Teacher Preparation Commission

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 Samantha DurranceSREB Policy Analyst
Graph with percentages of teachers with a degree in math or math education in 2018.

Giving Elementary Teachers the Tools to Teach Math Well
Broad preparation can leave math-specific knowledge lacking

Math cartoon - "Just a darn minute -- yesterday your said that X equals two!" It’s no secret that aspiring teachers with strong math backgrounds tend to be drawn toward the secondary grades, where they can just teach math. In fact, results of the 2018 National Survey of Science and Math Education showed that just 3 percent of elementary teachers surveyed held a degree in mathematics or math education, compared with 45 percent of middle grades math teachers and 79 percent of high school math teachers.

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

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.