Keep Next Year’s Teachers on Track
Immediate and longer-term policy actions for student-teachers
With colleges and schools closed for COVID-19, state leaders will need to act quickly to keep 60,000 teacher-candidates on track to graduate and enter the workforce in Southern states next year. SREB convened college of education and K-12 leaders from five states to discuss barriers and share ideas, and a new brief recommends short-term policy changes.
- Allow educator preparation programs to conduct student-teaching observations and other requirements online.
- Waive testing for graduation and delay initial licensure testing for at least a year.
- Add a temporary one-year license before new teachers take licensure tests.
- Strengthen mentoring for these first-year teachers.
States should conduct five-year studies of this cohort of teacher candidates to look for deficiencies and use the data to drive professional development and coaching.
“Do not miss the opportunity to learn and grow from this,” the report says.
The brief also recommends longer-term policy changes to existing problems called into focus by the coronavirus pandemic:
- Require teacher preparation programs to include online teaching coursework and experience
- Require mentoring for early-career teachers
- Require all preparation programs ─ traditional and non-traditional ─ to adhere to the same standards for preparation and licensure