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Teaching our teachers: U.S. Department of Education rolls out plan for regulations on teacher preparedness programs

by AirTalk®

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Veronica Brenes, a prekindergarten teacher at the University of Southern California’s UPC Child Development Center, interacts with students and was surprised with the Early Childhood Educator Award and a $10,000 check from Knowledge Universe on October 16, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Rich Polk/Getty Images for Knowledge Unive

Thanks to a new plan from the U.S. Department of Education, teachers across the country could be getting report cards of their own before they get to hand out any to students in the classroom.

The recently-unveiled proposal would require states to give report cards for teacher evaluation programs in each state. This would include not only public and private colleges and universities, but also alternative programs run by school districts or nonprofits like Teach for America. The Education Department would have to approve the new ratings systems, which would consider, for the first time, how teacher candidates perform after they graduate. The ratings would be based on things like whether they land a job within their subject field, how long they stay in that job, and how well their students do on standardized tests and other academic achievement measures. It will be several years before the ratings systems are actually put into use and any changes take effect. The Education Department will hear public comments for 60 days and plans to issue the new regulations by September of 2015. However, report cards wouldn’t be issued until April 2019.

How do you think these regulations will change the way teachers are prepared for the classroom? Do you think enough is done to prepare new teachers or is more required? How will these new regulations affect the way teachers teach and the way students learn?

Guests:

Beverly Young, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Teacher Education and Public School Programs for the Cal State University system

Evan Stone, co-founder and co-CEO of Educators 4 Excellence, a teacher-led organization in New York City that works to give teachers a voice in the policies that impact their profession

Deborah Koolbeck, director of government relations for the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

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