Policy Recommendations and Examples Regarding State Professional Development Programs Linked to Student Standards
Cincinnati (Ohio) Initiative for Teacher Education (CITE)
El Paso (Texas) Collaborative for Academic Excellence
1. The accreditation of teacher education programs should be linked to the ability of their graduates to demonstrate competence as teachers, including knowledge of K-12 standards in their academic area. Policy leaders should support efforts to develop consensus on how to define and document demonstrated teaching competence, and ensure that teacher education programs effectively train candidates in the subject knowledge and ways to teach the state's academic standards.
Examples of Pre-service Teacher Education Linked to Student Standards
The Cincinnati (Ohio) Initiative for Teacher Education (CITE):
Phone: (513) 556-3612
Phone: (513) 961-2272
El Paso (Texas) Collaborative for Academic Excellence:
EPCAE is a large systemic reform effort in education (K-16) across the El Paso region initiated in 1992. A critical part of that partnership is the connection with preservice education which itself is a partnership among University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) Colleges of Education and Science, El Paso Community College, and three major public school districts in El Paso. The EPCAE connections with preservice education include mentor teachers participating in the redesign of teacher preservice preparation courses for selected curricula in education, mathematics, and science; collaboration with postsecondary faculty in the development of local community standards with benchmarks for grades 4, 6, and 12 based on national standards; the placement of preservice teachers in classrooms identified at the highest levels of implementation of standards-based instruction; and collaborative planning of an evaluation effort to follow up graduates in the classrooms.
Contact: Ms. Susana Navarro, Executive Director
University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas 79968
Phone: (915) 747-5778
2. State initial teacher licensure and certification should be linked to requirements that prospective teachers demonstrate knowledge of education standards and assessments, as is proposed by the coalition of states working together in the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC).
Example of initial teacher licensure linked to student standards
The Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC):
The Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC), administered by the Council of Chief State School Officers, is a collaboration of 33 states which has developed standards for what every beginning teacher should know and be able to do for initial licensure. INTASC has established content-specific standards linked to student standards for licensure in the disciplines, which include tests of subject matter knowledge as well as tests of teaching knowledge and assessments of teacher portfolios.
Contact: Jean Miller, Director, INTASC
One Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 700
Washington, D.C. 20001-1431
Phone: (202) 336-7048
Connecticut Participation in INTASC
Connecticut Department of Education, PO Box 2219
Hartford, Connecticut 06145
Phone (860) 566-5401
3. State policies should support and reward teachers who complete continuing education and professional development activities linked to standards that increase their teaching competence. States can assist teachers by paying the testing fee and preparation costs for those who prepare for and complete the requirements of either the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards or state professional teaching boards which reflect high standards.
Examples of state support for advanced professional development for teachers
North Carolina Participation in the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS):
In 1994, North Carolina passed legislation which provides funds to pay the $2,000 fee for all teachers who apply to NBPTS for advanced certification. Teachers must refund the money only if they drop out of the process. The state funds three days of release time for candidates, and rewards NBPTS-certified teachers with a 12% salary increase. All candidates who complete the NBPTS portfolio receive licensure renewal. The State Board of Education requires NBPTS standards to be incorporated into curricula of state colleges of education. The Governor annually hosts a meeting of NBPTS-certified teachers. The National Education Association state affiliate provides information sessions for all teachers interested in becoming NBPTS-certified, hosts special sessions with NBPTS-certified instructors, and distributes a monthly newsletter to candidates. The NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching offers weeklong residential opportunities, called Teacher Scholar weeks, for candidates to work with NBPTS-certified teachers on teaching standards, portfolio entries and videotapes. Twenty-five states provide support for teachers participating in NBPTS.
Phone: (919) 733-3921
Wisconsin Academy Staff Development Initiative (WASDI)
Business funding began the Wisconsin initiative that now funds ten regional summer Academies, providing almost 3000 teachers a year with professional development tied directly to student science and math standards. Cray Research, Inc. began and the National Science Foundation maintains funding for this effort. Teachers are said to learn a lot about the state's standards by the time they return to their school districts with new teaching strategies to apply in their classrooms and provide to their colleagues.
140 West Elm Street, Chippewa Fall, Wisconsin 54729
Phone: (715) 723-1181
4. State policies should support improved professional development programs that combine the study of teaching, learning, and subject matter knowledge. Whether offered at schools or universities, such opportunities should last long enough and be sufficiently intense to make teachers more effective helping all students meet high academic standards.
Examples of state support for improved professional development for teachers
Vermont Portfolio Initiative
Vermont has pioneered an initiative that links state academic standards with assessments, teacher engagement and professional development by training teachers statewide to score portfolios of student work. Teachers assess student writing and math work against a common scoring rubric linked to state standards, called "Vermont's Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities." Teacher networks provide an opportunity to discuss the mathematics content, scoring of student sample work, and how to improve teaching to achieve the results envisioned in state standards. Teachers also have the opportunity to use the Internet to practice scoring, view benchmarks of student work, the Vermont Framework of Standards, and units of study.
120 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05620-2501
Phone (802) 828-5409
California Writing Project: Participation in the National Writing Project
California is the state that originated and is one of 45 states that participate in the National Writing Project. While begun before the standards movement, for over 25 years, the National Writing Project has been successful at forming teacher operated networks for professional development that enable teachers to improve student writing skills. The California Writing Project operates in 17 local sites statewide. Top writing teachers are selected to attend summer institutes where they give and attend presentations on exemplary classroom practices that have improved student achievement in writing.
Contact: Richard Sterling
University of California-Berkeley
4411 Tolman Hall
Berkeley, California 94720-1670
Phone: (510) 642-0963
5. Districts and schools should be encouraged to assign teachers to teach in the field for which they have been trained, and publicly report the rate at which districts and schools assign teachers to teach out-of-field.
Currently no examples can be found of states with policies or programs to encourage districts and schools to assign teachers to teach in the field for which they have been trained, or publicly report the rate at which districts and schools assign teachers to teach out-of-field. The National Center for Education Statistics collects national data reported by the National Education Goals Panel indicating that "in 1991, 66% of secondary school teachers held an undergraduate degree in their main teaching assignment. By 1994, this percentage had decreased to 63%." These data are not available aggregated at the local level, where teacher assignments are made. Higher student achievement is correlated with teachers trained in the subject matter. Some local school districts, including Los Angeles Unified School District, offer financial incentives to attract teachers qualified in areas of local shortage. National data indicate that local incentives have not overcome teacher shortages on a nation-wide basis.
Two Governors offered proposals encouraging in-field assignments in 1998 State-of-the-State addresses. Governor Jim Edgar of Illinois called for more teachers to teach within their area of expertise. Governor Frank Keating of Oklahoma proposed that all middle and high school teachers have at least a minor degree in the area they teach. Governor Keating has proposed legislation to provide for a tax credit for teachers who earn an advanced degree or additional bachelors degree in the subject area they are assigned to teach.
National Center for Education Statistics
U.S. Department of Education
555 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20208-5574
Phone: (202) 219-1744
6. Policy leaders should support training for principals and school leaders which specifically targets instructional leadership in standards implementation designed to increase student achievement of rigorous academic standards.
Examples of Principals Training Linked to Student Standards
Kentucky Leadership Academy:
Professional development linked to student content standards is the centerpiece of the Kentucky Leadership Academy, a professional development program for the state's principals. Kentucky Leadership Academy participants learn how to develop curriculum based on national and state academic standards for students, and design an assessment process focused on student results. Training is scheduled over a two-year period, and includes three summer retreats.
4425 Preston Highway
Louisville, Kentucky 40123
Phone: (502) 584-3494
West Virginia Principals Leadership Academy:
State law requires all West Virginia public school principals to complete a training program through the Principals Leadership Academy at least once every four years, and principals of low-performing schools to do so each year. Part of the Principals Leadership Academy training is devoted to helping school leaders analyze state achievement test results and work to raise them to state standards, which are called Instructional Goals and Objectives.
The West Virginia Center for Professional Development
The Peoples Building, Suite 221
Charleston, West Virginia 25301
Phone: (304) 558-0539
Information on Work of Related Interest
Education Trust. 1725 K Street NW. Suite 200. Washington, D.C. 20006. (202) 293-1217.
Contact: Kati Haycock. www.edtrust.org
Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC). 1 Massachusetts NW. Suite 700. Washington, D.C. 20001. (202) 336-7038.
Contact: Neil Shipman. www.ccsso.org
Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC). Council of Chief State School Officers. One Massachusetts Avenue NW. Suite 700. Washington, D.C. 20001-1431 (202) 336-7048.
Contact: Jean Miller www.ccsso.org
Motorola's Executive Leadership Institute (ELI). 1303 East Algonquin Road, IL01/6, Schaumberg, IL 60196; (847) 538-7465
Contact: Dinah Bryant, Diane Weaver
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. 2655 Evergreen Road. Suite 400. Southfield, Michigan 48076. (248) 351-4444.
Contact: James Kelly, President. www.nbpts.org
National Commission on Teaching and America's Future's state partnership initiative. Teachers College, Columbia University. Box 117. 525 West 120th Street. New York, New York 10027. (212) 678-3204.
Contact: Linda Darling-Hammond. www.tc.columbia.edu/~teachcomm
National Council of State Legislatures. 1560 Broadway. Suite 700. Denver, Colorado. 80202. (303) 830-2200.
Contact for professional development: Eric Hirsch www.ncsl.org/legis/educ/edu.htm
National Governors' Association. Hall of the States. 444 North Capitol Street. Suite 267. Washington, D.C. 20001-1512. (202) 624-5341.
Contact: Patty Sullivan www.nga.org
National Staff Development Council. PO Box 240. Oxford, Ohio 45056. (800)727-7288 or (513) 523-6029. FAX: (513) 523-0638.
Contact: Dennis Sparks (734) 998-0574 www.nsdc.org
National Writing Project. 4411 Tolman Hall. University of California-Berkeley. Berkeley, California 947209-1670. (510) 642-0963.
Contact: Richard Sterling, Director www-gse.berkeley.edu/nwp
Project 2061. American Association for the Advancement of Science. 1200 New York Avenue NW. Washington, D.C. 20005. (202)326-6400.
Contact: George Nelson www.aaas.org
U.S. Department of Education, Professional Development Competition. Office of Educational Research and Improvement. 555 New Jersey Ave, Washington, DC, 20202 (202) 219-2203.
Contact: Sharon Horn, director www.ed.gov
For Further Reading:
Cohen, David and Hill, Heather. (1998). Instructional Policy and Classroom Performance: The Mathematics Reform in California; Consortium for Policy Research in Education. University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education.
Dilworth, Mary and Imig, David. (June 1995). Professional Teacher Development and the Reform Agenda. ERIC Clearinghouse on Teaching and Teacher Education. American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. One Dupont Circle. Suite 610. Washington, D.C. 20036-1186. (202) 293-2450.
Doyle, Dennis and Pimentel, Susan. Raising the Standard. (1997). A Standards Work Project of the Coalition for Goals 2000. (202) 835-2000. Corwin Press, Inc. (805) 499-9774.
Filling a Crack in the Middle: The Need for Staff Development in the Middle Grades. (December 1997). National Staff Development Council. P.O. Box 240. Oxford, Ohio 45056. (800) 727-7288 or (513) 523-6029. FAX: (513) 523-0638.
Guskey, Thomas and Sparks, Dennis. "Exploring the Relationship Between Staff Development and Improvements in Students Learning." Journal of Staff Development. Fall 1996. vol.17, l no.4.
What Matters Most: Teaching for America's Future. (September 1996). Report of the National Commission on Teaching & America's Future. Teachers College, Columbia University. Box 117. 525 West 120th Street. New York, New York 10027. (212)678-3204