Fighting the Non-University Master’s

From Inside Higher Ed
By Libby A. Nelson

WASHINGTON – A Senate bill that would encourage the growth of alternative training programs for teachers and principals, some of which would not be based at colleges or universities but would have the authority to give certificates considered the equivalent of master’s degrees, has come under fire from higher education organizations that argue Congress should focus on higher education institutions in efforts to improve teacher quality.

The bill, S. 1250, the Growing Excellent Achievement Training Academies for Teachers and Principals Act, introduced in June, would give grants to states to set up or authorize “academies” for training teachers and principals. The training programs could be based at colleges or universities, but could also be hosted by other nonprofits, such as Teach for America. The programs would be required to have a “rigorous” selection process, make clinical instruction (such as student teaching) a significant part of the training process, and only issue credentials to would-be teachers who proved they could improve student achievement.

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