Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the State University of New York (SUNY) Board of Trustees has adopted a measure submitted by the SUNY Chancellor to require new admission requirements for incoming teachers at SUNY colleges and universities. This action by the Board delivers on the Governor's 2013 State of the State commitment to continue to address teacher quality by raising the bar on recruitment standards.
"The quality of New York's higher education system depends on having the best and brightest teachers in our classrooms teaching our students," Governor Cuomo said. "These new admission requirements will help ensure that we are recruiting from exceptional candidates to educate our state's students. I applaud this action by SUNY to continue striving for higher standards and better results."
This action fulfills part of the New NY Education Reform Commission recommendation for the SUNY and CUNY teacher and principal preparation programs to increase admissions requirements. This will be done by using an entry assessment, such as the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) to verify that candidates are truly top tier and academically competitive with all graduate students, regardless of their intended profession. In addition, SUNY will raise the admissions requirement for teacher and principal preparation programs to a minimum GPA of 3.0.
SUNY has over 17 teacher preparation programs and supplies approximately 25% of New York State's teachers; this action to adopt both recommendations from the Commission is a large step forward in ensuring that top tier candidates are being placed in front of our students.
"New York's children deserve outstanding teachers and mentors, and the new admission requirements put in place by SUNY will help ensure that all students, and the schools they attend, can be more successful," said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. "SUNY prepares thousands of New York's teachers and school leaders every year and by raising this bar we can help improve educational outcomes in New York. We are thankful for Governor Cuomo's continued commitment to education and his advocacy for all our students."
While the world's best performing school systems often recruit their teachers and principals from among their top high school and college students, only about 30 percent of the nation's teachers come from the top third of their college graduating class. In countries with the strongest education systems, teacher candidates come from the top 10 percent of their high school or college graduating class. In New York, prospective teachers face no statewide minimum standard for entrance into teacher preparation programs. This action is another step forward as New York places the best prepared teachers in front of our students by setting a high bar for entry into the education field to deliver a world class education.
In April 2012, Governor Cuomo convened the New NY Education Reform Commission. Through the Commission, the Governor brought together leaders from across the state offering diverse perspectives in order to create an action plan to strengthen the State's education system. Using this expert advice derived from multiple hearings, the Commission produced a preliminary report of recommendations that the Governor adopted and enacted within the State's budget process.
Teacher and leader preparation has long been a core mission of the State University of New York, with eleven campuses having their origins as state teacher colleges. With this action SUNY has raised the bar for teacher preparation programs and set an example for other programs to follow and displayed to districts the quality of graduate that the system is committed to producing.