- The U.S. Department of Education has announced a new plan requiring all states to submit report cards for the teacher preparation programs within their state lines.
- The proposal, which requires states to grade programs ranging from traditional education schools to alternative certification routes like Teach for America, aims to curb the number of unprepared K-12 teachers.
- While the Obama administration hopes to publish the new regulations by September 2015, states would not be required to issue report cards until spring 2019. The proposal also shifts federal funding, giving more dollars to states with better ranked teacher prep programs.
Each state's rating system would need approval from the U.S. Department of Education and would be based on teacher outcomes — in other words, how they do post-program. Some examples of ways states could measure the success of a teacher training program would be to look at stats like how many graduates were hired in their area of study, how long educators from the program stay in the classroom, and how well the graduates' students perform on standardized tests.
While many hope the new regulations will raise the bar for teachers, not everyone is sold. American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, for example, says the plan may dissuade teacher prep programs from sending their students to teach in low-income communities, since those districts typically have lower test scores.
This is an issue also typically brought up when discussing the value-added method (VAM) for evaluating teachers. Creating a metric that can look at student achievement while also taking into account the realities of a community would be ideal for any metric rating teacher programs.