Teacher Preparation and Development

Preparation Programs

In the Spring of 1995, Mr. Hart and Ms. Burr undertook an extensive on-site review of teacher preparation programs in the CSU. Augmented by visits to a number of independent college and University of California programs and conversations with numerous school superintendents and personnel directors, IER issued the report The Teachers Who Teach Our Teachers in February 1996. The report, while noting several examples of exemplary programs within CSU, contained many recommendations for improving preparation programs. These recommendations centered on three areas:

  • Strengthening K-12 and university partnerships to bridge the chasm between theory and practice in teacher education;
  • A systematic review and revision of internal CSU policies to encourage better coordination between Schools of Education and Schools of Arts and Sciences, and to recognize in all university faculty reward systems the importance of teacher preparation on CSU campuses;
  • Revision of state laws and regulations to give teacher candidates earlier and more frequent opportunities for K-12 clinical experiences, to simplify credential requirements and require individual candidate assessments as a condition for receipt of a credential, and reduce the use of emergency permits.

Emergency Teachers

In 1996 the IER issued a second report, A State of Emergency..In a State of Emergency Teachers, which documented the alarming increase in the number of uncredentialed teachers serving in California's classrooms and contained a series of recommendations for stemming this tide. (It should be noted that, with the enactment of the sweeping K-3 class size reduction initiative last year, this situation has grown worse.) Recommendations in the report called for:

  • Creating greater public awareness through the issuance of an annual state report on emergency credentials and expansion of School Accountability Report Cards, which every parent receives, to include information on emergency permit teachers;
  • Achieving more rigorous training for emergency permit teachers by requiring individuals teaching on emergency permits to immediately enroll in a preparation program and receive mentoring support from experienced teachers;
  • Imposing time limits on emergency permits by limiting emergency permit teachers to a single five year eligibility term for employment, during which time they must be making progress toward a credential;
  • Expanding support programs for beginning teachers to improve retention of new teachers and, therefore, limit the need for emergency permit teachers, the state should substantially expand the Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) program.

In part due to the IER's A State of Emergency...In a State of Emergency Teachers report, a series of bills has been introduced in the Legislature and the prospects are good for passage of these measures in the 1996 session.

 
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Candy Friedly
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Institute for Education Reform
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Last Updated: July 27, 2000

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