From Inside Higher ED
By Allie Grasgreen

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration has proposed to transform teacher preparation programs by directing aid to those that graduate the teachers who produce the most successful student outcomes. The plan would significantly reduce the reporting requirements on teacher candidate preparation that states and colleges must meet under federal rules, but would require tracking of how graduates perform in public schools. Those programs found to produce poor teachers, as judged in part by lack of movement on standardized test scores, would have to improve or face possible shutdown.

From The Chronicle
By Collin Eaton

Arne Duncan, the U.S. secretary of education, laid out measures on Friday that would change how teachers' colleges are evaluated and supported, but the plan has some sticking points for teachers' colleges and teachers' unions.

At a forum here hosted by Education Sector, a nonpartisan research group, Mr. Duncan said that the American teacher-preparation system was a mixed bag of high- and low-quality colleges, and that 62 percent of new teachers said they were unprepared to begin teaching after graduating from those programs. One problem, he said, is that colleges are not held accountable for their students' teaching quality after graduation – measured by the performance of their graduates' elementary- and secondary-school students on standardized tests.

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.

From Education Week
By Stephen Sawchuk

Of all the states that have taken steps to rethink systems for preparing teachers, New York appears to be experimenting with the greatest variety of approaches.

Under a series of actions by the state board of regents over the past 1½ years, it has approved the first new graduate school of education in the state in more than half a century; cracked open the door to allow nonuniversity programs to prepare teachers at the graduate-degree level; and financed a variety of “clinically rich” pilot training programs at traditional schools of education.

The state is also in the beginning phases of tying a series of teacher assessments to its tiered-certification system, a move that ultimately will require all teachers to pass performance exams and demonstrate their impact on student learning to receive a professional certificate.

From Education Week
By Stephen Sawchuk

slew of organizations representing colleges and universities have lined up to oppose a recently introduced federal teacher- and principal-training bill, urging the the chairman and ranking Republican on the Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee not to support the proposal.

The bill, introduced in late June, would authorize grants to states to begin teacher and principal "academies" run by nonprofits, with or without participation of higher education. The academies could offer either degrees or a certificate of completion roughly equivalent to a master's degree, and would not be subject to a state's teacher-preparation regulatory apparatus.

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