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New report says better teacher preparation is a key for reform

Craig Clough | October 9, 2014

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Edsource Report

Credit: EdSource

EdSource, a news organization that focuses on education policy, today released a detailed report that concludes better teacher preparation is vital to improved classroom achievement across California.

The report, “Preparing World-Class Teachers: Essential Reforms of Teacher Preparation and Credentialing in California,” draws from research by other government agencies and groups, as well as from first-hand interviews of experts and new teachers that recently went through the credentialing process.

Its seven recommendations for the state embrace the idea that effective preparation of teachers is an essential part of improving academic achievement, especially with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards.

The report argues that better teacher preparation should be considered among other reforms, such as linking teacher evaluations to student test scores, lengthening the tenure period and finding ways to fire ineffective teachers.

The report comes as the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing is scheduled to discuss its annual report card on teacher prep programs tomorrow, and the U.S. Department of Education is set to release proposed regulations to help improve teacher preparation by the end of the year.

Among the recommendations the EdSource report offers are:

  • Expand undergraduate “blended” programs that combine academic coursework with teacher training.
  • Set statewide standards regulating the duration, content and quality of student teaching.
  • Create middle school and pre-K credentials.
  • Establish meaningful renewal requirements that promote teacher growth and leadership, with professional learning completed at the local level counting toward those requirements.
  • Improve special education training requirements.
  • Improve new teachers’ access to high-quality mentor support programs.
  • Implement more aggressive programs aimed at recruiting new teachers.

Click here to read the entire report.

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