Recommendations Build on Data from Nationwide Teach Plus Poll Showing Most New Teachers Unprepared for Demands of Teaching
BOSTON, MA— Teach Plus has released two policy briefs that offer clear, tangible recommendations to ensure that more teachers are ready on day one to help students succeed. Both briefs build on data from a recent Teach Plus online poll of over 1,000 teachers from 34 states and the District of Columbia, which underscored new teachers’ lack of strong training in their teacher preparation programs. Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellows and current classroom teachers in California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Virginia and Washington, D.C. provided the recommendations in the briefs, which come on the heels of the federal proposal to improve the monitoring of teacher preparation programs.
Key poll findings were:
- 77% of teachers responded that their preparation program left them unprepared to meet the demands of the classroom and the needs of all or many of their students.
- In response to a question about what would have made their preparation programs stronger, 55% said more instruction on classroom management, 53% said more courses on differentiating instruction and 47% said additional instruction on teaching English language learners and special education students (47%)
- When asked which factors would have been most useful when deciding on a program, respondents overwhelmingly chose factors that reported programs’ outcomes. 68% would have liked information on the retention rate of graduates, 61% would have liked information on graduates’ impact on student achievement, and 53% would have liked to know the job placement rates of graduates in the field of education.
“The data from our poll show that teachers support the decade-long call for the need to significantly change the way we prepare teachers in this country,” said Candace Crawford, Executive Director of Teach Plus D.C.
Great Teachers Are Made (Teach Plus D.C. and Los Angeles)
In Great Teachers Are Made, Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellows from Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles put forth recommendations in three areas based on their analysis of the poll data. First, Fellows recommend raising the bar for entry into teaching. They call for revised certification exams that go beyond assessing basic content knowledge. Second, they call for changes to clinical practice and recommend that teaching candidates have a longer and more intensive clinical experience that is guided by teachers who have received multiple years of effective evaluation ratings and have been in the classroom for a minimum of three years. Last, the Fellows recommend tighter alignment between required coursework and the realities of today’s classrooms.
Ready for Day One: Teachers Weigh in on Teacher Preparation (Teach Plus Massachusetts)
In Ready for Day One: Teachers Weigh in on Teacher Preparation, Massachusetts Teaching Policy Fellows highlight similar themes. The teachers – from 25 urban public schools across the state – recommend instruction with rigorous content and pedagogical training that will prepare educators to teach diverse learners, such as students with disabilities, English language learners, and students who have experienced trauma. They also recommend high-quality experiential training spanning a whole school year, supervised by a demonstrably-effective and well-trained mentor teacher, and more transparency about the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs.
About Teach Plus
Teach Plus aims to improve outcomes for urban children by ensuring that a greater proportion of students have access to effective, experienced teachers. Teach Plus runs three programs designed to place teacher leaders at the center of reform: Teaching Policy Fellows, the Core Collaborative (C2), and T3: Turnaround Teacher Teams. The programs focus on demonstrably effective teachers who want to continue classroom teaching while also expanding their impact as leaders in their schools and in district, state and national policy. Since its inception in August 2009, Teach Plus has grown to a network of more than 20,200 solutions-oriented teachers in six major cities across the country. www.teachplus.org
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