Department of Education moves to regulate teacher preparation program

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The Obama administration unveiled a proposal Thursday to regulate how the country prepares teachers, saying that too many new K-12 educators are not ready for the classroom and that training programs must improve.

Under the plan, the federal government would require states to issue report cards for teacher preparation programs within their borders, including those at public universities and private colleges, as well as alternative programs such as those run by school districts and nonprofits such as Teach for America.

The rating systems, which would need approval by the Education Department, would for the first time consider how teacher candidates perform after graduation: whether they land jobs in their subject field, how long they stay and how their students perform on standardized tests and other measures of academic achievement.

“Nothing in school matters as much as the quality of teaching our students receive,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan told reporters Thursday. “We owe it to our children to give them the best-prepared teachers possible.”

It will be years before any changes take effect. The administration will take public comments for 60 days, and it plans to issue new regulations by September 2015. But states would not be required to issue report cards for teacher programs until April 2019, well into the next administration.

 Arthur Levine, former president of Teachers College at Columbia University and a critic of teacher preparation programs, said the country needs urgent action. “Our colleges and universities have waited far too long to transform these programs to meet the needs of both today and tomorrow,” he said

>>> Read more Washington Post

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