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Front-End Standards Can Assure Teachers are Ready to Teach on Day One


WASHINGTON - October 21, 2010 -

A consortium of teacher preparation programs, made up of 30 colleges and universities in California and elsewhere, has developed a teacher performance assessment that could become a model for the nation. Teacher education programs in 19 states are piloting this assessment in which teacher candidates are evaluated on their planning and instruction skills along with their ability to assess and respond to student needs. The new standard comes from the Performance Assessment for California Teachers or PACT.

The following statement may be attributed to Segun Eubanks, director of Teacher Quality at NEA:

“This pilot program looks very promising as it addresses teacher quality at the right time—at the front end of a teacher’s career, before he or she ever steps into a classroom. Up to this point, preparation programs have assessed teachers solely on subject matter expertise rather than on whether candidates had the right set of skills to reach and teach students. 

“We’re excited that this clear set of standards will measure whether a candidate is ready to begin a teaching career. Too often concerns about an individual’s teaching practice are not raised until years later. With this program, we’ll know if a candidate has the skills and ability to do the job on day one.” 

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing
3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Sara Robertson  (202) 822-7823, srobertson@nea.org