To the Editor:
We applaud the focus of the latest American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, or AACTE, report on teacher education programs because it mirrors in many ways what the Chalkboard Project seeks to accomplish in Oregon (“Teacher Ed. Programs Show Signs of Improvement, AACTE Finds,” Teacher Beat, www.edweek.org, March 20, 2013).
We have brought together five teams from across the state composed of education school deans, district leaders, and teachers (including those with union responsibilities). In total, the teams serve more than a quarter of Oregon’s K-12 students and 65 percent of teacher-candidates annually. As in an episode of the television show “Survivor,” we told them they have to work together at crafting new ways to achieve important goals.
They’re drafting proposals right now that will seek to increase diversity of teacher-candidates and include at least 30 weeks of classroom practice. The partnerships are also addressing how to place student-teachers with accomplished teachers and to devise new assessment models that include student-achievement metrics. We are also raising the funds needed to support proposals that meet these guidelines.
While we are early in the process, one of the most invigorating outcomes so far has been to see the collaboration that occurs when districts and university stakeholders come together to find a path forward.
A version of this article appeared in the April 17, 2013 edition of Education Week as Creating a Path Forward for Teacher Education