While educator preparation has always been important, it is now more important than ever. Currently, there are more first year teachers in the United States than teachers of any other experience level—and at many schools, most of the teachers have only been teaching for a few years. Meanwhile, the skills and responsibilities expected of educators are expanding, as higher standards and new technologies are implemented to improve student learning.
While expectations for PreK-12 educators have changed substantially, many of the programs that prepare educators have remained stagnant. Much of the responsibility for this rests with the preparation programs themselves, but states and the federal government have each played a role as well.
In Time to Improve, New America’s Melissa Tooley and Laura Bornfreund offer recommendations for a new federal approach to addressing current issues with educator preparation and advancement policies that recognize the need to move quickly, yet thoughtfully, to promote better prepared teachers and school leaders.