This message was posted by a reader. Note that the states cited by Secretary Arne Duncan as exemplars are controlled by very conservative legislatures and governors, who have taken many steps to reduce the status of the teaching profession: Ohio, North Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Florida. Note that he singles out for praise the “Relay Graduate School of Education,” staffed by current and former charter school teachers, not by scholars, researchers, or people holding doctorates. The stated curriculum of this “graduate school” includes no courses on cognitive development, psychometrics, urban sociology, or courses other than teaching for high test scores.

This is the reader’s comment:

Please excuse the long comment but I received this from the Council for Exceptional Children, Teacher Education Division. We need to flood the comments:

Dear TED Board:

After two years of anticipation, the Department of Education held a press
conference this afternoon to announce the release of the teacher preparation
regulations. Today, a variety of materials were posted on the website at
http://www.ed.gov/teacherprep, including the press release, fact sheet, and
detailed powerpoint presentation regarding the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) which has been sent to the Federal Register and will be published in the next several days. Also at this link is a draft of the NPRM which I have now printed (405 pages) but not yet read!

I listened in to the press conference this afternoon which featured Sec.
Duncan, Asst. Sec. Ted Mitchell, Jim Cibulka President of CAEP, Mari
Koerner, Dean of Education at Arizona State University and Governor Bill
Haslam of Tennessee. Tomorrow an audio link to the press conference will be available. Below is the press statement sent out by the Department of Education.

Comments on the proposed regs have been rolling in. Those supporting the
regs include outgoing ranking member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, George Miller, the Center for American Progress, Education Trust, Teach for America and Educators 4 Excellence. Those raising concerns about the regs so far include the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, The American Council on Education, the NEA and the AFT.
More dialogue is assured to follow.

The regs appear to be essentially the same as what was proposed at
negotiated rulemaking in 2012. This includes a mandate that every state
rate every preparation program and only the highest rated programs will be
eligibile to use TEACH grants. The metrics that must be used to determine
the ratings include: student learning outcomes, employment outcomes, new
teacher and employer feedback and accreditation by CAEP or state program
approval with specific requirements.

There is a 60 day public comment period for the regulations.

I will be sharing additional informatio n when it is available.

Happy reading and Happy Thanksgiving!

Let me know if you have questions.

Jane

U.S. Department of Education
Office of Communications & Outreach, Press Office
400 Maryland Ave., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202

FOR RELEASE:
Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014

Contact: Press Office
(202) 401-1576 or press@ed.gov

U.S. Department of Education Proposes Plan to Strengthen Teacher Preparation

New Rules Build on Reforms and Innovation Efforts to Ensure Educators are Classroom-Ready

The U.S. Department of Education today announced proposed regulations that help ensure teacher training programs are preparing educators who are ready to succeed in the classroom.

The proposal builds on the reforms and innovations already happening at the
state and program level across the country and by national organizations
like the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and the
Council of Chief State School Officers. The new rule shifts the focus for
currently required sta te reporting on teacher preparation programs from
mostly inputs to outcomes – such as how graduates are doing in the classroom – while giving states much flexibility to determine how they will use the new measures and how program performance is measured.

“It has long been clear that as a nation, we could do a far better job of
preparing teachers for the classroom. It’s not just something that studies
show – I hear it in my conversations with teachers, principals and pare nts,”
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. “New teachers want to do a great
job for their kids, but often, they struggle at the beginning of their
careers and have to figure out too much for themselves. Teachers deserve
better, and our students do too. This proposal, along with our other key
initiatives in supporting flexibility, equity and leadership, will help get
us closer to President Obama’s goal of putting a great teacher in every
classroom, and especially in our high-need schools.”

The proposal would create transparency and create a much-needed feedback
loop among aspiring teachers, preparation programs, principals, schools and states. This information will help prospective educators choose effective programs to train in high-demand teaching fields, assist schools in identifying the most effective programs to recruit from, recognize
excellence t o build on best practices, and help programs target their
improvement efforts.

Specifically, the proposed regulations would refocus institutional data
reporting already required under federal law on meaningful data at the
program level, support states in developing systems that differentiate
programs by performance on outcomes, provide feedback to programs about graduates’ performance and satisfaction, and hold programs accountable for
how well they prepare teachers to succeed in today’s classrooms and
throughout their careers. In addition, by requiring data on new teacher
employment outcomes (placement and retention), it will shine a light on
high-need schools and fields and help facilitate a better match of supply
and demand.

Already, numerous states, institutions and other organizations are
demonstrating vital leadership in improving teacher p reparation. The
proposed rule aims to ensure that these innovative practices are taken to
scale and can be replicated in programs that are struggling.

For example:

* North Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana, and Florida were among
the first states to collect and report information about teacher preparation
programs and their graduates to the public.

*& nbsp; Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi and Rhode Island
all recently raised admissions requirements to get into teacher prep
programs.

* The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s College of Education
benefited from data provided by Louisiana about the results their teachers were getting in the classroom. The University used the results to improve the university’s curriculum by including clinical experience and innovative coursework. And you know what happened? The performance of graduates improved.

* Colleges and universities across the country are also matching supply of teachers to the demand in the field.

* At the University of Texas at Austin, the program, UTeach, is
drawing undergraduates with STEM majors into teaching. Nearly 90 percent of the graduates from the UTeach Austin program become teachers, and about half teach in high-need schools. What’s more, roughly 80% of graduates who become teachers are retained after 5 years.

* Arizona State University and Urban Teacher Residencies United are
enriching the clinical experiences they provide, so their teacher candidates
can learn in real schools with the help of master teachers. Additionally,
these programs use the same teaching standards in preparation that teachers
will use on the job later. Eighty-five percent of Urban Teacher Residencies
graduates remain in the classroom after three years, compared to the 50
percent national average.

* Relay Graduate School of Education, founded by three charter
management organizations in New York City, measures and holds itself
accountable for both program graduate and employer satisfaction, as well as
requires that teachers meet high goals for student learning growth before
they can complete their degrees. Students of Relay teachers grew 1.3 years in reading performance in one year.

* Fayetteville State University in North Carolina incorporates the
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction competencies and standards as well as the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards into its curriculum for master’s degree students in education. Of its recent
graduates, 87 percent of new teachers met or exceeded expectations for
student learning growth, compared to the 75 percent state average.

“We know how important strong teaching is to students’ education and life outcomes – especially for our most vulnerable kids,” Duncan said. “Leaders
in this field are already moving in the direction of our proposal, and our
regulations try to align with their best thinking on how to prepare
effective educators who are ready to hit the ground running on day one. If
we are going to improve teaching and learning in America, we have to improve
the training and support that we give our teachers.”

Other changes in the proposed regulations include requiring performance data reporting at the program – rather than the institutional – level and requiring states to engage with a broad range of stakeholders – including teacher preparation programs, school leaders and teachers – in designing their systems. The proposal also changes eligibility for TEACH Grants
(teach-ats.ed.gov/ats/index.action) so that the money only goes to graduates
of programs rated effective or higher for at least two of the previous three
years. States must provide technical assistance to any teacher preparation
programs rated as low-performing.

The proposal would require states to report annually on the performance of
teacher preparation programs – including alternative certification programs- based on a combination of:

* Employment outcomes: New teacher placement and three-year
retention rates in high-need schools and in all schools.

* New teacher and employer feedback: Surveys on the effectiveness of preparation.

* Student learning outcomes: Impact of new teachers as measured by
student growth, teacher evaluation, or both.

* Assurance of specialized accreditation or evidence that a program
produces high-quality candidates.

The proposed regulations will undergo a 60-day comment period where the
public can submit suggestions. The final rule will be published in mid-2015.

A fact sheet on the proposed regulation can be found on http://www.ed.gov/teacherprep, along with a version of the draft regulations, which
will publish in Federal Register in coming days.