Great teachers matter enormously to the learning and the lives of children. Every parent knows it, and study after study proves it.
Unfortunately, teachers, principals and researchers have made clear: too many teacher preparation programs today aren’t equipping teachers with the skills they need to be successful. Teaching is one of the most important and challenging careers, yet new research shows that many teacher preparation programs offer easy A’s instead of rigorous learning
That’s why ED today announced new regulations that will build on momentum to improve teacher training. The proposed regulations will be different than current reporting requirements – which focus almost exclusively on inputs – by establishing meaningful outcome indicators, like employment outcomes, teacher and employee feedback, and student learning outcomes.
The proposed regulations will also:
- Encourage states to develop meaningful systems to identify high- and low-performing teacher preparation programs across all kinds of programs, not just those based in colleges and universities;
- Reward only those programs determined to be effective or better by states with eligibility for TEACH grants, which are available to students who are planning to become teachers in a high-need field and in a low-income school, to ensure that these limited federal dollars support high-quality teacher education and preparation; and
- Offer transparency into the performance of teacher preparation programs, creating a feedback loop among programs and prospective teachers, employers, and the public, and empower programs with information to facilitate continuous improvement.
The regulations would provide significant flexibility for states, allowing them to set performance thresholds and additional performance categories or indicators. Programs would be assessed using a minimum of four performance levels: exceptional, effective, at-risk, or low-performing.
These changes will not only create a new feedback loop among programs and prospective teachers, employers, and the public, but it will also empower programs with better information to facilitate continuous improvement.
Final regulations will be published in Summer 2015. You can learn more about the proposed regulations on our teacher preparation web page, which includes a printable fact sheet and PowerPoint presentation.
Update: The Proposed Rule on Teacher Preparation Issues was published in the Federal Register. Formal comments are due February 2, 2015.