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AACTE Releases First National Data Report on Teacher Preparation Profession

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(March 20, 2013, Washington, D.C.) – The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) today released The Changing Teacher Preparation Profession: A Report from AACTE’s Professional Education Data System (PEDS) at a National Press Club briefing in Washington, D.C. The report unveils findings from the most recent AACTE PEDS data collection, offering a current look at progress and challenges in higher-education-based teacher preparation.

PEDS data is collected annually from nearly 95 percent of AACTE’s more than 800 teacher preparation program members. The report presents a composite analysis of data from the 2011 and 2012 PEDS surveys for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 school years, respectively. Key findings include the following:

  • Contrary to many perceptions, teacher preparation programs are admitting academically competitive candidates into their programs.  The average GPA of students admitted to teacher preparation programs at the initial certification level was 3.24, a GPA reflecting candidates’ first two years of college before they enter teacher preparation programs.
  • Extensive clinical experiences are being incorporated in higher-education-based teacher preparation programs. In addition to a significant number of hours spent in early field experiences, the full time student teaching/internship averaged 13-16 weeks. Only 5 percent of programs offer a one-year student teaching/internship experience.
  • A majority of teacher preparation programs collect data on their graduates but do not have access to state data. About 70 percent of institutions reported that they had started tracking their graduates into the field. However, while half had been successful in obtaining placement data, a mere 8 percent had been successful in securing state value-added data about graduates.
  • Teacher preparation programs are rising to the challenge of infusing technology into course work. Some 98 percent of preparation programs prepare their students to use technology to deliver instruction, and 62 percent have a technology-related requirement for graduation or program completion.
  • Other findings indicate that the use of performance-based exit measures is on the rise, but not enough progress is being made to address shortages in disciplines such as math and sciences, or in the diversity of candidates.

“We are gratified to see that higher education programs are incorporating new technology and methods of measurement to most effectively prepare teachers, ” said Sharon P. Robinson, Ed.D., president and CEO of AACTE. “Yet we can easily see there is much to be done to ensure that our work is aligned with school districts' workforce needs. We look forward to deepening our collaborative work with our PK-12, state and higher education colleagues to strengthen practice and policy in teacher preparation.”

“High-quality teachers are essential to developing a comprehensive digital learning strategy and rethinking education,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. “I am pleased to see that so many teacher preparation programs are integrating technology into instructional practice. This report provides us data to benchmark where we are and the steps we need to take to ensure that new teachers are ready to teach today’s digital learners.”

In addition to offering observations based on PEDS data, the report puts forth recommendations for a path forward in teacher preparation. Such steps include promoting the adoption of performance-based exit measures for all teacher candidates,  advocating for the vast expansion of  one-year residency programs, enhancing access to PK-12 student performance data, creating and supporting initiatives to diversify the profession and strengthening alignment of teacher production with workforce needs.  

From here, AACTE will continue collecting, synthesizing and disseminating data on the teacher preparation profession. In addition, the Association will be regularly revising its annual PEDS survey to ensure it captures necessary and relevant information on emerging challenges and practices.

view the full report

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AACTE: Serving Learners
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is a national alliance of educator preparation programs dedicated to the highest quality professional development of teachers and school leaders in order to enhance PK-12 student learning. The 800 institutions holding AACTE membership represent public and private colleges and universities in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. AACTE’s reach and influence fuel its mission of serving learners by providing all school personnel with superior training and continuing education.



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