National Education Organizations and Teachers' Unions Sign On
(January 30, 2014, Washington, D.C.) The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) today released model state legislation that would provide college scholarships to academically talented students who commit to teach in high-need public schools for four years after graduation. Several national education organizations have already signed on to support the new Teaching Fellows Program Act, including the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, National Education Association (NEA) and Opportunity to Learn Campaign (OTL).
Modeled after the North Carolina and South Carolina Teaching Fellows programs, the legislation would also require participating institutions of higher education to provide professional development, community engagement and leadership opportunities to Fellows to support their growth as educational leaders and commitment to remain in the teaching field. In North Carolina, students taught by Teaching Fellows outperform other students in elementary and middle-grade math and across all high school subject areas. In both the North Carolina and South Carolina programs, most Teaching Fellows stay beyond their four-year service obligation and have higher retention rates than their peers.
"States need to invest in systemic approaches to improving the educator workforce, such as by enacting policies that support the recruitment and retention of high-quality teachers," said Sharon P. Robinson, Ed.D., president and CEO of AACTE. "The Teaching Fellows legislation could result in a significant and sustained return on investment for states, including advancing student learning and reducing school districts' expenses for training new educators. We look forward to working with our state chapters and other education stakeholders to introduce this in state legislatures."
The Teaching Fellows Program Act is aligned with AACTE's state policy principles and with the recommendations from "Excellent Teachers for Each and Every Child: A Guide for State Policy," released in December 2013 by AACTE, AFT, NEA, OTL, the Center for Teaching Quality and the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. The legislation also complements AACTE's federal priorities, as outlined in the Educator Preparation Reform Act and the TEACH Grant program.
More information on the Teaching Fellows legislation is available here. Follow progress on the legislation at www.aacte.org or on AACTE's Ed Prep Matters blog at www.edprepmatters.net.
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) 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. For more information, visit www.aacte.org.