General Teacher Preparation Policy
The state should ensure that teacher preparation programs provide teacher candidates with a high quality clinical experience. The bar for this goal was raised in 2017.
Cooperating Teacher Requirements:
Cooperating teachers in Louisiana must meet one of the four criteria in order to be eligible to supervise a student teacher: possess a Type A or Level 3 Professional Certificate in the field of supervisory assignment, possess a Type B or Level 2 Professional Certificate in the field of supervisory assignment and have successfully completed a three-semester-hour course in the supervision of student teaching, possess a Type B or Level 2 Professional Certificate in the field of supervisory assignment and have successfully completed assessor training through the Louisiana Teacher Assistance Program, or possess a Type B or Level 2 Professional Certificate in the field of supervisory assignment and have National Board Certification in the field of supervisory assignment. Teachers with a Level 2 or 3 Professional Certificate must show evidence of effectiveness in order to advance or renew licensure (see 9-A: Licensure Advancement). Cooperating teachers with Type A or B certificates issued prior to July 1, 2002, do not have to show any evidence of effectiveness in order to qualify as a cooperating teacher.
Clinical Practice Duration: Louisiana requires candidates to spend at least 270 hours student teaching, with at least 180 of these hours spent in actual teaching. Candidates must complete a substantial portion of the 180 hours in actual student teaching on an all-day basis. The state also requires candidates participate in a year-long residency program.
Requirements of the residency program are as follows:
Louisiana Revised Statute 17:7.1(A) 5 and 6 Bulletin 746 Section 787; Bulletin 996 Chapter 7 Louisiana Register Vol. 43, No. 09 September 20, 2017 Page 1815 http://www.doa.la.gov/osr/REG/1709/1709.pdf
Ensure that cooperating teachers have demonstrated evidence of effectiveness as measured by student learning.
Louisiana is commended for ensuring that some cooperating teachers have demonstrated effectiveness based in part on student learning; however, the state should make this assurance for all cooperating teachers. The state should consider requiring that the current evaluation ratings for teachers, including those licensed before 2002, are part of the selection criteria to become a cooperating teacher. Research indicates that student teachers benefit most when cooperating teachers are selected by the preparation program rather than by the student teacher or school district staff.
Require teacher candidates to spend at least 10 weeks student teaching.
Although Louisiana requires a year-long residency program, the state incorporates other activities into this experience in addition to classroom teaching. Therefore, it is unclear from state policy whether this program results in 10 weeks of consecutive student teaching. Louisiana should, therefore, strengthen its policy and clearly require a summative clinical experience for all prospective teachers. Student teaching should be a full-time commitment; simultaneously req
Specify that clinical practice experiences take place in the setting of the license sought.
Although Louisiana may intend that teachers complete their clinical practice experience in the setting of the license they are seeking, without clearly requiring that teachers do so, it may be possible for teachers to fulfill these requirements in any setting.
Louisiana recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis, and was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced this analysis.
1E: Student Teaching
The stakes are too high for student teaching requirements to be left to chance. Student teaching is the final clinical experience of teacher preparation, and teacher candidates have only one chance to experience the best possible placement. Student teaching will shape their own performance as teachers and help determine the type of school in which they will choose to teach. A mediocre student teaching experience, let alone a disastrous one, can never be undone.
Central to the quality of the student teaching experience is the classroom teacher who serves as the teacher candidate's mentor, or cooperating teacher. Only strong teachers with evidence of their effectiveness, as assessed by objective measures of student learning and by their principals, should be able to serve as cooperating teachers. Yet placement is much more likely to be the luck of the draw. Reports by NCTQ, including Student Teaching in the United States and the Teacher Prep Review,
found most teacher preparation programs fail to require that cooperating teachers must be effective instructors.