Recruiting, preparing, developing and supporting great teachers has a direct impact on the learning and success of America’s students. Research confirms that the most important in-school factor in a student’s success is a strong teacher, and excellent teachers are especially important for our neediest students. However, the vast majority of new teachers – almost two-thirds – report that their teacher preparation program left them unprepared for the realities of the classroom.
President Obama believes that we need to give schools the resources to keep good teachers on the job and reward the best ones, and give teachers the flexibility to teach with creativity and passion. Earlier today, the President directed the U.S. Department of Education to lay out a plan to strengthen America’s teacher preparation programs for public discussion by this summer, and to move forward on schedule to publish a final rule within the next year.
- Build on state systems and efforts and the progress in the field to encourage all states to develop their own meaningful systems to identify high- and low-performing teacher preparation programs across all kinds of programs, not just those based in colleges and universities.
- Ask states to move away from current input-focused reporting requirements, streamline the current data requirements, incorporate more meaningful outcomes, and improve the availability of relevant information on teacher preparation.
- Rely on state-developed program ratings of preparation programs – in part – to determine program eligibility for TEACH grants, which are available to students who are planning to become teachers in a high-need field in a low-income school, to ensure that these limited federal dollars support high-quality teacher education and preparation.
These critical changes will help to increase recognition for high-performing teacher preparation programs, and create a much-needed feedback loop to provide information to prospective teachers, schools and districts, and the general public, and drive improvement across programs.
Read more about the Obama Administration’s proposal, get a pdf copy of our teacher prep infographic, and visit ed.gov/teaching to learn about additional ways the administration is ensuring that teachers and leaders have the support they need from preparation and through their careers.