By Michael Dannenberg  

The Obama administration will release its final teacher preparation reform regulation today.  It is pretty much along the lines discussed in the past.

States are to set up teacher preparation reporting and accountability systems that are outcome-oriented. They’ll have to look at K-12 outcomes associated with specific teacher preparation programs — including K-12 employment outcomes like candidate placement and retention, K-12 student learning outcomes á la ESSA reporting (even more broadly flexible though in that there is no mandated reliance on K-12 student standardized test scores), and customer satisfaction outcomes (e.g. survey results from program graduates and school employers).

In addition, states will have to assure broad program characteristics, such as significant clinical preparation time, are present with specialized accreditation serving as a proxy.  Step it up CAEP.  Programs rated very poorly will lose federal TEACH loan forgiveness / grant eligibility.

States will have flexibility in their accountability system designs to include additional measures of program effectiveness, to determine how much weight to assign specific outcome indicators of program quality, and whether programs are to receive summative ratings that place it in one of three or more overall quality tiers.  Regardless, there must be meaningful differentiation among the rating tiers.  States are to consult with a broad array of stakeholders during the 2016-2017 academic year, can pilot their systems in 2017-2018, and must fully implement in 2018-2019. Some $75 million in ESEA Title II state set-aside funds are available annually to assist in system development and operation.

The goals remain to bring greater transparency and accountability to the teacher preparation system so that programs self-improve, candidates and employers are empowered with information regarding individual teacher preparation program effectiveness, and the federal taxpayer is at least nominally protected from funding persistently poor performing institutions and programs.

There’s a 12:30 pm EST event with Secretary John King and Undersecretary Ted Mitchell at the University of Southern California.

Here’s our quick take.  As my first boss in politics, Senator Pell, used to say, “sometimes you get a loaf of bread one slice at a time.”

Education Reform Now’s Quick Take
on the New Obama Teacher Preparation Reform Regulation

More details and analysis to follow once the regulation formally is published.  Past comments from over 25 supportive advocacy groups can be found here.

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