Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Obama administration releases long-delayed regulations for teacher-preparation programs - The Washington Post

Obama administration releases long-delayed regulations for teacher-preparation programs - The Washington Post:

Obama administration releases long-delayed regulations for teacher-preparation programs



The U.S. Education Department published regulations Wednesday governing programs that prepare new K-12 teachers, a long-delayed effort meant to ensure that graduates emerge ready for the nation’s classrooms.
The new regulations, at least five years in the making, require each state to issue annual ratings for teacher-prep programs within their borders. The ratings aim to serve as a snapshot of how novice teachers perform after graduation, offering prospective teachers and school district recruiters a more accurate picture of which programs are successful at producing strong educators and which are not.
Obama administration officials also hope the ratings prod training programs — long criticized as cash cows for universities that produce ill-prepared candidates — to improve.
“The system we have for training teachers lacks rigor, is out of step with the times, and is given to extreme grade inflation that leaves teachers unprepared and their future students at risk,” former Education Secretary Arne Duncan wrote this month in an open letter to America’s college presidents. Duncan stepped down in 2015, four years after starting the Obama administration’s effort to overhaul teacher-prep regulations.
The effort proceeded more slowly than the administration anticipated, in part because of deep divisions about the role of standardized test scores in gauging the effectiveness of a new teacher — and thus the effectiveness of the training program that teacher attended.
The Education Department previously pushed for a “significant part” of ratings to come from the performance of recent graduates’ students, as measured by those students’ standardized tests and other measures of achievement. In theory, the agency argued, a strong teacher training program should produce new teachers whose students demonstrate progress on standardized tests.
But that proposal generated a storm of criticism. It was released in 2014 amid a growing backlash against overtesting in the nation’s public schools. Teachers unions argued that test scores are often arbitrary and are an unfair metric for judging effectiveness. The American Council on Education, an association of colleges and universities, and others argued that the Obama administration releases long-delayed regulations for teacher-preparation programs - The Washington Post:


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