Obama requests funding to help math, science teacher preparation

President Obama launches a marshmallow from a cannon designed by 14-year-old Joey Hudy at the White House Science Fair Feb. 7.

President Barack Obama on Feb. 7 called for millions of dollars in new funding to improve math and science education, an effort he said would be crucial to the nation’s long-term success.

Obama said his upcoming budget proposal, set to be released next week, would include a request for $80 million from Congress for a new Education Department competition to support math and science teacher preparation programs. Obama made a similar request to Congress last year, but the measure didn’t pass.

Separately, he announced $22 million in new investments from the private sector to support math and science efforts. Among the organizations committing fresh funding are Google and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.…Read More

ED proposes teacher prep reforms

A new federal proposal will help ensure rigor in teacher preparation programs.

To ensure that teachers are ready to enter the classroom, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) is proposing a series of initiatives to reward the best teacher preparation programs, improve the quality at schools of education, and remove burdensome regulations.

These reforms are part of the Obama administration’s effort to support educators and make government programs work better for teachers and students.

“America’s teachers and America’s children deserve world-class preparation programs that prepare teachers for today’s classrooms and students for today’s information age,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in announcing ED’s proposed reforms.…Read More

New teacher education program headed to 8 states

Eight states are beginning a national pilot program to transform teacher education and preparation to emphasize far more infield, intensive training as is common practice in medical schools, reports the Wall Street Journal.

“Teaching, like medicine, is a profession of practice,” said State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, who is co-chairwomam of the expert panel that released a report on the recommended changes Tuesday in Washington. “Making clinical preparation the centerpiece of teacher education will transform the way we prepare teachers.”

The pilot program developed by school and higher education officials with teachers unions to improve instruction is being done in California, Colorado, Louisiana, Maryland, Ohio, Oregon and Tennessee as well as New York. The states agreed to implement the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Clinical Preparation and Partnerships for Improved Student Learning created by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Instead of exposing student teachers to varied classroom experiences at the end of their academic pursuit, the new system would put student teachers into classrooms earlier and more often. It could include rounds, similar to the system used in teaching hospitals in which mentors provide constant critiques to students in real-life situations……Read More

Groups urge updates to teacher preparation programs

Teachers equipped with digital-age skills will best serve today's students.
Teachers equipped with digital-age skills and teaching strategies will best serve today's students, a new paper argues.

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) are calling on teacher education programs to update their curricula to better prepare future teachers to integrate 21st-century skills into their instruction.

The groups released a paper on Sept. 23 seeking to establish a shared vision for infusing digital-age knowledge and skills into teacher preparation programs and spark a meaningful discussion among higher-education leaders about how to implement this vision.

“New teacher candidates must be equipped with 21st-century knowledge and skills and learn how to integrate them into their classroom practice for our nation to realize its goal of successfully meeting the challenges of this century,” said Sharon P. Robinson, AACTE president, and Ken Kay, P21 president, in the paper’s introduction.…Read More