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Obama Administration Releases Plan Grading Teacher Prep Programs

Obama Administration Releases Plan Grading Teacher Prep Programs

In order to avoid bringing under-prepared teachers into the classroom, the Obama Administration released a plan that grades teacher preparation programs.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that "too many new teachers are under-prepared for the classroom and left figuring out how to reach students on their own" and "that’s the problem proposed regulations from the Department of Education mean to solve" according to an article on PBS.org.

Under the proposed rules, the article said, "states would develop systems to rate teacher training programs that rely on tracking factors, such as: how many teacher prep graduates go into the teaching profession and stay at least three years; how effective new teachers and their principals believe their training was; how much academic progress a teacher’s students make; and whether programs are accredited by an agency that specializes in evaluating teaching programs."

"By the 2020-21 school year, students in programs that states label as ineffective would lose eligibility for federal TEACH grants, which go to new teachers working in high-poverty, high-needs schools," the article said. "The plan is the Obama administration’s effort to increase the rigor and perception of teacher preparation programs, which organizations like the National Council on Teacher Quality argue often have lower entry requirements and easier grading standards than other programs on the same campuses."

The announcement made by the Obama Administration "pointed to states that have already begun efforts to improve teacher preparation and raise the bar for candidates applying to credentialing programs."

President of the American Federation of Teachers Randi Weingarten said that "the very programs preparing diverse teachers for our increasingly diverse classrooms will be penalized."

“This will cause programs to reconsider placing their graduates in schools that serve our most vulnerable students," she said. "And aspiring teachers who come from disadvantaged backgrounds will find their opportunities closed down as accountability pressures rise without increased support.”

Duncan said that the department's plan " would reward programs whose graduates teach and stay in low-income, high-needs schools."

Critics and supporters have 60 days to comment on the proposal,the article said, and the final proposal will be released by mid-2015.

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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