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UM Ranks in Top 10 "Education Schools with the Right Stuff"

The University of Montana is among only 10 schools in the nation that met all standards of a recent National Council on Teacher Quality study for preparation of teachers in mathematics.

The NCTQ report, "No Common Denominator: The Preparation of Elementary Teachers in Mathematics by America’s Education Schools," was released last month. The analysis is the most comprehensive picture to date of how education schools are preparing - or failing to prepare - elementary teachers in mathematics.

The two-year study developed a set of five standards that would be the mark of a high-quality program of teacher training and evaluated a sample of 77 education schools. A team of renowned mathematics specialists from universities and K-12 education analyzed the quality of preparation required for elementary education majors at each institution. The schools selected for the study were located in every state except Alaska.

NCTQ rated the schools by studying entrance and exit requirements, course syllabi and tests, textbooks, and state licensing tests. The report ranks a textbook co-authored by two UM educators second in quality of content covered among the 12 most frequently assigned by faculty members. The textbook "A Problem Solving Approach to Mathematics" received the study’s highest rating in algebra of the textbooks evaluated. Authors are UM math Professor Rick Billstein, UM math Professor Emeritus Johnny Lott and Shlomo Libeskind of the University of Oregon Department of Mathematics.

The full NCTQ report is available online at http://www.nctq.org .