The proposed Ready to Teach Act of 2003 would amend Title II of the Higher Education Act of 1965 through measures that the bill’s supporters say would push states and teacher education programs to turn out better-qualified instructors. The bill is the first in what is expected to be a number of congressional proposals to reauthorize the higher education law. While the legislation is subject to change, the bill as written would:
- Mandate that states and teacher colleges report the passing rates on certification and licensure tests of teacher-candidates who have taken at least two semesters of coursework;
- Promote, through the disbursement of federal grants, the use of merit-based performance systems for teachers and principals, and bonus pay for teachers in high-poverty and rural schools;
- Require states applying for teacher-recruitment grants to describe how their efforts would help bring more minority candidates into the teaching profession, and direct the U.S. secretary of education to give those applications priority; and
- Encourage state applicants for federal grants to devise innovative teacher-preparation programs, such as charter colleges of education.
SOURCE: House Education and the Workforce Committee