Teacher Preparation

NCATE Unveils a Plan for Aspiring Elementary Teachers

By Ann Bradley — January 13, 1999 3 min read

Programs that prepare elementary school teachers would shift their focus to monitoring candidates’ performance, under a proposed blueprint released last week by the national organization that accredits teacher education.

Instead of looking at what classes and experiences are offered to candidates, the draft standards ask institutions of higher education to provide evidence of what their teacher-candidates know and can do.

Such an orientation meshes with the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education’s plans to create a performance-based system of accreditation. That system, known as NCATE 2000, is now under development.

Compatibility

The “program standards for elementary teacher preparation,” now available for review and comment, were drafted by a committee of representatives from 19 associations, most of them members of NCATE.

The standards call for institutions to gather information about candidates that is “as close as we can come to what it is that teachers actually do on a daily basis in the classroom,” said Emerson J. Elliott, the former commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics who directed the project.

Mr. Elliott and Arthur E. Wise, the president of NCATE, who held a press briefing here to release the proposed standards, stressed that they are compatible with current thinking in the field. The standards fit closely, for example, with the expectations for beginning teachers written by the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium, a group of states working to improve initial teacher licensure.

The new standards also are modeled after the work of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the Southfield, Mich.-based organization that is building a system of advanced certification for accomplished teachers.

The standards, Mr. Wise said, “reflect the new consensus about what elementary education should look like.”

For More Information:
Copies of the program standards for elementary teacher preparation are available from NCATE at 2010 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036-1023; (202) 466-7496. They can also be found on the Web at www.ncate.org.

Under the new process, education schools would be expected to submit assessment results to demonstrate that their teacher-candidates were proficient in the standards. Examples of such work would include scores on state tests, portfolios, information gathered by students in their coursework, and experience in schools.

Working the Faculty

Mr. Elliott, who predicted a mixed reaction to the standards, said the committee struggled with how much detail it should give on the kinds of assessments to be used. In the end, members opted not to be highly prescriptive.

Gary R. Galluzzo, the dean of the graduate school of education at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., called the standards “a convincing step in the right direction.”

“States have ignored elementary teachers’ knowledge,” he said.

The draft document divides the standards into descriptions of good teaching in each subject an elementary teacher must know, and “institutional responsibilities.” Those include steps that education schools must take to become accredited by NCATE using the proposed standards.

After the review period, the NCATE board will be asked next fall to approve the new elementary education standards. The entire NCATE 2000 system, of which the standards will be a part, is expected to debut in 2001.

Mr. Elliott said the Washington-based NCATE hopes to pilot-test the standards with institutions that are ready to move toward a focus on performance.

The greatest interest, he noted, has come from about 15 schools in Florida, Indiana, and Massachusetts--states that have signaled that they want to hold education schools accountable for the quality of the teachers they produce.

Nancy Quisenberry, a professor emeritus and former dean of the college of education at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, said the new standards will mean more work for education faculties.

“That’s where the work is going to come in: to be able to document and provide evidence in a way that really shows that most of our students are capable of doing those things as beginning teachers,” said Ms. Quisenberry, who served on the committee that drafted the standards.

Diana Rigden, the director of the teacher education program at the Council for Basic Education, a Washington group that promotes high standards throughout education, called the draft standards “a very ambitious set of goals.”

To meet them, said Ms. Rigden, who also served on the committee, education faculty members will have to work more closely with their colleagues in arts and sciences.

A version of this article appeared in the January 13, 1999 edition of Education Week as NCATE Unveils a Plan for Aspiring Elementary Teachers

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Building Equitable Systems: Moving Math From Gatekeeper to Opportunity Gateway
The importance of disrupting traditional American math practices and adopting high-quality math curriculum continues to be essential for changing the trajectory of historically under-resourced schools. Building systems around high-quality math curriculum also is necessary to
Content provided by Partnership for L.A. Schools
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Measuring & Supporting Student Well-Being: A Researcher and District Leader Roundtable
Students’ social-emotional well-being matters. The positive and negative emotions students feel are essential characteristics of their psychology, indicators of their well-being, and mediators of their success in school and life. Supportive relationships with peers, school
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Making Digital Literacy a Priority: An Administrator’s Perspective
Join us as we delve into the efforts of our panelists and their initiatives to make digital skills a “must have” for their district. We’ll discuss with district leadership how they have kept digital literacy
Content provided by Learning.com

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teacher Preparation Teachers Can Take on Anti-Racist Teaching. But Not Alone
Teachers want to do better by their students of color, but many don’t know how. Madeline Will examines the gap between intention and action.
3 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
Illustration by Jamiel Law
Teacher Preparation You Have Anti-Racist Curriculum Resources. Now What Do You Do?
Teachers need spaces to explore how power dynamics have shaped the subjects they teach, explains Sarah Schwartz.
4 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
Illustration by Jamiel Law
Teacher Preparation We All Live Racialized Lives: The 'Identity Work' Teachers Need to Do
Understanding the Black experience also means seeing white privilege, writes education professor LaGarrett King.
3 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
Illustration by Jamiel Law
Teacher Preparation Opinion Before We Can Have Anti-Racist Classrooms, Teacher Preparation Needs an Overhaul
My knowledge of African American history did not come from school, writes Keziah Ridgeway. Why was that?
Keziah Ridgeway
3 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
Illustration by Jamiel Law