Published: Jan 24, 2013 10:47 AM EST

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A research and policy group that advocates for accountability standards ranks Florida's teacher preparation policies among the top four nationally.
    
The National Council on Teacher Quality on Wednesday gave Florida's teachers a grade of B-minus, the same as it received last year. That's the top grade awarded, though. The national average is D-plus.
    
The council praised Florida's strong student teaching requirements and use of student achievement data to hold teacher preparation programs accountable. Florida also won plaudits for providing alternate routes into the teaching profession.
    
Florida, though, was faulted for low admission standards for teacher preparation programs, failing to ensure teachers know their subject matter and loose requirements for social studies and special education teachers.
    
The only other states receiving B-minus grades are Alabama, Indiana and Tennessee.

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