Gains Seen in Retooled Teacher Ed

From: Education Week
A study that scrutinizes 22 teacher-preparation programs in Louisiana says that it is possible to prepare new teachers who are as effective as, or sometimes more effective than, their experienced colleagues. Experts say the study, the first of its kind to come out of a state that has implemented a multi-pronged approach to improving its teacher training, shows that it is possible for states and universities to work hand in hand with teacher-educators to produce higher-quality teachers and consequently raise the bar for the profession. Louisiana required all its teacher programs, public and private, to undergo a major redesign between 2000 and 2003. While the state-mandated study released last week, the first of what are to be yearly reports on their effectiveness, had data for only three of the redesigned programs-all of them alternative-certification courses-the results were encouraging……..Just a handful of other states and university systems-including Florida, Ohio, and Virginia, the California State University system, and the University of Texas-have in recent years taken on the task of studying their teacher-preparation programs. Experts on teacher education say that is largely because of the difficulties and costs involved in implementing such systems. “This is very, very complicated stuff. There are numerous agreements that have to be achieved regarding everything from definitions of how you measure candidates, how best you measure them, how you protect candidates and students in terms of identities and privacy,” said Sharon P. Robinson, the president of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, based in Washington. “The technological and psychometric rigor makes this really hard.” College deans and other educators point out that colleges have to put in additional work to improve programs and stretch resources, but have no say over the rewards and penalties under such systems.

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