NAfME Supports Congressional Action to Overturn Teacher Preparation Rules
NAfME, in partnership with the Association’s two higher education societies, the Society for Research in Music Education and the Society for Music Teacher Education, supports congressional efforts to overturn the Teacher Preparation Program Rules through its powers under the Congressional Review Act.
The regulations, at least five years in the making, require each state to issue annual ratings for teacher-prep programs within their borders. The ratings aim to serve as a snapshot of how novice educators perform after graduation, offering prospective teachers and school district recruiters a more accurate picture of which programs are successful at producing strong educators and which are not. However, the regulations are an example of federal overreach at a time where lawmakers have worked in a bipartisan manner to provide flexibility to states and school districts:
“While the Association and our members teaching in institutions of higher education across the nation believe in accountability for music educator preparation programs, we believe such accountability must be grounded in evidence-based best practice and practical to implement. The current rules are overly standardized, overly prescriptive, and will be costly to implement. Ultimately, these rules will have the unintended consequence of harming music educator preparation in America, a reality that NAfME finds unacceptable.”
Congress is attempting to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to relieve states of these burdensome rules. The CRA is an oversight tool for Congress that offers a check on federal agencies. If exercised, the law allows Congress a 60 day period to conduct a review of major any rules or regulations issued by Executive Branch agencies that have yet to be implemented. If agreed upon by only a majority, members of Congress may overturn a rule or regulation.
The House took the first step in implementing the CRA by passing a resolution on Tuesday to block the Teacher preparation regulations. The resolution passed by a vote of 240-181. The Senate, hoping to finish its confirmations of President Trump’s Cabinet over the next two weeks, will likely take up the CRA at the end of this month.
NAfME staff will provide updates as the Senate continues its work to end the teacher prep regulations.
Tooshar Swain, Policy Advisor, Center for Advocacy, Policy, and Constituency Engagement, February 10, 2017. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)