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ERIC Number: ED512668
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 28
Abstractor: ERIC
Ed School Essentials: A Review of Illinois Teacher Preparation
Greenberg, Julie; Walsh, Kate
National Council on Teacher Quality
The imperative for prospective teachers, school districts, Illinois policy makers and the public as a whole to know more about teacher preparation is the motivation behind this report. At the request of Advance Illinois, the authors evaluated 111 undergraduate and graduate programs in 53 education schools as well as three "independent providers" that recruit, but do not fully prepare, teachers. Each program is evaluated against a set of standards drawn from 39 total that indicate if education schools are: (1) attracting talented individuals; and (2) preparing them in the "specific" ways that will make teachers more effective in the classroom. In this review the authors examine in unprecedented detail programs of study at each education school to determine if candidates can acquire the knowledge and skills that school superintendents routinely wish they had acquired. By looking in detail at the design of an education schools' program, the authors pursue key questions such as: Will the school's graduates be able to teach reading or manage a classroom? Will they be sufficiently knowledgeable about their content area? Do they know about different types of assessments? Have they practiced enough and under the tutelage of teachers who are themselves effective? Only one program out of 111 programs examined in this review earned an "A-." Too many programs tilt toward the bottom end of the scale. If individuals are to improve teacher quality, they must find a way to shift this curve so that it is skewed right rather than left. It is true that many of these programs are complying with the standards set by the state and accrediting agencies. Unfortunately, these standards are not sufficient. In the name of teacher quality, institutions must choose to exceed these standards. In essence, the authors are recommending that institutions redesign their teacher preparation programs in ways that will ensure that every component--from what it takes to be admitted, what happens during the preparation, to what it takes to successfully graduate--is in line with excellence. The authors do so not as an enemy of high quality traditional teacher preparation, but as a strong defender. As such, institutions should take the authors' review not as a call to arms against this messenger, but as an opportunity for surmounting a growing national sentiment that the time has come to give up on improving education schools. In effect, what they offer is a survival guide.
National Council on Teacher Quality. 1420 New York Avenue NW Suite 800, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-393-0020; Fax: 202-393-0095; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Council on Teacher Quality
Identifiers - Location: Illinois