In Michigan
10:59 pm
Thu January 7, 2010

MI universities to focus on math and science teacher programs

LANSING, MI –
Six major Michigan universities will restructure their education programs to create the highest quality teachers for urban school districts and districts of "high need" in the state.

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The graduate-level education programs will seek out aspiring educators who want to teach math, science, technology or engineering. And the teachers will also have to agree to teach for at least three years in a district that is the highest need of quality teachers.

Schools Superintendent Bernard Taylor is from Grand Rapids Public Schools. He says it's important to focus on those subjects, but also to prepare teachers to work in struggling schools.

"People get in with a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of zeal, but when the realities of what it takes to help students be successful presents itself, often times that's why people leave," he explains.

Districts in Grand Rapids, Benton Harbor, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo and Detroit will work with the universities to hire the teachers. The universities have agreed to match a half-million dollar grant from the Kellogg Foundation to recruit the best aspiring teachers.