CCSSO to tackle teacher prep

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On Saturday, Tom Luna, Idaho's state school chief, was sworn in as the new president of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).  It was an event that might have sneaked in under our radar—except for the fact that Luna used the occasion to announce his intent to follow on the momentum from the chiefs' break-through Common Core standards to lead a CCSSO charge on teacher preparation. In his remarks Luna uses NCTQ's standards for teacher prep to frame a core set of expectations for improving teacher prep: 1) raising the bar on who gets into teacher prep; 2) doing a much better job preparing teachers in reading and mathematics; and 3) making sure that the training student teachers receive is in the hands of only highly effective teachers.  Luna has made not just an important move, but a smart one at that, anticipating what is bound to be a collective outcry from school districts attempting to resolve the mismatch inherent when a poorly prepared workforce is required to teach to the rigorous Common Core standards.   

A CCSSO initiative here represents no less than the 4th signal in the past year (joining NCATE's, our own, and US ED's) that major changes in teacher prep are afoot, with or without the buy-in of higher education.

Kate Walsh