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Seven States Selected for NCATE Licensing Project

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Seven states will work with the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education to reform teacher preparation and licensing, NCATE officials have announced.

Under the accrediting body's New Professional Teacher Project, officials in Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Washington state will convene discussions about upgrading the preparation and licensure of teachers.

The project, financed by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, is a broad effort to encourage the many players in the teaching field to work together from a common set of standards. (See Education Week, Nov. 30, 1994.)

Its goal is to establish state standards for teacher preparation and licensing that focus on a teacher's performance, rather than on an accumulation of coursework. These standards, in turn, would be aligned with NCATE's standards for teacher education schools.

Shari Francis, the director of state relations for the Washington-based accrediting group and the director of the New Professional Teacher Project, said the past few years have seen "piecemeal attempts at teacher preparation reform."

"Now is the time to pull all the strands together in a systematic reform effort," she said.

The states chosen to participate already work closely with NCATE and plan to adopt the model licensing principles being drafted by a task force of the Council of Chief State School Officers.

Each state named a planning team of teachers, teacher-educators, policymakers, administrators, subject-matter specialists, and citizens. The teams now plan to hold regional and state conferences to discuss implementation of their reform plans.

--Ann Bradley

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