WASHINGTON — More than 100 national, state and local civil rights, disability, rural, youth, higher education, principal and education advocacy organizations under the banner of the Coalition for Teaching Quality went to Capitol Hill today to urge Congress to push a comprehensive roadmap for ensuring students in every community have access to well-prepared and effective educators. At House and Senate briefings the coalition will press the importance of profession-ready and effective teachers and principals as key to advancing educational opportunity.
“One of the most critical investments we can make is in high-quality education for our children, and that starts with a well-prepared teacher in every classroom,” said Senator Patty Murray, D-WA, who is hosting the Senate briefing. “I’m proud that Seattle is leading the way with its residency model, and look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure teachers across the country have the resources and support they need to be prepared for the classroom.”
The coalition has been pushing for policy solutions that will address the reality that students in many high-need schools do not have the same type of access to great educators. It has also been urging policymakers to move beyond a narrow focus on educator effectiveness, and instead to embrace a comprehensive vision of teaching quality that begins in preparation and extends to leadership roles.
(A full list of coalition members is available here.)
Releasing its “Excellent Educators for Each and Every Child: A Policy Roadmap for Transforming the Teaching and Principal Professions,” the group urges measures to strengthen the recruitment pipeline for teachers and principals; build robust preparation programs that ensure that future educators are profession-ready; and cultivate opportunities for continuous growth and leadership.
“We need to seize this moment to strengthen the profession, especially the trajectory teachers follow in order to become accomplished practitioners," -said Ronald Thorpe, president and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. "Getting that path right, and making sure all teachers follow it, is the surest way to create and sustain a workforce that is defined by the same consistent quality that is the hallmark of other professions.”
In the first of a series of reports tied to the roadmap, “Profession-Ready Teachers and Principals for Each and Every Child,” the coalition outlines four steps that future teachers must take to ensure that they are ready to step into the classroom as a “teacher of record". The steps include completing a teaching residency under the guidance of an accomplished teacher and demonstrating beginning proficiency of the skills and knowledge needed for classroom instruction through a valid and reliable performance assessment, such as edTPA.
For principals, the steps to becoming profession-ready include earning an advanced degree and demonstrating a record of success as a teacher, completing a one-year residency program under accomplished school leaders, and successfully completing a performance-based assessment for principals.
“Congress and the Administration need to respond to public demand for more comprehensive strategies for ensuring ensure every classroom and school in America is led by competent, caring and committed education professionals. We need more visionary thinking than the current narrow focus on educator effectiveness, without overlooking the importance of profession ready teachers and principals," said coalition co-chair Joseph Bishop, who is the executive director of Opportunity Action and policy director for the National Opportunity to Learn Campaign.
About the Coalition for Teaching Quality (http://www.coalitionforteachingquality.org)
The Coalition for Teaching Quality represents a broad cross-section of over 100 local, state, and national organizations representing civil rights, disability, parent, student, community, and education groups. Formed in reaction to a provision that allowed teachers in training to be identified under federal law as “highly qualified” and concentrated in low- income, high need schools, this group has developed a new, comprehensive framework for teaching quality that will allow the nation to put a fully-prepared and effective educator in every classroom and school.