News Search of the Week
Here's what the media are saying about:
Browse By News Topic
In an effort to get more effective teachers into America’s classrooms, seven states have joined a new initiative to “strengthen” teacher licensure standards and “raise the bar” on the approval process for teacher prep programs. The initiative — led by the Council of Chief State School Officers, or CCSSO, and formally called the Network for Transforming Educator Preparation, or NTEP — grew out of a “call to action” that CCSSO issued late last year and adds to the growing momentum to make university-based teacher preparation programs more accountable for student achievement.
In the past two years, the quality of teacher education programs has been repeatedly called into question, and a federal panel could not come to a consensus on the role students’ test scores should have on teachers’ evaluations. A report released today by the National Academy of Education suggests that more emphasis should be placed on designing evaluations of teacher training programs. Current approaches to evaluating teaching programs are “complex, varied, and fragmented,” the report said.
The federal government should prod states to better measure the performance of college teacher education programs and redistribute federal funds for the programs to allow a small number of states each year to redesign their training approaches, the Education Trust argues in a new report.
Within two years, Davenport University President Richard Pappas expects the private nonprofit institution to offer a new special degree program for Detroit Public Schools teachers and a new employment guarantee to students.
Can we find enough effective teachers in our local communities? Can we offer a one-year internship instead of the traditional one-semester student-teaching placement? Can we wrap coursework around practical experience to replace our traditional separate-systems approach? Can we place teacher educators in our local schools instead of relegating them to our ivory towers? Absolutely. We can, and we must.
Of the 20 best universities, defined by the U.S. News & World Report 2013 rankings, only one offers a major in elementary education. The picture at the top 20 liberal-arts colleges looks strikingly similar. Students can major in elementary education at three, and can obtain certification in secondary education at just over half. Clearly, our top colleges and universities send an implicit message in their course offerings about what is and isn’t appropriate for their students to study.
The State Higher Education Executive Officers and the National Association of System Heads are calling for less government regulation of how teachers are trained and more emphasis on giving would-be teachers classroom experience. In particular, the groups are seeking to make teacher-education programs more selective, by increasing requirements for content mastery and by expanding opportunities for education-school students to get more practical experience before entering the profession.
A report highly critical of the quality of teacher education programs by the National Council on Teacher Quality, released June 18, immediately generated national media coverage. The data and methodology NCTQ used, which found 164 programs so lacking that they received a “Consumer Alert,” has been deemed unscientific and invalid by some experts. Further, the group used questionable tactics to obtain data from private colleges, relatively few of which participated in the review.
University-based teacher-education programs are in trouble and could possibly lose their franchise. Can they be repaired, or must they be replaced? In recent years, the focus has been increasingly on replacement, out of understandable frustration with an organization that knows its problems but ignores or refuses to fix them. However, there is also a case to be made for repair.
Acknowledging that the nation’s educators face large challenges in preparing students for more rigorous academic standards and tests, Arne Duncan, the secretary of education, informed state education officials on Tuesday that they could postpone using the tests to make career decisions about teachers. Over the past 18 months, states have agreed to adopt new “college and career ready” standards and to tether teacher performance ratings partly to student achievement on standardized tests based on those new standards.