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The U. S. Department of Education announced in the Federal Register that $35 million will be available for Teacher Quality Partnership Grants focused on STEM educator preparation. An estimated 20 grants will be awarded between $1 and $2 million each. There is a 100% match expected from the partnership.
Data that can be harmful, however, are data that don’t reflect the actual work of teachers and/or programs and that are used punitively rather than for improvement. An example of this kind of accountability practice that is not only unhelpful but also harmful is the Obama administration’s proposal to withhold TEACH grants from students in particular universities on the basis of test scores of students who are taught by their graduates.
The Obama administration is planning to move ahead this summer with a proposal that would tie federal grants for teacher preparation programs, in part, to how well their graduates perform as teachers. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Thursday that his agency would, in the coming months, propose new rules governing teacher preparation programs at colleges and universities.
Tough new teacher preparation standards from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) demand a strategic approach from campuses. Congress holds hearings on teacher preparation programs while new federal regulations remain stalled.
Congress should focus its reporting requirements for teacher-preparation programs on whether colleges are preparing candidates for the classroom, a panel of educators told lawmakers on Tuesday.
A successful teacher can offer spontaneity, immediacy, and instant, interactive feedback. He/she knows that a question is not just a request for information. A question can signal to the teacher that something is wrong with the presentation. Often, it can enable a teacher to involve all the others in the class, becoming part of a different, sometimes unanticipated learning experience.
Technology is swiftly assuming a dominant role in classrooms, and in students' lives. Many observers have raised doubts about whether schools of education are providing future teachers with the skills they need to address blended learning, and whether they're using digital tools to improve instruction. Faculty members at Clemson's school of education and at a number of other higher education institutions are determined to address the issue head-on.
Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, the country’s second largest teachers union, has been a supporter of the Common Core State Standards for a long time but she has expressed concern in the last year over the way the standards are being implemented, saying that the rollout was “far worse” than the HealthCare.gov website. Last April she called for a moratorium on high-stakes Common Core tests, and she made a call in November with early childhood education expert Nancy Carlsson-Paige for education officials to convene a task force to review the “appropriateness and the implementation of the Common Core standards for young learners … and recommend developmentally appropriate, culturally responsive guidelines for supporting young children’s optimal learning.”
Corporate reformers have had two decades to make their case that what ails American education is a lack of rigor, and two decades to test their theory that market forces are the surest way to kick-start that needed rigor. To that end, they’ve introduced competition with a vengeance—kids against kids, parents against parents, teachers against teachers, schools against schools, districts against districts, states against states, nations against nations.
The American work force has some of weakest mathematical and problem-solving skills in the developed world. In a recent survey by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a global policy organization, adults in the United States scored far below average and better than only two of 12 other developed comparison countries, Italy and Spain. Worse still, the United States is losing ground in worker training to countries in Europe and Asia whose schools are not just superior to ours but getting steadily better. In this editorial, the Times Editorial Board offers examples from three countries.