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Department of Education Proposes Reform to Teaching Training

In September the United States Department of Education released a proposal for revamping teacher preparation in America. The report, Our Future, Our Teachers: The Obama Administration's Plan for Teacher Education Reform and Improvement, makes the administrations case for effective teacher preparation as a key component of improving American's education system.

Teacher preparation programs have been and continue to be essential in the creation of an effective elementary and secondary education system. Schools rely on preparation programs to recruit, select, and prepare approximately 200,000 future teachers every year. When preparation programs deliver underprepared teachers into classrooms the entire education system suffers. Research has linked weak programs to poor student performance. Weak programs set minimal standards for entry and graduation of new teachers. They produce inadequately trained personnel and the result is students who do not make sufficient academic progress.

The recommended reforms include changing how funding is provided for teacher training as well as data collection on how preparation schools perform.  The changes provide grants for identifying top-tier preparation programs as well as requiring education schools to report on three new measures to the Department of Education: how much their graduates help students learn; whether teacher-candidates are placed in high-needs subjects and areas; and whether school administrators are satisfied with the quality of program graduates.

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