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Experts and educators recommend overhaul of teacher prep process

NEA supports measures to raise the bar for entry into the classroom

WASHINGTON - November 16, 2010 -

The National Education Association applauds recommendations in a report released today by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) that calls for a national strategy to prepare effective teachers. “Transforming Teacher Education Through Clinical Practice,” is the product of a blue ribbon panel convened by NCATE to improve student learning. The panel looked at the issue of preparing new teachers for the classroom, analyzing the entire system. The panel’s final report and recommendations provide guidance for improving and revitalizing the profession from the beginning, examine the teacher education and preparation process, identify 10 design principles for clinically based programs and a comprehensive series of strategies to revolutionize teacher education. 
The following can be attributed to NEA Secretary-Treasurer and NCATE Blue Ribbon Panelist Becky Pringle:
“The path to the classroom must include practical clinical opportunities, strengthened mentoring and induction programs and continuous professional development and education opportunities. We would never leave a first year medical or law student to their own devices and expect them to operate on a patient or try an important case.  Yet we expect new teachers to be able to perform at the highest standards on the first day. We need to apply the same rigorous training, support and joint accountability standards to the profession of teaching. 
“When we talk about transforming schools, improving student achievement and increasing classroom accountability we must also look at teacher education and preparation and the role that it plays in their efficacy in the classroom and the achievement of their students. We cannot risk the future of our children or our nation by allowing inexperienced teachers to enter the classroom.
“NEA is committed to continuing our partnerships, working across the board with districts, schools of education and policymakers to expand practical clinical opportunities, strengthen licensure requirements, encourage mentoring and induction programs and emphasize staff development and evaluation. We applaud NCATE and the panel for stepping forward with the call for a national strategy and we stand ready to do all that we can to see it come to fruition.”

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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: Michelle Hudgins  (202) 822-7823,