INSIDE HIGHER ED: Grading Teacher Prep

Career College Central Summary:

  • The Obama administration on Wednesday unveiled its controversial regulation that would link some federal funding for teacher preparation programs, in part, to the rate at which their graduates get jobs and how well they perform at the schools where they are hired.
  • The proposal is aimed at bolstering the quality of American teacher education programs by prodding states to hold the programs more accountable for how well their graduates teach. It also calls for states to collect and publish more robust information about teacher preparation programs with an emphasis on outcomes.
  • “Teachers too often arrive unprepared to for the realities of the classroom,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan told reporters Tuesday.
  • “States haven’t taken this responsibility as seriously as they need to,” Duncan said. He noted that over the past 12 years, 34 states had never identified a teacher preparation program as being low-performing.
  • Under the proposal, states would be required to evaluate teacher preparation programs based on a combination of factors, including job placement rates and alumni satisfaction surveys. The states would also have to judge programs based on how well graduates perform in their first three years of teaching as measured by “student learning outcomes,” which may include their scores on standardized tests.
  • Based on those state ratings, the Education Department would award TEACH Grants only to students attending programs deemed “effective” or higher for at least two of the previous three years.

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