Suny Raises Bar For Aspiring Teachers

09.24.13 | Bob Price

Aspiring teachers will have to be near the top of their class and pass an entrance exam to attend a State University of New York program under tougher college admission requirements. The changes, announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, were approved by the SUNY Board of Trustees as a way to standardize admissions across SUNY teacher preparation programs. They were among recommendations of the New NY Education Reform Commission, an expert panel assembled by Cuomo last year to find ways to improve schools.  By the 2015-16 school year, SUNY will adopt an entry test for undergraduate and graduate programs and require students to have a 3.0 average for acceptance. Incoming freshmen will have to have graduated in the top 30 percent of their high school class, according to the resolution. SUNY’s 17 teacher preparation programs, which train about a quarter of the state’s teachers, currently have their own admissions standards. A spokesman for New York State United Teachers said the state’s largest teachers union supports raising the bar for teacher preparation but would have preferred to see more public discussion of the measure before it was adopted.