Effectiveness of teacher preparation under scrutiny

NCTQ’s rankings of teacher preparation programs have generated much debate

teacher-evaluation-effectivenessI honestly can’t remember a single lesson that really stuck out to me in Ms. Leslie’s first grade class. In fact, I barely remember sitting down at my desk for anything school related.

What I do remember is that something about her teaching inspired me to write incessantly that summer, which led to years of amateur writing and eventually studying journalism.

Years later, I can tell she was a great teacher. But what would today’s systems of teacher evaluation say about her performance?…Read More

Teacher recruitment tool will factor in controversial ratings

In an incendiary move guaranteed to divide the education community, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) has partnered with a web-based teacher hiring system that will factor in the Council’s recently released teacher preparation program ratings.

NCTQ’s annual study rated the quality of teacher prep programs, stirring the education reform pot, with many institutions praising the report, while others say NCTQ doesn’t have the experience to rate teacher preparation programs. (Read “Report: Teacher preparation programs an ‘industry of mediocrity.’”)

(Next page: The new teacher recruitment tool)…Read More

Report: Teacher preparation programs an ‘industry of mediocrity’

A new report–already proving divisive hours within of its release–claims that, based on eight years of research, U.S. teacher preparation programs in colleges and universities are broken, directly affecting “America’s educational decline.”

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) says it went through 10 pilot studies to develop the standards used to rank the 1,130 teacher preparation institutions that prepare 99 percent of the nation’s traditionally-trained new teachers (approximately 170,000 novice teachers annually).

NCTQ officials said the effort was inspired by a study conducted more than a century ago, the Flexner Report of 1910, which evaluated the nation’s medical schools and led to consolidations and upgrades that “transformed the system of training doctors into the world’s best,” states the report.…Read More

What makes a good teacher preparation program?

To make sure students graduate from high school prepared to tackle whatever path they choose, teacher preparation must focus on making today’s education system a learner-centered instructional model, supported by proven digital learning technology that gives students a more individualized and rigorous learning experience, said a panel of experts during an Alliance for Excellent Education webinar.

The webinar was based in part on “Culture Shift: Teaching in a Learner-Centered Environment Powered by Digital Learning,” a 2012 Alliance report that advocates for a shift in the teaching culture to ensure that students graduate from high school ready to enter college or the workforce. It also was the second in a two-part webinar series on this same topic.

See also:…Read More

Aspiring teachers ill-prepared to use ed tech effectively

Three-fourths of principals want new teachers to know how to use technology to create authentic learning experiences for students.

Students who are studying to become teachers use social media in their personal lives more frequently than in-service teachers do, and they want to use ed tech in their classrooms—but their teacher preparation programs aren’t fully preparing them to do this, according to a new report from Blackboard Inc. and Project Tomorrow.

In spite of their comfort with using technology tools, two-thirds of aspiring teachers say they are learning how to integrate technology into instruction mostly through their field experiences as student teachers and by observing their professors, rather than the assignments they get in school.

What’s more, the survey revealed a troubling disconnect between principals’ expectations for how new teachers should use technology for instruction, and the ed-tech skills that pre-service teachers are learning in their teacher preparation programs.…Read More

Opinion: Shouldn’t more be done to prepare new teachers?

We’ve all been inside a classroom, and there’s a good chance we’ve each had at least one teacher who wasn’t prepared for the task at hand, TakePart.com reports. For far too long, according to the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), this trend has gone unnoticed by policymakers. In an effort to propel lawmakers into action, the organization put out a report entitled the 2012 State Teacher Policy Yearbook. It grades the country, and each state, on how well it prepares incoming teachers. America was given a D+ on teacher preparedness policies, and zero states were given an A. Alabama, Florida, Indiana, and Tennessee ranked at the top of the list, each receiving a B-. Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming received failing grades. The reports points out that only 24 states require a basic skills test when screening applicants. Also, it exposes how shockingly low standards are for elementary school teachers…

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Panel: Teacher preparation needs overhaul

Reshaping teacher preparation courses can not only enhance student learning, but also keep the U.S. competitive globally, many experts agree.

Today’s digital-age students are expected not only to communicate effectively, think critically, and collaborate with one another, but also to analyze information while meeting rigorous state and national benchmarks.

To meet these challenges, teacher preparation programs must be reexamined and restructured in order to promote what digital learning consultant Mary Ann Wolf calls “learner-centered education.”

“Learner-centered education dramatically impacts the work of educators and educational systems, and schools must empower teachers to apply their pedagogical knowledge, instructional skills, and digital tools and resources to meet the needs of individual students,” Wolf wrote in a recent Alliance for Excellent Education (AEE) report.…Read More

New venture connects U.S. teachers online

Share My Lesson is expected to be the largest online resource for teachers in the U.S. and comes at a time when cuts to education budgets have led many districts to slash professional development.

Discussing education reform at Stanford University last year, the leader of one of the nation’s largest teacher unions decided to turn the tables and ask a question of the audience.

“You’re all technology people,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. “Could you actually help us?”

Weingarten said she received one call—from Louise Rogers, chief executive of TSL Education, a United Kingdom-based company that operates an online network that lets teachers around the globe access, review, and discuss lesson plans and other learning materials.…Read More