New National Teacher Training Standards Approved
Both locally and nationally, changes are afoot in the way teachers are trained. With the consolidation of NCATE and TEAC this year, The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) has become the new accrediting body for educator training. In a politically bold move, the CAEP Board of Directors established a “Commission on Standards and Performance Reporting” charged with creating a more rigorous system of accreditation “based on evidence, continuous improvement, innovation, and clinical practice”. This system has not come without criticism, especially from institutes of higher education that feel the CAEP standards will slight prospective teachers that are minorities.
The CAEP Commission has developed standards and recommendations in the following areas: content and pedagogical knowledge, clinical partnerships and practice, candidate quality, recruitment, and selectivity, program impact, and provider quality assurance and continuous improvement. The CAEP standards were finalized by the Commission in June and were recently approved by the CAEP Board of Directors.
The good news for Delaware: we’re ahead of the curve—standards recommended by the Commission align with Delaware’s SB51, signed into law back in June. Despite nuanced differences, both take significant steps toward strengthening teacher training programs. For example, the CAEP recommendations would require a cohort of accepted candidates of teacher prep programs to meet or exceed a minimum of 3.0 GPA.
The recommendations also require the teacher training programs to ensure students have high-quality clinical practice central to their preparation, an area known widely in the profession for its lack of quality and oversight. Like in the case of Delaware’s new law, CAEP is acknowledging that a high quality clinical experience is key to ensuring that strong teachers are in every classroom.
CAEP’s recommended standards also require the educator preparation providers to demonstrate the impact of its program completers, through indicators of teacher effectiveness and satisfaction of employers—another requirement that has come with criticisms from IHEs across the U.S.
CAEP’s new charge is a signal, both locally and nationally, that the time has come to change the way we view teacher training. It also shows that Delaware’s thinking is consistent with national leaders in the field. We’re headed into exciting, new territory—and it’s good to know that the First State is ahead of the curve on a seismic, national shift.