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NAEd Releases Commissioned Papers on Evaluating and Improving Teacher Preparation Programs

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, teacher preparation programs, as well as key stakeholders such as states, accreditation bodies, and teacher unions and organizations, were grappling with shifting demands on teachers and consequently on teacher education. The pandemic has led to deepening staffing shortages exacerbating the needs of PK-12 schools and thus placing increased pressures on teacher preparation programs (TPPs) to creatively address the needs. As TPPs and stakeholders seek to address quality teacher preparation in these changing times, it is critical to understand the landscape of TPPs, teacher candidates, and TPP evaluation systems. The National Academy of Education (NAEd) just released two commissioned papers that specifically target these questions.

Landscape of Teacher Preparation Program and Teacher CandidatesIn Landscape of Teacher Preparation Program and Teacher Candidates, the authors Suzanne Wilson and Shannon Kelley discuss the contemporary teacher preparation landscape and the teacher candidates attending those programs. After providing an overview of the changing landscape of TPPs in the past three decades, the authors describe what is known about the teacher candidates who attend TPPs, including their demographics, academic ability, and motivations to teach. Given the need to attract new teachers, the authors offer a comprehensive synthesis of programmatic and policy approaches to recruiting and retaining new teacher candidates. The paper concludes with implications for policymakers, educators, teacher educators, and researchers as we face potential teacher shortages in the coming years.

Landscape of Teacher Preparation Program Evaluation Policies and ProgressIn Landscape of Teacher Preparation Program Evaluation Policies and Progress, the authors, Stafford Hood, Mary Dilworth, and Constance Lindsay address TPP evaluation policies and progress. This paper pays special attention to (1) national and state policy authorities that drive TPP designs and agenda; (2) prominent organizations and individuals that set professional standards; (3) the impact of rapidly emerging TPP evaluation models; and (4) the critical need to re-examine all areas of TPP evaluation to advance equity and social justice. The paper concludes with recommendations for improved TPP evaluation, including the areas of data alignment, consistency, timeliness and access, and equity.

These two papers are the most recent additions to a commissioned paper series as part of a NAEd study on Evaluating and Improving Teacher Preparation Programs. The study aims to identify best practices among existing models of evaluation tools and provide recommendations for the development of new models. The commissioned paper series covers key aspects of teacher preparation and evaluation methods that support high-quality preparation and continuous program improvement. Other topics that are addressed in this commissioned paper series include

In addition to the commissioned paper series, the NAEd study has produced other major outcomes, including a republished 2013 NAEd report on the evaluation of TPPs (as a multi-layered website) and a landscape analysis of state systems for evaluating TPPs authored by AACTE Dean in Residence Leslie Fenwick. The steering committee is currently developing a peer-reviewed consensus study.

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