(Sept. 20, 2012, Washington, D.C.) – The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) celebrates Sen. Jack Reed's (D-R.I.) and Rep. Mike Honda's (D-Calif.) introduction of "The Educator Preparation Reform Act." The bill, announced today at a press conference in Washington, D.C., will improve the quality of teaching in high-need schools by reforming and strengthening accountability of educator preparation programs, and supporting partnerships to meet the needs of educators and educational leaders.
The key provisions of "The Educator Preparation Reform Act" reflect many of the same priorities outlined in AACTE's policy recommendations for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and Title II of the Higher Education Act (HEA). Among some of the bill's provisions are:
- Improving the Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grants by expanding the residency program to include principals who commit to serve at least three years in a high-need school, and supporting partnerships to prepare other educators needed by their local school districts, such as literacy specialists and school counselors;
- Strengthening accountability by: requiring all teacher preparation entities to submit report cards to the public on programs' quality and performance; collecting data on teacher candidates' clinical experiences; and improving current state requirements to report on and hold accountable low-performing preparation programs, among other requirements.
- Coordinating ESEA teacher quality initiatives with educator preparation programs by allowing states to use the 2.5 percent set aside under the Title II ESEA teacher quality state formula grant to develop and implement a performance assessment of pre-service teacher candidates' classroom effectiveness and develop a system for assessing the quality and effectiveness of professional development programs; and
- Reforming the TEACH grant program in Title IV of HEA by limiting eligibility for grants to juniors, seniors, and master's degree level students and restricting eligibility for institutions designated as "low performing" or "at-risk" by a state.
"AACTE is proud to support this important bill," said Sharon P. Robinson, Ed.D., president and CEO of AACTE. "Senator Reed and Congressman Honda have shown impressive leadership in putting forth this thoughtful, progressive and workable approach to reforming educator preparation. AACTE is pleased to see that many of the provisions are reflective of our recommendations for ESEA and Title II HEA reauthorization. We look forward to championing this bill as it moves forward through the legislative process."
AACTE sent a letter to Sen. Reed and Rep. Honda lauding the bill and the positive impact that it stands to make on the educator preparation profession. In addition, 25 national K-12 and higher education organizations have already endorsed the bill, including members of the Higher Education Task Force on Teacher Preparation, which also offered an official letter of support.
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 fuels its mission of serving learners by providing all school personnel with superior training and continuing education.