Friday, October 14, 2016

New Accountability for Teacher Prep

It's high time that schools of education, which are mostly diploma mills, are subject to some scrutiny and accountability:

The U.S. Department of Education released final regulations for teacher preparation programs Wednesday that will push states to rate the effectiveness of the programs and tie access to federal grants to student success.

The rules will also require states to be much more active in determining whether programs are effective, at risk or low performing -- the three levels of performance outlined in the rules.

The final rules come after years of negotiated rule making and gathering of input from education interest groups, including teachers' unions and teaching programs themselves. Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan early in his tenure called out teacher preparation programs that he said were doing a mediocre job of preparing educators, largely siding with reform groups such as the National Council on Teacher Quality in finding teaching programs a too-easy path to a college degree.

The new rules require reporting of program-level data on graduates' job placement and retention, consistent with what the Obama administration is doing in other aspects of higher education; feedback from graduates and their employers; and learning outcomes of students taught by graduates of prep programs. The final rules gave significant flexibility to states to determine the specific measures used to gauge student learning outcomes. But that component of the regulations still came under criticism from teachers' groups, which say it will have the effect of punishing programs that place teachers in low-performing schools.

New Accountability for Teacher Prep

Federal regulations impose new standards on teacher education. Reformers endorse planĀ  to link program evaluations to student performance, to dismay of teachers' groups.


Andrew Kreighbaum

October 13, 2016

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