Today, the Learning Policy Institute released a set of reports that present the latest data on U.S. teacher supply and demand and promote comprehensive recruitment and retention strategies to alleviate persistent shortages. AACTE commends the reports’ attention to the steep cost to students of understaffed schools, particularly in low–income communities, as well as the proposed solutions centered on high-quality clinical preparation of new teachers and reducing the attrition rate among practicing teachers.
School districts across the nation are struggling to staff classrooms with adequate numbers of skilled teachers, forcing them to make tough choices that shortchange students. Many educator preparation programs have stepped up recruitment and developed innovative partnerships with districts to meet local needs. Although these efforts are seeing some success, adjustments to the production end of the educator pipeline cannot compensate for the “leaky bucket” of practicing teachers who, according to the Learning Policy Institute, leave at a rate of nearly 8% per year.
Mark your calendar for a special webinar September 29 about key roles for educator preparation providers (EPPs) in solving the nation’s persistent teacher shortages.
Offered by AACTE in partnership with the Learning Policy Institute (LPI), the webinar will highlight the latest enrollment and staffing data and promising models for programs and policies to improve educator recruitment, preparation, and retention.
A new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) and the Brookings Institution explores the teacher diversity shortages that persist throughout the United States. To illustrate the current imbalance between teacher and student demographics, the report notes that in order to reach uniformity between the two populations, some 1 million White teachers currently in the profession would need to be replaced with approximately 300,000 African American teachers and over 600,000 Hispanic teachers.
Pointing to problems that exist throughout the teacher pipeline, the authors predict that resolving the imbalance in teacher demographics will continue to be challenging. As the nation’s diversity continues to grow, so too will the pressure and struggle to address teacher workforce diversity, they say, requiring a long-term approach to improving it.
If it’s back-to-school time, it’s time for the annual Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) International Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. The findings released today, in this 48th year of the survey, show views that are consistent with prior years in many areas and reveal ambivalence about the primary purpose of public education.
As usual, most of the 1,221 adults (especially parents) who participated in the telephone interviews say they like their local public schools, in general, but are less positive about schools elsewhere and about their own schools’ performance in specific areas, ranging from academic rigor to development of students’ critical thinking and teamwork skills. Respondents are notably divided about the chief goals of public education, the degree of freedom that charter schools should have, and the appropriate balance between technology-based and traditional teaching.
At the recent National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Legislative Summit, the organization’s International Education Study Group released the report No Time to Lose: How to Build a World-Class Education System State by State. This report culminates a 2-year study by a bipartisan group of state legislators and legislative staff examining the highest performing countries on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) to discover common themes across their policies and practices.
In a new report issued August 10, the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) calls for reorganizing schools to better cultivate deep learning for all students. The report, What Matters Now: A New Compact for Teaching and Learning, lays out an ambitious vision for educator-driven improvements buttressed by a coordinated system of policy and community supports.
Assessment matters for teachers. Teachers target and differentiate instruction based on evidence gathered in classroom assessments. Teams of teachers in schools review assessment evidence to understand student needs and to guide curriculum development. Parents, teachers, and students themselves make use of assessment results to make the most of learning opportunities. Assessment and interpretation of assessment results is also sometimes a particular challenge for novice teachers, and it is often the subject of school and district professional development efforts. With so many tests, so many strategies, and so much evidence, assessment is a wide and sometimes confusing topic.
A new report on international approaches to developing elementary teachers will be released next week at a webcast event featuring AACTE President/CEO Sharon P. Robinson. Register at this link to tune in for the event, which will be held Tuesday, July 19, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. EDT.
The report, Not So Elementary: Primary School Teacher Quality in Top-Performing Education Systems, is authored by Australian researcher Ben Jensen on behalf of the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE). It looks at international practices in elementary teacher preparation and their effects on student achievement. Recommendations for U.S. policy and practice are included.
Ask any new teacher what part of their preparation was most important, and the answer will almost always be the final clinical component—the student teaching, internship, or residency experience. But while everyone seems to agree that high-quality clinical experience is critical to high-quality preparation, a persistent set of challenges have stood in the way of widespread implementation: identifying excellent clinical faculty, providing adequate time in clinical placements, and helping candidates, particularly those of limited means, navigate the full-time demands of unpaid student teaching or internships.
Last week the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released a new report offering the council’s assessment of how well teacher preparation programs are preparing preschool educators. Again relying on course descriptions and syllabi for its evidence, NCTQ paints a predictably bleak picture, saying the “review of these programs shows little evidence of quality training focused on the needs of the preschool classroom.”
For this report, NCTQ reviewed 100 programs in 29 states and chose not to identify which programs were included in the review. Accompanying the report is a set of resources that include policy recommendations for states and school districts, outlining what NCTQ calls “essentials for a great preschool teacher prep program,” and a guide for would-be teachers, outlining what NCTQ believes they should look for in a teacher prep program.