Low-ranking UTC education program may be at restart point as state officials try to better prepare teachers

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga School of Education could be at its restart point.

The program, which provides the bulk of 300 or so teachers hired by the Hamilton County Department of Education annually, has done a poor job of preparing student teachers to succeed in the classroom, research shows.

State education leaders say more needs to be done to ensure newly fledged teachers coming out of state training programs are ready for the classroom. And at a meeting this week at UTC, they called for more accountability for the schools that are teaching the teachers.

Having strong teachers is crucial. National and state-level research shows teacher quality greatly influences students' academic success.