Senate Hearing on Federal Oversight of Teacher Preparation!

Dear Commons Community,

The Chronicle of Higher Education had an article on a hearing before the Senate Education Committee on how to improve federal reporting of data from the nation’s teacher education programs.  A brief recap:

“Testifying at a hearing before the Senate education committee, witnesses called for a “common set of concise but meaningful measures,” as Jeanne M. Burns, associate commissioner for teacher and leadership initiatives at the Louisiana Board of Regents, put it.

She told lawmakers that many of the existing requirements are time-consuming and meaningless, and urged them to “identify a clear purpose for the collection of data” from teacher-prep programs. She suggested that Congress start with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation’s new standards, which will require programs to tighten their admissions criteria and to prove that their graduates are contributing to the academic growth of the students they teach.

That approach was embraced by Mary Brabeck, chair of the accreditation council’s Board of Directors. In her testimony, Ms. Brabeck argued that the current data “do not capture what we need to know about program quality, outcomes, and impacts.”

Another panel member, Edward Crowe, a senior adviser with the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, proposed replacing the 140 data elements that programs now report with eight metrics focused on the quality of teacher candidates and their professional outcomes.

Timothy Daly, president of TNTP, an advocacy group formerly known as the New Teacher Project, went a step further, urging lawmakers to start from scratch.”

It is my belief that many of the schools of education are doing a fine job.  Some are not.  However, the present reporting requirements are almost meaningless and should be simplified.


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