• Teacher Preparation—ESEA

    Federal Policy Priorities

    • Improve teacher preparation through the strengthening and dedication of federal funds for higher education programs.
    • Require a strong clinical preparation component of teacher preparation programs in partnership with high-need schools, while providing data for feedback. 
    • Strengthen the federal role in fostering partnerships and collaboration among local education agencies (LEAs) and institutions of higher education. 

    State Policy Priorities

    • Support state efforts to establish and implement rigorous standards of learning for students in teacher preparation programs. These standards should address both specific content area comprehension and knowledge of appropriate methods of instruction and should be used to promote public accountability.
    • Encourage states to involve public institutions in the integration of the Common Core State academic standards in teacher education programs in states that have adopted these standards
    • Encourage states to develop comprehensive teacher workforce strategies that address teacher quality, recruitment, distribution and retention. 

    Summary

    Both Congress and the Administration have introduced proposals that shift the focus of teacher preparation and support from higher education to the K-12 sector. Legislative proposals would eliminate funding streams now designated for higher education and direct them to elementary and secondary schools.

    The Administration is also proposing to replace the TEACH Grant program with the Presidential Teaching Fellows Program. This program would provide grants to states to fund scholarships of up to $10,000 for students in their last year of study enrolled in high-performing teacher preparation programs. Only programs defined as high performing would be eligible to participate in this program. The current TEACH Grant program provides annual grant awards of up to $4,000 to eligible undergraduate and graduate students who agree to serve as a full-time teacher in a high-need school or subject for no less than four years within eight years of graduation. The key concern with this change is how the federal government, or possibly the state, would define a high performing teacher education programs.

    Education reform should be approached in the context of a continuum, beginning in pre-school and ending with graduate school (P-20). Efforts to improve education at all levels and sustaining that improvement will be most effective through collaborative efforts between LEAs and institutions. These partnerships will improve teacher preparation and in-service training programs and strengthen curriculum development.

    Resources