Friday teacher prep news round up -- How urgent is teacher prep reform?

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The contours of the debate over teacher prep reform are becoming ever more clear. Higher ed organizations point to the progress that ed schools have ostensibly made, the efforts they are making on their own to improve; they push back against what they consider to be untested methods of measuring program quality. Organizations dedicated to improving K12 education are pushing for action now. (Guess which side we're on.)

Nine higher ed groups, including the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) have formed a task force on teacher preparation. It has laid out a critique of the administration's proposed regs on teacher prep and a set of principles for strong accountability systems.

A "wide swath of advocacy organizations, nonprofits, and teacher training groups" sent a letter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan urging him to issue regulations to strengthen teacher preparation accountability (NCTQ was one of the signatories.).

NCTQ's Senior Policy Analyst Julie Greenberg and President Kate Walsh argue that while it may be useful to require teacher candidates to pass a performance assessment before they are licensed, what we know about the edTPA that is being piloted across the country doesn't yet give one confidence that it is a good assessment or an means for assessing the quality of teacher prep programs.

AACTE president Sharon Robinson contends the field of higher-education based teacher prep has made "leaps and bounds in the past decade."

One University of Texas professor calls TFA a "glorified temp agency," while an NYC assistant principal who has supervised corps members says, "if anything, they work too hard."