NCATE Calls for Changes in Teacher Education

On November 16, 2010, in Washington, DC, a broad coalition headed by NCATE (the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education) presented a report calling for turning teacher education “upside down.”

The report, which has specific action steps and the support of a broad swath of education interests, centers on a call for the development of a “system of teacher education” to replace the current state of the field, which was characterized as one with “great variation in how and where clinical training is delivered and an endemic unevenness in quality.” Further, the report urges moves toward a system centered on clinical experience and supported by effective working relationships between higher education and K-12 systems. Read the complete report.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan endorsed the report. Partners in the effort include the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, the Association of Teacher Educators, the National Education Association, and the American Federation of Teachers. Eight states have already agreed to use the report in reform of their teacher preparation and licensure practices.

The proposals have teeth, in that they suggest that teacher preparation programs be held accountable for the success of their graduates. Included in this suggestion is a provision that “Candidates’ practice must be directly linked to the InTASC core teaching standards for teachers and Common Core Standards.” Nowhere in the report is there a suggestion that teachers of subjects other than English/Language arts and Mathematics, the two sole curricula for which Common Core Standards exist, have their performance or the performance of their preparation programs judged on the basis of outcomes tied to standards in their fields (for example, the National Standards for the Arts). MENC: The National Association for Music Education will work with the partners in this effort to address this oversight.