THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
IMPROVING TEACHER QUALITY, RECRUITMENT, AND PREPARATION
"Every community should have a talented and dedicated teacher in every classroom". [We have] an enormous opportunity for ensuring teacher quality well into the 21st century, if we recruit promising people into teaching and give them the highest quality preparation and training."
--President Clinton's Call to Action for American Education in the 21st Century
The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 respond to the Nation's critical need for high-quality teachers by enacting much of the Clinton Administration's proposal to improve the recruitment and preparation of new teachers. Our Nation's schools will need 2.2 million new teachers over the next decade, and these teachers need to be well-prepared to teach all students to the highest standards.
Title II of the new law authorizes a $300 million investment in teacher preparation and recruitment in the upcoming fiscal year. The House's FY99 Appropriations bill allocates $2.2 million for teacher recruitment, and the Senate's Appropriations bill allocates $77.2 million for the following HEA initiatives:
Teacher Preparation Partnerships. This new initiative will provide grants to partnerships -- based on the Administration's proposal -- between teacher preparation institutions and local school districts in high-need areas. To ensure that new teachers can meet the many challenges of today's classrooms, the partners will work to strengthen teacher education through activities such as:
Implementing reforms that hold teacher education programs accountable for preparing high-quality teachers. Improving prospective teachers' knowledge of academic content through increased collaboration between faculty at schools of education and departments of arts and sciences; Ensuring that teachers are well-prepared for the realities of the classroom by providing strong hands-on classroom experience and strengthening links between university and K-12 school faculties; Preparing prospective teachers to use technology as a tool for teaching and learning; and Preparing prospective teachers to work effectively with diverse students.
Recruitment Partnerships. Modeled after the highly successful Dewitt Wallace Reader's Digest Foundation's "Pathways to Teaching" program, this new recruitment initiative will provide grants for recruiting teachers to partnerships between high-quality teacher education programs and local schools in high-need communities. Prospective teachers who agree to teach in high-need areas for a set number of years will receive scholarships and other support during their preparation and first years of teaching.
State Teacher Quality Enhancement Grants. These new grants encourage states to improve the quality of their teaching force by:
Strengthening their teacher certification standards to ensure that new teachers have the necessary teaching skills and academic content knowledge; Implementing reforms that hold institutions of higher education accountable for preparing teachers who have strong teaching skills and knowledge of their content areas; Establishing or strengthening alternative pathways into teaching for highly qualified individuals, including mid-career professionals and former military personnel; and Recruiting new high-quality teachers.
Accountability. The new law helps ensure accountability in teacher education by requiring states and institutions of higher education to prepare "report cards" on the quality of teacher preparation, including their students' performance on teacher licensing examinations.
EXAMPLES OF TEACHER RECRUITMENT AND PREPARATION PARTNERSHIPS
The new HEA teacher preparation and recruitment initiatives will promote partnerships and teacher preparation activities similar to the award-winning projects described below.
Massachusetts: Samuel Mason Elementary School in Roxbury, Massachusetts, needed teachers qualified to work with children who required special education services, because 25% of these students were fully included in regular classrooms. The school solved its problem by partnering with Wheelock College to develop a teacher preparation program that provides new and experienced teachers with dual certification in special education and regular education.
Pennsylvania: In Philadelphia, Drexel University has partnered with the Philadelphia Public Schools to recruit a diverse teaching force to serve as early childhood, math, and science teachers. Also in Philadelphia, Temple University is working with the local school district to recruit and prepare returned Peace Corps volunteers to be early childhood, elementary, math, science, and ESL teachers.
Texas: The teacher preparation program at the University of Texas at El Paso is designed, implemented, and evaluated through a collaboration of elementary and secondary school teachers and administrators, university faculty, the staff of the regional Texas Education Service Center, and community members. The curriculum emphasizes bilingual and cross-cultural education to prepare students to teach effectively in predominately Hispanic elementary and secondary schools. The program also uses a strong clinical model in which students work intensively in 18 professional development schools committed to school improvement.
Virginia: Capitalizing on the nearby military base, Norfolk State University in Virginia has collaborated with Old Dominion University and Norfolk Public Schools to recruit and prepare paraprofessionals and retired military personnel to become successful teachers. The program offers both financial and academic support for prospective teachers through a grant from the Dewitt Wallace Reader's Digest Fund.
Wisconsin: Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, works with local schools to provide an innovative, performance-based teacher preparation program. Students are expected to demonstrate their mastery of a variety of skills essential to good teaching, such as: problem solving, involving the community in education, and integrating content knowledge with classroom practice. Upon completion of their extensive student teaching experience, the clinical preparation of Alverno students is assessed by a panel of Alverno faculty, teachers and administrators at their elementary or secondary schools. Currently, faculty and administrators at the college are working with three other institutions to improve their teacher preparation programs by adopting elements of the Alverno model.