Mathematics Teacher Preparation Program as one of four national winners of the award.

ECU shares the recognition with elementary education programs at Alverno College in Milwaukee, the Fordham University Graduate School of Education in New York, and Samford University in Birmingham, Ala.

"These cutting-edge programs will provide powerful examples for others seeking to ensure that their graduates make a measurable difference in the achievement of K-12 students," Riley said. He said the department "looked for programs that could provide compelling evidence that their graduates were effective classroom teachers capable of advancing the learning of all students."

In keeping with the department's priorities on reading and math, the first year of competition focused on the education programs that prepare elementary teachers or secondary mathematics teachers. Applicants were asked to demonstrate the link between their teachers preparation programs and their graduates' ability to improve student learning in reading and mathematics.

The ECU program is a partnership effort that combines the faculty and resources of the School of Education with the Department of Mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Ann Bullock, an ECU education professor and the head of the math teacher program, said the recognition is a credit to ECU's middle grades math program and shows that ECU "graduates are effective teachers and are well-prepared."

She said ECU competed for the award by submitting a report that contained interviews with school principals who employ ECU graduates, interviews with several recent graduates, case studies and data collected from end-of-grade testing in classes taught by teachers trained at ECU.

It was followed by a first hand visit to ECU in September by a four-member U.S. Department of Education team. In determining the finalists and subsequent winners, the department used a non-federal panel of experts and comprehensive site visits. A blue ribbon panel conducted the final review and made recommendations to Riley, who selected the final honorees.

"High quality teachers are critical to the academic success of students," Riley said in announcing the winners on Thursday. "More than half of the 2.2 million teachers needed over the next decade will be first-time teachers who need to be well-prepared to teach an increasingly diverse student population to high standards. The time is right to draw attention to those teacher preparation programs that are particularly effective in preparing teachers who can have a positive impact on learning for all students," he said.

The U.S. Department of Education, according to Riley, will study the winners and feature them at conferences and meetings. He said, "identifying effective teacher preparation programs and studying and disseminating what we learn from them will significantly advance efforts to improve teacher preparation in America."


Contact: ECU News Bureau | 252-328-6481