Education Week - June 12, 2013 - (Page 38)

38 EDUCATION WEEK n JUNE 12, 2013 n COMMENTARY A Good Time for Progress in Teacher Prep By Edward Crowe, Michael Allen, & Charles Coble B etter-prepared teachers and greatly improved teacherpreparation programs are the essential ingredients of stronger academic outcomes for this nation’s K-12 students. Efforts to accelerate the pace of improvement in teacher preparation have been underway since at least 1998, when Congress established the Title II teacher-quality program and the federal “report card” on preparation-program quality. Despite significant expenditures of public and private funds on teacher-quality initiatives, however, the gains have rarely been more than modest. Higher education in general does not appear to be moving with a sense of urgency to improve teacher preparation, and while new alternative providers arrive on the scene almost every day, some are promising Teacher PREP and others are not. In response, in a climate where public confidence in teacher education is quite low, policymakers are seeking to ratchet up educator accountability. Consider the following: • States and others are working for the first time to place meaningful emphasis on preparation-program outcomes as the best measures of program quality. This past December, the Council of Chief State School Officers called for a multistate effort to develop “innovative licensure assessments” and for state program-approval standards that include evidence about teacher impact on student achievement. • The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)—the new national accrediting body for teacher education programs—recently published draft accreditation standards proposing more rigorous standards from entry to exit, including several outcome measures discussed in this Commentary. • A national review of preparation-program quality by the National Council on Teacher Quality will be unveiled this summer. • New federal rules for teacher education accountability are in the works from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and his agency after negotiations with various professional organizations broke down last year over which performance measures should be used. In the weeks and months to come, these efforts should be judged by whether improved K-12 student outcomes and more successful schools are their primary aims. Existing quality-control efforts, such as accreditation and current state oversight, have protected weak programs and let too many underprepared teachers into the classroom. To improve the quality of preparation Allen programs so that they reliably produce teachers who can achieve better results with students should be a national imperative. These policy initiatives should be seen as healthy pressure points that will contribute to the long-term survival of quality teacher preparation in higher education. Effective accountability and quality control for the preparation of teachers must include measures of K-12 classroom teaching performance by program graduates; indicators of academic achievement by K-12 students taught by program graduates; high-quality assessments of teacher content and pedagogical knowledge; and indications that programs are meeting the staffing needs of schools in their state. In light of the advance of the Common Core State Standards and increasing teacher mobility between states, it is past time for agreement among all states on the quality standards by which teacher educa- “ HEATHER HARDING Senior vice president for community partnerships, Teach For America The sad reality is many teacher education programs are not built to meet the demands of Are New Teachers Ready to Teach? In the blog OpEducation, Education Week’s Commentary editors asked whether teacher education programs do a good job of preparing future teachers for the classroom and what the essential elements of a high-quality teacher-prep program are. Christian J. Faltis, Christina Hall, Heather Harding, Anthony J. Mullen, Ronald Thorpe, and Anne Udall responded. Excerpts of some of their comments follow. The full text can be found at >> first-year teaching. There are two reasons this should worry us. First, most teacher training is not focused enough on the foundations of teaching, nor on how to meet the needs of our nation’s most disadvantaged students. Second, even when these teachers are well-prepared, we then drop them into an antiquated school model: 30 students for every adult, paper-and-pencil practice, minimal collaborative or group work, seven-hour school days, and 180-day school years. ... We must also insist that only masterful, thoughtful, and proven educators can adequately teach the teachers. If we make teacher preparation a more privileged role, we can successfully reach for the new world in public education.” ANTHONY J. MULLEN Special education teacher, ARCH School, Greenwich, Conn., and 2009 National Teacher of the Year A minimum of one year working with several master-teachers should be mandated before a novice teacher is given his or her own classroom. Sending a neophyte teacher into a classroom is a historic prescription for failure, and students bear the burden of this antiquated system.” ▲

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - June 12, 2013

Education Week - June 12, 2013
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Obama Plan Champions E-Rate Fixes
States Seek Flexibility on Testing
FOCUS ON: SCHOOL LEADERS: Chicago Initiative Aims to Upgrade Principal Pipeline
Questions Arise About Algebra 2 For All Students
Year-End Exams Add Urgency to Teaching
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Race on to Ready N.Y.C. Teacher Reviews
Districts Turning Summer School Into Learning Labs
Preschools Aim to Better Equip Low-Income Parents
After Early Progress, SIG School Struggles To Improve
Progress, Persistence Seen in Latest Data on Bullying
INDUSTRY & INNOVATION: ‘MOOC’ Plan Could Spawn Dual-Enrollment Courses
Virginia Joins Ranks of States Creating State-Run Districts
Blogs of the Week
NCLB Bills Split Over Federal Role in K-12
Policy Brief
States Fold Teaching Into Preschool Rating Factors
Peer Review Quietly Put On Hold For State Assessment Systems
State Opposition Jeopardizes Common-Core Future
OP EDUCATION: Are New Teachers Ready to Teach?
EDWARD CROWE, MICHAEL ALLEN, & CHARLES COBLE: A Good Time for Progress in Teacher Prep
JULIE GORLEWSKI: Teaching Toward Utopia
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
OTIS KRIEGEL: ‘You’ll Get the Hang of It’

Education Week - June 12, 2013