Specifically, the federal government should:
- Revise the "Highly Qualified Teacher" definition within the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to require that teachers must establish not only their content expertise, but their ability to teach it effectively, as measured by their actual performance in classrooms, following extended clinical experience;
- Invest in the development of a National Teacher Performance Assessment that would parallel the development and adoption of Common Core Standards;
- Maintain the Teacher Quality Partnership Grants, with a specific clinical preparation focus, in the Higher Education Opportunity Act while increasing funding for the program;
Specifically, state governments should:
- Require a minimum of 450 hours, or one semester, of clinical experience during pre-service teacher preparation;
- Ensure that all teacher preparation routes, regardless of pathway, include the same clinical preparation requirements;
- Require a high-quality teacher performance assessment of all teacher candidates;
- Collaborate to agree upon common clinical experience requirements;
- Offer incentives to schools that act as clinical settings for teacher candidates; and
- Support the expansion or replication of successful teacher residency programs.
Providers of teacher preparation should:
- Ensure school districts and universities work jointly to design and supervise strong clinical practice collaborations;
- Provide all teacher candidates substantial and appropriate clinical preparation prior to becoming "teacher of record" in their own classrooms;
- Train clinical teachers and other teacher mentors to help and support novice teachers;
- Require all clinical teachers to have at least three years of teaching experience; and
- Assist our nation's public schools and teacher preparation programs to jointly adopt standards for newly redesigned clinically based teacher preparation programs.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
AACTE has a new policy brief out titled "The Clinical Preparation of Teachers." The main recommendations are below. Given the times we live in, I predict some policy maker will endorse these recommendations and, in the same breath, endorse alternative paths that include little or no clinical experience.