To the editor:
Wednesday’s Review-Journal article, “Teacher training panned,” stated that teacher preparation programs in our state institutions weren’t adequately training the next generation of educators. Debating the flaws in the methods used in data collection and analysis in this nationwide study will ultimately prove pointless. Rather, I’d like to share some real data collected locally from recent graduates of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas teacher preparation programs. This data focused on a single yet comprehensive aspect of teaching: success.
Near the end of this school year, the Clark County School District conducted a survey of all first-year (newly licensed) teachers, asking them an important question about their preparation for becoming a teacher. The survey item read: “To what extent do you agree with the following statement: The program that prepared me to become a teacher significantly contributed to my success throughout this first year.” The available responses included: Strongly agree, agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, disagree and strongly disagree.
The surveys were sorted by the particular university that provided the teacher education program. The results for 170 first-year teachers who attended UNLV, assigning a value of 1 (strongly disagree) through 6 (strongly agree), put the average score from UNLV respondents at 5.45. Teachers who received their training from UNLV were overwhelmingly positive in their responses. Translated to a letter grade, UNLV received an A from our graduates.
Almost 91 percent of UNLV teacher education graduates agreed with the statement that “the program … significantly contributed to my success throughout this first year (of teaching).” Of that number, 29 percent strongly agreed, meaning two-thirds of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed.
Only 9 percent of UNLV’s graduates reported any level of disagreement with the statement.
The raw data: 50 strongly agreed, 62 agreed, 43 somewhat agreed, seven somewhat disagreed, six disagreed and two strongly disagreed. This isn’t surprising to those of us associated with the UNLV teacher education programs, including our collaborating professionals in the schools where our students get their clinical practice teaching alongside master teachers.
In 2012, the Association of Teacher Educators honored our program as one of the top two “Distinguished Programs in Teacher Education” in the country.
The writer is chairman of the UNLV Department of Teaching and Learning.
Trayvon Martin trial
To the editor:
I watched CNN as the commentator displayed photos of Trayvon Martin as a cute little boy smiling, and I recall many other pictures of him being shown as a young boy being kissed by what appeared to be a male relative. Then CNN showed a small clip of George Zimmerman staring without expression during the jury selection process in his trial on charges of murdering Mr. Martin. This is how CNN works. The network precludes who it favors and displays enough influence with its “innocent” favoring of photo content, in this case Trayvon Martin.
It’s obvious CNN is simply going along with its questionable leader, President Barack Obama, who said, “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.” That mindless statement, totally without qualification, ended Mr. Zimmerman’s chance for a fair trial. What’s most incredible is who would make such an endorsement, based on Trayvon Martin’s prior criminal record, which indicated breaking and entering was common practice.
CNN failed to show that Mr. Obama’s unthinking statement was made of a 6-foot man wearing a hood in a dark neighborhood that Mr. Zimmerman was employed to protect. Need I remind you that Mr. Obama’s closest friend, Eric Holder, is the nation’s top prosecutor. How can justice possibly prevail under this runaway government?
NORTH LAS VEGAS