Woodrow Wilson News & Publications
FOR RELEASE: Monday, September 18, 2006
CONTACT: Beverly Sanford, (609) 452-7007 x181
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LEVINE REPORT CALLS FOR IMPROVEMENT IN TEACHER EDUCATION
PRINCETON, NJ—To ensure that all students are prepared for success in college, the United States needs excellent K-12 teachers. Yet as many as three-quarters of the programs that programs that prepare the nation’s future teachers have inadequate curricula, low admissions and graduation standards, faculty disconnected from the K-12 schools, and insufficient quality control.
These are the findings of Educating School Teachers, a new report by Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, and his colleagues in the Education Schools Project, an independent initiative supported by the Annenberg, Ford, Ewing Marion Kauffman, and Wallace Foundations. The project’s team of researchers conducted a five-year study of education schools, based on broad surveys of deans, alumni, and faculty, as well as public school principals.
The report offers six primary recommendations:
- Transform education schools into professional schools focused on classroom practice.
- Close failing programs, expand quality programs, and create the equivalent of a Rhodes Scholarship to attract the best and brightest to teaching.
- Make student achievement the primary measure of the success of teacher education programs; create state data systems that gauge student progress from the start of school through graduation, enabling universities and states to associate student achievement with their teachers’ preparatory programs and thereby judge the effectiveness of education schools.
- Make five-year teacher education programs the norm, requiring every future teacher to complete a traditional arts and sciences baccalaureate degree followed by a master’s degree in subject-specific pedagogy.
- Shift the training of a significant percentage of new teachers from master’s degree granting-institutions to research universities.
- Strengthen quality control by redesigning accreditation and by encouraging states to establish common, outcomes-based requirements for certification and licensure.
Educating School Teachers is the second of four reports to be issued on the project’s findings. The first, Educating School Leaders, was issued in March 2005, during Dr. Levine’s final year as president of Teachers College, Columbia University. The third report, expected to be released in the year ahead, will focus on education research.
The report, an executive summary, and further information on the Education Schools Project are available at www.edschools.org.
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Begun in 1945 as a program of doctoral fellowships to meet the nation’s need for talented college teachers, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation has supported more than 21,000 intellectual leaders in fields from arts and sciences to business to public service. Over the past two decades, the Foundation has joined its legacy of excellence with its commitment to meet changing national needs at all levels of education—from promoting diversity in the academy and in selected, high-impact professions to building linkages between colleges and universities and public K–12 schools that will improve the quality of education.