Friday, September 30, 2011

A New Approach to Teacher Education Reform and Improvement

This morning at 9AM I listened to a live webcast regarding A New Approach to Teacher Education Reform and Improvement. This presentation was given by Secretary Arne Duncan, U.S. Department of Education,  @EducationSector and #teacherprep.This live webcast was also live tweeted, where individuals could "tweet in" questions or comments about the presentation.This webcast was about how support and strengthen school teacher programs. By strengthening school teacher programs, our student's education will be greatly improved. This presentation then gave their plan to build teacher programs.

Here are my notes about this wonderful presentation:
  • Teacher quality programs are varied around the nation. 
  • 62% of new teachers felt they were unprepared for the classroom
  • Duncan is stunned that there's been no feedback given to teacher prep programs on how well they're doing
  • Duncan stated that 1.6M teachers will retire in the next decade- this is a huge opportunity and warrants better
  • Outcomes-based accountability coming to teacher preparation  programs, get ready!
  • Currently our programs serve no one well - improving education can not be deferred!
  • America's teacher and students deserve world class teacher prep programs

The program roll out as defined by Duncan:
- Reward good programs
- 3 elements: reduce reporting burden, but help with data collection, reform financing service to pre-sevice teachers, and provide support for institutions that prepare teachers from diverse backgrounds.

1. reduce reporting burden, but help with data collection
  •  report on outcome measures (student growth, job placement, retention rates, survey programs of graduates) 
  • 2/3 of teachers say they are not ready for the classroom

2. reform financing service to pre-sevice teachers
  • provide high achieving students with scholarships

3.  provide support for institutions that prepare teachers from diverse backgrounds.
  • 40m budget request for minority serving institutions
  • work with congress to build a "world class" teacher prep program

The next portion of the live webquest was presented by Dennis Van Roekel, President, National Education Association.
  • The NEA  advocates for educational professionals, fulfill promise of education, and prepare every student to succeed. 
  • 6 core values, one is professionalism.
  • Work to build the profession 
  • 47% of teachers, leave within the first 5 years of teaching! 
  • No student should have a teacher who is ill- prepared.
  • Applauds extra efforts to put best teachers in most challenging schools and diversify workforce
The third part of the presentation was given by Wendy Kopp, Founder and CEO, Teach For America. 
  • Invest in induction programs
  • Meaningful professional development
  • School districts should be stronger in selecting new teachers
  • Identified what successful teachers do differently
  • Move towards a collaborative world of teacher improvement 
  • Just as great teachers are made, not born, so are great teacher providers
The next portion of the webcast was a panelist roundtable discussion. The panelists were: George Noell, Executive Director, Strategic Research and Analysis, Louisiana Department of Education, Deborah Loewenberg Ball, Dean, School of Education, University of Michigan, Sharon Robinson, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, Kate Walsh, President, National Council on Teacher Quality, Elena Silva, Senior Policy Analyst, Education Sector.
  • There are differences across and within institutions who prepare new teachers
  • There is a need for measurements of such things as whether a teacher can lead discussions within the classroom
  • Need to  focus upon the product, not the process! There are many different ways  to  reach success.
  • Support and challenge people to be great
  • No one enters in this educational  business because they want to be unsuccessful - everyone wants to be successful
  • Leadership is the key

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