Recommendations to Strengthen Teacher Preparation & Diversity
March 8, 2019

Two new reports from Educators for Excellence New York and NCTQ outline the importance of teacher preparation and offer recommendations for increasing teacher diversity.

Ready for Day One and Beyond is a new paper written by teachers on the Educators for Excellence New York Policy Team. The paper starts with two important questions: What if our teacher prep program recruited more future teachers of color and prepared us for our diverse student body? And, what if each of us had access to professional development aligned to our needs?

The Policy Team engaged over 1,000 city educators through focus groups and more than 700 through surveys, examined case studies and research from across the country, and consulted with over a dozen experts and stakeholders.

Their recommendations include:

  • Increase Educator Workforce Diversity
  • Grow Teacher Residencies
  • Require Preparation Program Transparency
  • Improve Professional Development Quality and Alignment
  • Increase Accessibility and Equitable Funding for Professional Development

In A Fair Chance: Simple Steps to Strengthen and Diversify the Teacher Workforce, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) reveals the high numbers of elementary teacher candidates—disproportionately candidates of color—failing their professional licensing tests each year. The report analyzes the pass rates on the most widely used licensing tests and shows that most preparation programs devote scant attention to the content knowledge candidates need.

NCTQ’s report shows that “if the pass rate for black and Hispanic teacher candidates were comparable to white candidates, the diversity of the new teaching pool would increase by half.” 

The analysis provides more information on the costs of inadequate preparation and high failure rates, and also points to promising practices and opportunities for improvement. Recommendations for state policymakers include:

  1. Revisit current licensing tests to ensure they capture the content knowledge teachers need to fully prepare students to meet college- and career-readiness standards
  2. Understand that the response to low pass rates is not to abandon tests or make them easier to pass, but to hold teacher prep programs accountable for preparing candidates in the content aligned to elementary standards
  3. Publish first-time and highest-score licensing test pass rates for all candidates enrolled in a teacher prep program to give prospective teacher candidates the information they deserve to choose a program where they are more likely to be successful

Advocates interested in strengthening teacher preparation and diversity can read E4E-NY’s full report here and NCTQ’s report here.

 

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Eric Eagon

Eric is PIE Network's Senior Director, Educator Voice and Policy


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