Universities warn new teacher standards too steep

By Jeff Amy/The Associated Press

JACKSON — Some university leaders are warning that a plan to tighten academic requirements to become a teacher could create a shortage in Mississippi.

Gov. Phil Bryant, as part of his education package, wants to raise the minimum requirements for students to enter teacher preparation at Mississippi’s eight public universities.

Under bills pending in the Legislature, students would have to score 21 on the ACT and earn a 3.0 GPA in recent college courses. Now, some universities have lower requirements for GPA and ACT scores, and students can take another standardized test, the Praxis, instead of the ACT.

The state’s universities have warned the administration that more than half of current teacher education students wouldn’t qualify under the proposed standards, and are asking that they at least be phased in.