Report Recommends Changes to Educator Preparation Programs

All students, particularly those with disabilities, would benefit from stronger licensure standards for teachers and principals, identification of key skills for new teachers and more rigorous educator preparation programs, according to a new report from the University of Florida and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

The report, "Promises to Keep: Transforming Educator Preparation To Better Serve a Diverse Range of Learners," was developed through a partnership between the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform (CEEDAR) Center at the University of Florida and the Council of Chief State School Officers, which is a private, nonprofit professional organization of K-12 education leaders. To develop the guidelines outlined in the report, the two organizations convened an advisory group of state education agency leaders, higher education faculty, national professional organizations and teachers.

Key recommendations outlined in the report include:

  • Identifying the knowledge and skills required by educators to meet the needs of all students;
  • Providing meaningful practical experiences for educators as they learn to apply evidence-based practices to meet the needs of all students;
  • Ensuring that the outcomes of all students, including students with disabilities, are an integral part of preparation program approval and educator evaluation systems;
  • Creating an infrastructure for professional collaboration; and
  • Holding educator preparation programs accountable and providing feedback on how to improve programs.

The Council of Chief State School Officers will distribute the report to state education department leaders and national organizations related to educator preparation, and the CEEDAR Center is partnering with the council to implement many of the guidelines in 15 states. The CEEDAR Center has already begun working with Florida, California, Connecticut, Illinois and South Dakota. The CEEDAR Center received a five-year, $25 million grant from the United States Department of Education's Office of Special Programs "to help the 15 participating states strengthen their standards and methods for preparing, licensing and evaluating teachers and school leaders," according to a news release from the University of Florida. The center will use the guidelines from the Promises to Keep report in its work with the 15 states.

The full report, "Promises to Keep: Transforming Educator Preparation to Better Serve a Diverse Range of Learners," is available as a downloadable PDF from the CEEDAR Center's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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