Senator proposes to raise program admissions standards

Tenn. Sen. Dolores Gresham proposed Senate Bill 664, which would require future teacher education program candidates to attain a composition score of 25 or higher on the ACT for program acceptance.
If passed, Senate Bill 664 is projected to take effect statewide July 1.
Gresham was a leader in the 2010 Complete College Act that encourages Tennessee citizens to pursue a post-secondary education and graduate within a reasonable amount of time.
However, her proposal for Senate Bill 664 limits students from teacher preparation programs by applying a requirement for an ACT score that is higher than the state and national average.
“We already have requirements in place which assure that applicants are screened, not to mention, students are already required to make a minimum score of 22 on the ACT,” Julie Baker, interim assistant dean of education, said.
The college of education recently revised approximately 30 education courses to correspond with the newly implemented Ready2Teach program.
According to Tech trends, in fall 2012, 99 of 137 freshman that took the ACT, scored less than 25.    
Since receiving the news last week, the college of education has worked hard to oppose the legilation.
“We have been calling and sending emails so we can try to put a stop to this. We want students to know this information so they can have a voice in the policymaking,” Baker said.
New changes to the college of education could affect Tech and other statewide universities if Senate Bill 664 passes.
For more information, contact Sen.Gresham by email at sen.dolores.gresham@capitol.tn.gov.