Teacher Preparation Commission

Overview

Teacher Preparation Commission

Report of the SREB Teacher Preparation Commission | State Policies to Improve Teacher Preparation | December 2018

How can state policy improve the preparation of teachers? 

The SREB Teacher Preparation Commission met during 2016, 2017 and 2018 to develop practical and effective statewide recommendations to improve teacher preparation programs.

“A great teacher can change the trajectory of a student’s life, which is why every student deserves an excellent educator,” said Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, who chaired the Commission. “Given its importance, teaching should require a firm grounding in initial preparation, close mentoring in the early years, and continued professional learning.” 

Publication January 201932 pages18E06

State Policies to Improve Teacher Preparation
Report of the SREB Teacher Preparation Commission

To improve the effectiveness of new teachers, the SREB Teacher Preparation Commission called on states to: 

  1. Hold all new teachers in a state to the same high standards, and require practice-based licensure tests.
  2. Require high-quality clinical teaching experiences.
  3. Develop statewide data systems for continuous improvement.
  4. Encourage partnerships between teacher preparation programs and K-12 districts. 
Blog post Matthew SmithSREB Research Associate

Using Data to Transform Teacher Preparation

The SREB Teacher Preparation Commission has called on state leaders to build data systems that will improve preparation programs. The commission identified three groups that would benefit from robust and accessible data:

  • Individuals choosing where to enroll
  • Preparation providers interested in improving their strategies
  • Policymakers considering changes to state requirements

View our webinar on this topic. 

Blog post Matthew Smith | SREB Research Associate

Spotlight on Clinical Experiences
How State Leaders Could Support High-Quality Clinical Practice

The SREB Teacher Preparation Commission called on state leaders to consider ways to improve the quality of teacher candidates’ classroom experiences. After consulting the research, Commission members learned that the length of a clinical experience is less important than ensuring that candidates are supported by effective mentors and supervised by university faculty who have experience in the classroom.

Blog post Matthew Smith, SREB Research Associate

Getting the Balance Right
Reconsidering the Mix of Teacher Licensure Measures

The SREB Teacher Preparation Commission called on state leaders to adopt practice-based assessments. These tests assess candidates’ readiness to lead a classroom and to apply lessons learned during coursework and clinical experiences.

Practice-based assessments have diagnostic value, meaning they provide performance data that educator preparation programs can use to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement. State agencies could use the assessment data to determine how they will provide technical assistance to preparation programs.

Webinar

Clinical Practice in Teacher Preparation
Innovation, Promising Practices and the State's Role

View webinar recording

New teachers need plenty of opportunities to practice their teaching skills, and they need specific, targeted feedback to help them improve.  The SREB Teacher Preparation Commission concluded that being sure teacher candidates experience high-quality clinical practice is the clearest implication of research in the field. Join us for a discussion on promising practices and the state’s role in policy.

Publication September 2017 | 8 pages | (17C03)
report cover: more than the numbers

More than the Numbers
Teacher Preparation Data Systems: State Policy and Recommendations

This first report from the SREB Teacher Preparation Commission recommends that states build strong data systems as a critical first step in efforts to improve teacher preparation programs. It describes systems in Louisiana, North Carolina and Tennessee as models to learn from and lays out promising practices from these early systems. Three major recommendations cover where the data should come from, what it should cover, and how it should be used.

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Resources

Clinical Experiences in Teacher Preparation
Issue summary for the Teacher Preparation Commission

June 2017 — Many of the promising innovations in teacher education are centered around clinical practice-teaching experiences for teacher candidates. Year-long residencies in urban schools and tight partnerships between university teacher preparation programs and local school districts are experimenting with ways to best prepare novices for the schools and students in local areas.

News

Data, Data Everywhere
… But not a Byte to Use

What works in teacher preparation? How well do a college of education’s graduates perform in the classroom? And do we really have a shortage of teachers?

For the most part, we don’t know.

Strong data systems are the most promising component to improve how colleges prepare teachers for their jobs, but bringing them into being hasn’t been simple, said Jim Wyckoff of the University of Virginia

News

No Easy Answers
Teacher Prep Commission Studies Difficult Issues

State legislators — many of them former teachers, principals or education professors — came together in June 2016 to begin work on one of education’s most challenging issues: recommending policies to improve the programs that prepare classroom teachers.

The commission’s charge is a difficult one, said SREB President Dave Spence, but it has never been more important. The job of teaching is harder than ever, he said. “We expect 80 percent of students to go on to college now, and yet the population is much more diverse and increasingly low-income.”