A recent report by the National Council on Teacher Quality that takes issue with East Central University’s undergraduate elementary education program is tantamount to a higher education cheap shot. 

A portion of the language used in the report says its examination was “exhaustive and unprecedented...of how these schools operate...” We can accept that the report was unprecedented. Not so, that it was exhaustive. In fact, at no time was anyone at ECU ever interviewed, nor was any undergraduate education major ever observed utilizing skills and knowledge gained from four years of instruction. The best the study’s authors did was review documents, including syllabuses, textbooks, and admission requirements.

The fact that all of East Central University’s elementary education students passed the Oklahoma General Education Test and Oklahoma Reading Test did not factor into the report’s conclusions. Nor was the fact that results on the Elementary Education Subject Area Test show ECU students outperforming the average for state institutions of similar size in reading and language arts, and with the average of similar size state schools in social studies, mathematics, science, health and fitness and the arts.

The fact that teacher education programs at ECU for seven decades have been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education was also obviously not part of the study.

Furthermore, ECU continues to tweak its standards. These include a more detailed student teaching assessment and a new program to address common core standards in math. ECU officials say the school’s director of special education helped create a House Bill that created a new way for students to earn certification as special-education teachers. ECU is one of only a few Oklahoma schools that have started the program.   

ECU has hardly been sitting on its hands these past two years since the study was completed. That said, the dire test results were never warranted in the first place.

— The Ada News