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Washington Post Columnist Valerie Strauss writes: If we are to turn this trend around, we need to act now to not only stop the attacks on teachers and tenure, but to stop evaluation systems designed to fire teachers based on metrics that no one understands. And we cannot forget that pay and working conditions matter. It should also come as no surprise that in states that pay teachers relatively well like New York State, the shortage does not yet exist.
Columnist Frank Bruni writes: We’ve failed to make teaching the draw that it should be, the honor that it must be. Nationally, enrollment in teacher preparation programs dropped by 30 percent between 2010 and 2014, as Rich reported. To make matters worse, more than 40 percent of the people who do go into teaching exit the profession within five years.
In a stark about-face from just a few years ago, school districts have gone from handing out pink slips to scrambling to hire teachers. Across the country, districts are struggling with shortages of teachers, particularly in math, science and special education — a result of the layoffs of the recession years combined with an improving economy in which fewer people are training to be teachers.
Cory Koedel & Matthew Di Carlo write: In the long term, we are very receptive to, and indeed optimistic about, the idea of outcomes-based accountability for teacher preparation programs (TPPs). In the short to medium term, however, we contend that the evidence base underlying the Education Department’s regulations is nowhere near sufficient to guide a national effort toward high-stakes TPP accountability.
The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, headed by one of the most visible critics of teacher-education programs, is creating its own graduate school and research center in the field in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Pasi Sahlberg writes: When the going gets tough in our wealthy societies, the powers-that-be often choose quick fixes. In search of a silver bullet instead of sustained systemic improvement, politicians turn their eyes on teachers, believing that asking them to do more with less can compensate for inconvenient reductions in school resources. With super teachers, some of them say, the quality of education will improve even with lesser budgets.
National University officials and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford have announced a collaborative of universities that will help disseminate free programs about student development and achievement to classrooms around the country. National University President Michael Cunningham said the school will work in collaboration with Long Island University and seven other schools to implement the Sanford Harmony program for students and Sanford Inspire program for teachers.
They say it’s a model that has never been tried before in education: A private college, Concordia University, partnering with an impoverished public school, Faubion School (PK-8), to build a joint state-of-the-art facility that will house both. It’s called the 3 to PhD Initiative, and it’s happening in Northeast Portland. A new $43 million, three-story building will weave the two organizations together so tightly that the college dean and the school principal will share an office wall.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed major changes to teacher evaluations in New York. The changes emphasize student scores on standardized tests as a way to rate a teacher’s performance. It is a trend that is popping up across the country, raising concerns among teachers, administrators and public school parents, some of whom are refusing to let their children take the exams. If this approach is not the way to go and yet American students are still academically behind their peers in other countries, how do we ensure and improve teacher quality such that student success is a given? Read this New York Times debae on improving teacher quality.
The Baker College teacher preparation program has earned national initial accreditation for five years by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). This endorsement is based on principles set by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) that support the preparation of competent, caring and qualified professional educators.