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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Will Florida track effectiveness of teacher preparation programs?



In his big speech yesterday on teacher preparation, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan singled out Louisiana for being the only state in the nation that uses student test scores to track how effective its teacher preparation programs are. Then he said this:

Every state in the nation should be doing the same—and, as I said, we are going to provide incentives for states to do so in the $4.3 billion Race to the Top competition. It's a simple but obvious idea—college of educations and district officials ought to know which teacher preparation programs are effective and which need fixing. Transparency, longitudinal data, and competition can be powerful tonics for programs stuck in the past.

Any chance Florida will follow up soon?

As far as we can recall - and we know you'll correct us if we're wrong - the only recent mention of anything like this being proposed in Florida was when former House Speaker Marco Rubio trotted out his "100 Innovative Ideas For Florida's Future." Idea No. 30: "Charge the Department of Education with annually evaluating the performance of the graduates of state-approved teacher preparation programs."

For the critique on Duncan's speech, look to USF's Sherman Dorn, who concludes:

I teach at a college of education, one of the larger ones in the country. At first blush, Duncan's criticism strikes me on the whole as reasonable, and far more reasonable than the more venomous attacks I've seen before. I would love to trade the double standards and incredible micromanagement of programs we currently experience in our state (and I could tell tales of some of the idiocies we experienced in our last joint state-NCATE review--and this comes from one of the faculty members who had relatively little time sucked away for this) for a requirement to pay attention to what happens to our graduates and their students after they leave us.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:39am]


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