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MSU Study Analyzes National Pre-K Teacher Certification

classroom photo
Wikimedia Commons
A new MSU study analyzes pre-K teacher certification in all 50 states.

A new Michigan State University study finds most states have few requirements for what pre-kindergarten teachers should know before becoming certified. 

The study looked at teacher certificates from all 50 states.  Researchers found more than half listed no mention of the teacher’s preparedness to support early literacy skills. 


Lead author Dr. Tanya Wright says it was even worse for math.


“It was really almost totally absent for math across all the states,” Wright says.


Wright’s team completed its data collection in November 2016. 


Since then, she says, Michigan has bolstered its requirements for teachers from pre-kindergarten through third grade.


“Teachers are now expected to learn a lot about literacy and math, and it’s right there in the policies in Michigan,” says Wright.  “So, actually in our study, we point to Michigan as a state that’s done a really good job in updating since we initially collected this data.”


The study was published in the Journal of Teacher Education




Kevin Lavery is a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things considered.
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