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Teacher training standards getting tougher

Across the country and in Albany, the push is on to improve the quality of the adult standing in front of a classroom of young people.Now, Albany wants to tighten the standards for those who are admitted to teacher training programs. Some training programs may close as has happened before when the Board of Regents looked at results.

Wendy Paterson says Buffalo State and other SUNY schools have already done that. Paterson says her school and other SUNY schools have toughened their requirements.

Paterson speaks from the experience of 30 years in a classroom and status as dean of Buffalo State's School of Education. She says teachers must not only know how to teach but know the material.

"Understanding how math works, understanding the concepts of science, being literate, reading and writing well, communicating orally. Those kinds of basic knowledge strands that run throughout a comprehensive education program," Paterson says.

Paterson says she can walk into a classroom and within five minutes know if the adult in the room is an effective teacher and know if there is the teacher-student engagement so essential to learning.

She says ty also have to know how to manage students in tough schools in urban areas who may be disengaged from school.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.