1. National guidelines and legislation on ITP

Commission on Standards and Performance Reporting (2012), Recruitment and Selection in Educator Preparation, CAEP Commission on Standards and Performance Reporting.

The paper was drafted for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), which was tasked with developing new national standards to serve as the basis for accreditation, “explicit enough to have some bite—to make judgments between institutions meeting them and institutions that do not—yet not overly prescriptive so they impede innovation”. This paper explores differing perspectives on accreditation, suggesting how they converge, and recommends inclusion of language in CAEP standards intended to bring greater rigor to accreditation while fostering innovation. Three options that move progressively toward higher bars for recruitment efforts, selection criteria and accompanying evidence are suggested: requiring teacher education institutions to recruit candidates and administer selection criteria for admissions to assure a high ability and diverse pool of candidates; or in addition to this, require providers to gather data on the effects of these policies, and provide information to CAEP on how they interpret results and use them to improve practice; or in addition, recruit among the top one-third of the potential pool. Follow up implementation actions are also recommended for CAEP.

Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) (2013), 2013 CAEP Standards, CAEP, Washington, D.C.

This paper documents describes the 5 CAEP Standards and their components: content and pedagogical knowledge; clinical partnerships and practice, candidate quality, recruitment, and selectivity, program impact, provider quality assurance and continuous improvement. The standards define quality in terms of organisational performance and serve as the basis for accreditation reviews and judgments.

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Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) (2016), CAEP Accreditation Handbook, CAEP, Washington, D.C.

The CAEP Accreditation Handbook and supplementary guides provide providers of initial teacher education with information about the CAEP accreditation process and expectations. This document is designed for a broad range of users: faculty and administrators of training providers, state agency partners, visitor team members and other expert volunteers, representatives of national organisations, and others. The Handbook is divided into four sections. Part I: Introduction provides a general overview of CAEP accreditation including the goals, purposes, and context of CAEP accreditation along within the roles of key players. Part II: CAEP Standards and Evidence presents the standards, their components and the intent of each standard. In addition, Part II identifies types of evidence that might demonstrate that a provider meets the standard and the rubrics used by reviewers to frame accreditation decisions. Part III: The Accreditation Process identifies processes common to all providers seeking CAEP accreditation. Appendices include specific details for each of the three accreditation pathways from which EPPs may choose, the phase-in schedule, guidelines for developing a plan, the eight annual measures, assessment evaluation rubric, areas for improvement and stipulations, and a glossary of terms.

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United States Department of Education (2014), Improving Teacher Preparation: Building on Innovation, USDOE, Washington, D.C.

This brochure was produced by the United States Department of Education as part of the consultation process concerning new regulations on teacher preparation. This brochure explains how educators and states are working to drive much-needed improvements in teacher preparation, and by extension, the quality of teaching. Through new proposed regulations, the USDOE aims to build on and support these efforts for greater transparency, accountability and programme improvement.

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United States Department of Education (2015), Pathways to Teaching, USDOE, Office of Postsecondary Education, Washington, D.C.

This booklet features data on initial teacher education (ITE) programmes and certification in the United States for the school year 2012-13. These data are collected and submitted annually by providers of initial teacher preparation to the United States Department of Education via the states as part of their obligations under Title II of the Higher Education Act. According to the report, there are 2 170 initial teacher education providers in the United States offering 26 589 ITE programmes. Approximately 70% of them are university-based (“traditional”) programmes, 20% are university-based alternative programmes and 10% are alternative programmes not based at higher education institutes. About 500 000 students are enrolled in these programmes and almost 90% of them are enrolled in traditional ITE programme. California, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas produce the most teachers, and 44 out of 2 170 providers have an at-risk or low-performing programme. About 80% of teachers receive certification in the same state in which they completed an ITE programme, while 20% of them complete an ITE programme in one state and receive certification in another. Data also provide teacher candidates’ profile including gender, ethnicity, and graduates’ subject area, by programme type.

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United States Department of Education (2015), Teacher Preparation Issues – Proposed Rule. Legislative Body: Federal register 2015, Vol. 79. No. 232, pp. 71820-71892.

This legislation proposes new regulations to implement requirements for the teacher preparation programme’s accountability system under title II of the Higher Education Act of 1965. This would result in the development and distribution of more meaningful data on teacher preparation programme quality (title II reporting system). The Secretary also proposes amending the regulations governing the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program under title IV of the HEA such that receipt of TEACH Grant programme funding would be conditional upon teacher preparation program quality. It would also entail updating, clarifying and improving current regulations and aligning them with title II reporting system data.

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United States Department of Education (2016), Preparing and Credentialing the Nation’s Teachers: The Secretary’s 10th Report on Teacher Quality, USDOE, Office of Postsecondary Education, Washington, D.C.

This is one of 10 reports published by the United States Secretary of Education on the teacher quality provisions under Title II of the Higher Education Act. The Secretary’s Tenth Report on Teacher Quality shows the current state of teacher education in the United States. It presents recent data reported by the 50 states, including information on teacher preparation providers and programmes; gender, race and ethnicity of teacher candidates; state standards for teaching credentials; evaluation of teacher preparation programmes; state assessment required for an initial teaching credential; and state initial credentials for teachers.

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2. Policy and research on ITP
Attracting the most suitable candidates into ITE programmes

Aragon, S. (2016), Teacher Shortages: What We Know, Education Commission of the States, Denver, CO.

This brief is the first in a series of reports examining the teacher shortage dilemma. Designed to guide state leaders in policy decisions, the other briefs examine five strategies states are using to address shortages: alternative certification, financial incentives, induction and mentorship, evaluation and feedback, and leadership. This brief first presents what the data reveals about teacher shortage from the perspective of the teacher labour market and long-term trends in teacher supply and demand. It then describes where teacher shortages exist with regard to states, subject area and specific schools. The brief concludes by outlining state policy responses and tabulating detailed task force findings and recommendations on teacher shortage in seven states.

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DeMonte, J. (2017), Country Background Report. OECD Initial Teacher Preparation Study. United States, American Institutes of Research, Washington, D.C.

 

This is a self-evaluation report providing background information for the team of experts visiting the United States as part of the OECD Initial Teacher Preparation study. It outlines issues and challenges along the six stages of the OECD Teacher Education pathway: attracting candidates into initial teacher education (ITE), selection into ITE programmes, what teacher candidates need to know and do, ensuring quality delivery of ITE programmes, teacher certification and hiring, and support for new teachers.

Guha, R., M. Hyler and L. Darling-Hammond (2016), The Teacher Residency An Innovative Model for Preparing Teachers, Learning Policy institute, Palo Alto, CA.

 

This report summarises the features of residency programmes and research about their practices and outcomes. It espouses the promise of the teacher residency model to address issues of recruitment and retention in high-need districts and in subject area shortages. The authors first describe the design of residency programmes and then outline 8 key characteristics, including strong district/university partnerships, coursework about teaching and learning integrated with clinical practice; full-year residency teaching alongside an expert mentor teacher; high-ability, diverse candidates recruited to meet specific district hiring needs; financial support for residents in exchange for teaching commitment; cohorts of residents placed in “teaching schools” that model good practices; expert mentor teachers who co-teach with residents; and ongoing mentoring and support for graduates. The authors then explore research on the impacts of teacher residencies on recruitment, retention, and student achievement, which suggests that well-designed and well-implemented teacher residency models can create long-term benefits for districts. The authors conclude with a case study on the San Francisco Residency programme, and a short exploration of funding models and policy implications. The Appendix provides a list of 50 residency programmes, ranging in size from five to 100 residents per programme.

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Podolsky, A. et al. (2016), Solving the Teacher Shortage: How to Attract and Retain Excellent Educators, Learning Policy Institute, Palo Alto, CA.

This paper reviews an extensive body of research on teacher recruitment and retention, and identifies five major factors that influence teachers’ decisions to enter, stay in, or leave the teaching profession, generally, and high-need schools, specifically: 1. salaries and other compensation; 2. preparation and costs to entry; 3. hiring and personnel management; 4. induction and support for new teachers; and 5. working conditions, including school leadership, professional collaboration and shared decision-making, accountability systems, and resources for teaching and learning. The authors conclude by identifying policies to address these challenges at the local, state, and federal level, and outlining 15 recommendations which are grounded in research to help recruit and retain excellent teachers, especially in the highest-need schools. These recommendations include

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Sherratt, E. (2016), Creating Coherence in the Teacher Shortage Debate: What Policymakers Should Know and Do, Education Policy Center, American Institutes for Research (AIR).

This report explores concerns long expressed in the United States about teacher shortage and its detrimental effect on student learning. The author seeks clarity on this issue, drawing on the lessons of history, research literature and international case studies and data. Before summarising the literature, the author first describes “several common pitfalls that muddy and stall the conversation” around teacher shortages: assuming there is a clear and simple answer as to whether there is a teacher shortage; a lack of consensus on the data that indicate teacher shortages; imprecise characterisation of “subject-specific shortages” or “geographically specific shortages”; misuse of teacher shortage terminology; and absence of teacher shortage goals or targets. She concludes with 3 recommendations for overcoming these pitfalls: “kickstarting collaborative, constructive, data-informed policy dialogues to obtain consensus on the problem and the possible solutions”; supporting rigorous and usable studies; and not waiting for the perfect data to resolve teacher shortage issues.

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Sutcher, L., L. Darling-Hammond and D. Carver-Thomas (2016), A Coming Crisis in Teaching?, Learning Policy Institute, Palo Alto, CA.

This report presents the outcomes of a detailed national analysis of the sources and extent of teacher shortages in the United States and a prognosis for the future. The authors first present indicators of teacher shortages, by teaching field, state, teachers of colour, type of school and student. Using several federal databases, the authors examine the current context and model projections of future trends under several different assumptions about factors influencing supply and demand, including new entrants, re-entrants, projected hires, and attrition rates. The authors find strong evidence of a current national teacher shortage that could worsen by 2017–18, if current trends continue, driven by decline in teacher preparation enrolments, district efforts to return to pre-recession pupil-teacher ratios, increasing student enrolment, and high teacher attrition. The authors conclude by investigating 4 policy strategies that might mitigate these effects based on research: effective approaches to recruitment and retention creating competitive, equitable compensation packages; increasing supply in shortage fields and areas; improving teacher retention; facilitating a national labour market for teacher.

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Selecting the most suitable candidates into ITE programmes

Friedrich, D. (2014), “We brought It upon ourselves: University-based teacher education and the emergence of boot-camp-style routes to teacher certification”, Education Policy Analysis Archives, Vol. 22/2, p. 21.

This essay argues that the view that the proliferation of boot-camp-style routes to teacher certification in the last two decades are the result of the advancement of conservative interests aimed at de-professionalising teaching – only accounts for one piece of the puzzle. The other part is that some of the foundational assumptions embedded in most university-based teacher education programmes actually opened the doors for the boiling down of teacher preparation to the bare minimum. By situating the psychological sciences at the foundations of pedagogical knowledge and positioning them as the privileged lens to understand the learning subject, university-based teacher education has paved the way for its own disappearance. Both traditional and alternative routes to teaching can be understood, then, as part of the same system of thought, one that needs to be cracked open in order to be able to imagine other possibilities.

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Equipping prospective teachers with what they need to know and do

DeMonte, J. (2015), A Million New Teachers are Coming: Will they be ready to Teach?, American Institutes for Research, Washington, D.C.

This report summarises the policies related to initial teacher education (ITE) in the United States, along with research related to quality of selection, ITE coursework, clinical training, and certification/licensure. It then recommends policies and practices for states and preparation providers that could support the improvement and strengthening of teacher preparation in the United States. The author suggests “taking a “start-to-finish look” at initial teacher preparation by rethinking selection into ITE, defining common knowledge and competencies for new teachers, reinventing student teaching, and “making licensure matter”.

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Greenberg, J., K. Walsh and A. McKee (2014), Teacher Preparation Review, National Council on Teacher Quality, Washington, D.C.

This report, assembled by the Washington, D.C.-based National Centre for Teacher Quality, uses 19 criteria to rank 2 400 elementary, secondary and special education programmes in 1 127 teacher education institutions in every US state. These criteria include capacity of ITE programmes to use academic selection criteria to enter ITE; provide teachers with have the requisite content knowledge for the subject and grade taught; to teach them to plan lessons, assess learning and use student performance data to inform instruction and have a strong student teaching experience.. The report also includes a section that reviews alternative programmes in all states, especially Texas. The authors also provide a series of recommendations for teacher candidates, school districts, deans, state policymakers and alternative programme providers to help them improve teacher preparation in the United States. The report concludes by flagging a number of issues for further discussion, including teacher shortage, the future of alternative certification, state value-added models and weaknesses of primary compared to secondary education teacher preparation. The report includes appendices on all programme rankings and methodologies for traditional and alternative progamme evaluations.

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Ball, D. and F. Forzani (2010), “What does it take to make a teacher?”, Phi Delta Kappan, Vol. 92/2, pp. 8-12.

Amidst the great variety of initial teacher education programmes in the United States, including alternative and residency-based ones, this article is a call to teacher educators and others to band together to provide teacher candidates with the skills they need to teach: “the curriculum of practice essential for beginning teaching, and the approaches and settings best suited for effective professional learning”. The authors then describe the importance of teachers having solid content knowledge: “being good at something does not carry with it the ability to unpack it for a learner”; the lack a well-defined curriculum of practice for prospective teachers, akin to those of a doctor or aviation, whereby novices learn to carry out specific elements of their work and must demonstrate their ability to perform key tasks before they are permitted to practice independently; and the need to improve understanding of what might be called the “pedagogy” of teaching teachers and about the range of settings in which practice might be learned.

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Putman, H., J. Greenberg and K. Walsh (2014), Training Our Future Teachers – Easy A’s and What’s Behind Them, National Council on Teacher Quality, Washington, D.C.

Using evidence from more than 500 teacher education institutions producing nearly half of the nation’s new teachers annually, this report explores if teacher candidates are graded too easily, misleading them about their readiness to teach, and if initial teacher education programmes provide sufficiently rigorous training. According to the report, in 58% of teacher education institutions, grading standards for teacher candidates are much lower than for students in other majors on the same campus. Second, authors find a strong link between high grades and a lack of rigorous coursework, with the primary cause being assignments that fail to develop the critical skills and knowledge every new teacher needs. The authors also analysed the course assignments listed on syllabi for 1 161 courses, and found that 7 500 assignments in these courses were then classified as either “criterion-referenced” or “criterion-deficient. The authors conclude with two recommendations: that teacher educators and the preparation programme administrators should work together to identify common standards to define excellence; and teacher educators and programmes should ensure that a greater proportion of assignments are “criterion-referenced,” especially in early teacher-training coursework.

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Zeichner, K. and M. Bier (2015), “Chapter 2. Opportunities and pitfalls in the turn toward clinical experience in US teacher education”, in Rethinking Field Experiences in Preservice Teacher Preparation: Meeting New Challenges for Accountability, Routledge, New York.

This chapter provides detailed descriptions of different kinds of practice-centred model for initial teacher education in the United States “early entry”, “hybrid” and “college-recommending” and identifies some of the central issues that teacher educators are working on in the United States relating to clinical experience for teacher candidates. The authors also highlight some of the challenges in clinical-based approaches in the United States: lack of co-ordination of coursework and clinical experience; uneven mentoring and under resourcing of clinical experiences; and the marginal status of clinical teacher educators. Drawing on the authors’ work at the University of Washington in Seattle, the practice of moving college and university courses into schools and communities in order to more strategically access the expertise of teachers, community-based educators and local community members on the preparation of urban teachers is discussed.

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Ensuring quality delivery of ITE programmes

National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) (2017), 2017 State Teacher Policy Yearbook, NCTQ, Washington, D.C.

The State Teacher Policy Yearbook evaluates states according to how well their programmes and policies raise the quality of the teachers in their schools. For all 50 states and the District of Columbia, NCTQ produces a summary that provides state policy strengths and opportunities for improvement. The 2017 Yearbook evaluates states against nine policy areas, including, for the first time, information to reflect teacher diversity initiatives, principal evaluation and support systems, and state support for teacher leadership opportunities. Other evaluation areas are general, elementary, secondary and special needs teacher preparation, alternate routes and hiring teachers. The Yearbook demonstrates how state progress has not only slowed considerably, but also appeared to have lost their sense of urgency, compared to previous years. The Yearbook highlights areas for improvement, including investing in data systems to identify and address teacher shortages, increasing transparency regarding educator equity, expanding diversity in the nation’s teaching force and increasing oversight of teacher preparation programmes.

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National Council on Teachers Quality (2014), “Are new teachers being prepared for college-and career-readiness standards? Massachusetts”, in 2014 State Teacher Policy Yearbook, National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), Washington, D.C.

The 2014 State Teacher Policy Yearbook provides an update for each state on the full set of teacher preparation policies reviewed in 2013. The section on teacher preparation policy priorities in Massachusetts is organised around three main domains:
1) strengthening initial teacher preparation requirements to ensure teacher candidates can address the use of informational texts as well as incorporate complex informational texts into classroom instruction; 2) testing frameworks or teacher standards, including literacy skills and using text to build content knowledge in history/social studies, science, technical subjects and the arts; and 3) ensuring teachers are prepared to intervene and support students who are struggling with reading. An additional priority is for teachers of all levels to pass a content test that assesses knowledge of their subject(s). Finally the report also advocates raising admission requirements by limiting admission to teacher preparation programmes to candidates in the top half of enrolments.

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Tatto, M. et al. (2016), “The emergence of high-stakes accountability policies in teacher preparation: An examination of the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed regulations”, Education Policy Analysis Archives, Vol. 24/21.

Using a sociological framework, this article explores the emergence and possible consequences of the 2015 U.S. Department of Education’s proposed federal regulatory policy on teacher education programmes and alternative route providers. After describing the key features of the policy, the authors examine the research literature looking for evidence of the merits of accountability policies in improving teacher education and preparation quality and outcomes. Although there is some research evidence that increased accountability measures may indeed contribute to improving the quality and outcomes of teacher education and preparation, the conditions under which this happens are not straightforward. While the stated aim of the regulatory policy, to ultimately advance student learning, finds widespread support in the education community, research evidence points to a number of validity problems with the overall policy. Of particular concern is the policy’s attempts at establishing a direct link between teacher preparation and two of the regulations’ suggested outcomes, namely graduates’ employment and pupil achievement. The policy as conceived could negatively impact programme norms and resources and undermine the development of teachers’ human, cultural, and social capital. The authors discuss the accreditation challenges that the policy is likely to confront and implications for the future of teacher education and preparation accountability.

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Certifying and hiring new teachers

American Board (2018), American Board,  (accessed on 26 March 2018).

The American, Board, formerly the American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE), is a non-profit organisation “dedicated to putting qualified teachers in the classroom through alternative teaching certifications”. The American Board offer an online, self-paced programme to certification in 10 subject areas, which is valid in public schools in 11 US states. To apply for the American Board certification, candidates must hold a Bachelor’s degree in any subject area from an approved college or university; pass a background check; pass the ABCTE Professional Teaching Knowledge exam; and pass the ABCTE subject area exam (in the candidate’s chosen subject area). To obtain certification, teacher candidates must pass two computer-based multiple-choice exams: a subject-area exam and a pedagogy exam (also known as the Professional Teaching Knowledge (PTK) exam). This certification can be used in place of a Master’s degree in education to receive an initial/temporary teaching license from a state department of education.

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College of Education, M. (2018), Requirements for initial teacher certification, (accessed on 26 March 2018).

This web site is the portal for Michigan State University’s (MSU) teacher education programmes. It presents a number of teacher certifications, including the initial teaching certificate, for which candidates are recommended after having completed all requirements for MSU’s teacher preparation programme, including the post-graduate internship. The provisional certificate is valid for a period of five years. During that time, the certificate holder is expected to gain experience as a practicing teacher and complete academic requirements for the next level of certification.

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Ewell, P. (2012), Recent Trends and Practices in Accreditation: Implications for the Development of Standards for Council for the Accreditation of Education Programs (CAEP), Council for the Accreditation of Education Programmes (CAEP), Washington, D.C.

This background paper on recent trends and promising practices in accreditation was written to support the Council for the Accreditation of Education Programmes’ (CAEP) mandate to develop new standards for accrediting initial teacher education programmes in the United States. The author describes the conditions favouring the development of these guidelines in terms of the climate of accounability in higher education, improvements in data and growing centrality of student learning outcomes. He then describes “aspirational” standards, constructed to put forward an “ideal type” of institutional or programme characteristics and performance – and the “culture of evidence” that should be adopted by accrediting authorities, which need to ask themselves systematically if adequate or acceptable benchmarks are available and the method used to determine which standard of performance is “acceptable”. The author then relfects on common review processes (e.g. interim visits or reports, statistical monitoring), review methods (i.e. on-site, peer review), and approaches used with accreditration results.

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Ingvarson, L. (2013), “Entry to teaching”, in Ingvarson, L. et al. (eds.), TEDS An Analysis of Teacher Education Context, Structure, and Quality-Assurance Arrangements in TEDS-M Countries, International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, Amsterdam.

The Teacher Education and Development Study (TEDS-M) is the first cross-national study to examine the mathematics preparation of future teachers for both primary and secondary school levels. The study, conducted under the auspices of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), collected data from 22 000 future teachers from 750 programmes in about 500 teacher education institutions in 17 countries. This report presents various characteristics of teacher education systems. It shows that, of the TEDS-M participating countries, those where future teachers have greater knowledge of mathematics and mathematics teaching pedagogy are also those that place greatest emphasis on policies directed towards, among other elements, setting high standards for entry to the profession (i.e., gaining registration licensing) after graduation (Chapter 9). Chapter 9 therefore focuses on the certification of graduates as ready to enter the teaching profession. It describes certification and entry to the profession, methods of data collection and requirements for entry to the teaching profession in the TEDS-M countries.

Los Angeles Unified School District (2018), Teacher Selection Guide, (accessed on 26 March 2018).

Based on the LAUSD Teaching and Learning Framework, the Guide provides school principals and site selection committees models from which to develop reliable school-based interview tools and implement optional selection practices. First, the teacher selection process is described. Then, the guide presents selection tools that are most commonly used in the teacher selection process. It provides guidance on developing (i.e. interview elements, effective interview questions and interview rating forms) and administering (i.e. assembling and training the rater panel, maintaining fairness and legal defensibility; and administration issues) interviews, in addition to other selection tools such as mock lessons, situational judgment exercises, writing projects and reference checks. The guide also provides information on how to check references, make a final candidate selection notify candidates and retain test scores. At the end of the guide, there is an appendix containing the sample selection materials referenced throughout the guide.

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (2018), Office of Educator Licensure, (accessed on 26 March 2018).

This web page is the portal of the Office of Educator Licensure at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (ESE). It provides information on licensure and resources, in addition to current processing dates for licensure applications and document scanning. All educators seeking a provisional or initial license in the state are required to pass the computer-based Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) and Communications and Literacy Skill MTEL test. Special requirements for interstate candidates are also provided.

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National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (2018), National Board Certification, (accessed on 26 March 2018).

The web site is the portal to the National Board Certification, an advanced teaching credential offered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Updated in 2016, it complements, but does not replace, a state’s teacher license. Certification is received by successfully completing a voluntary assessment programme designed to recognise effective and accomplished teachers. It is available in 25 certificate areas, from Pre-K through 12th grade. Certification consists of 5 propositions: 1) teachers are committed to students and their learning; 2) teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students; 3) teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning; 4) teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience; and 5) teachers are members of learning communities. Teachers must also exhibit a deep understanding of their students, content knowledge, use of data and assessments and teaching practice. They must also show that they participate in learning communities and provide evidence of ongoing reflection and continuous learning. More than 112 000 teachers across the United States have achieved Board certification.

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teach.org (2018), Understanding Certification Licensing and Certification Requirements, (accessed on 26 March 2018).

This web site presents teacher certification and licensing requirements in each US state, in addition to states requiring student teaching experience and/or first year mentoring of new teachers; states conducting criminal background checks and which may also confirm citizenship status; and states requiring candidates to complete a general teaching certification exam, such as a PRAXIS test, as well as a content-specific test for the subject(s) taught.

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Supporting new teachers

Goldrick, L. (2016), Support From The Start A 50-State Review of Policies on New Educator Induction and Mentoring, New Teacher Center, Santa Cruz, CA.

This report—updated for the 2015-2016 school year—takes stock of policy changes over the last five years and summarises actions taken by states to strengthen on-the-job support for beginning educators. Accompanied by extensive policy summaries for all 50 states, available on the New Teacher Center (NTC) website, the report aims to assist policymakers and education leaders to make improvements to new teacher induction and mentoring policies and programmes. The NTC evaluates state policies on new teacher induction and mentoring against nine criteria: induction support is provided to new teachers and school leaders for the first 2 years in the profession; mentor quality; time (release time for teacher mentors and mentor-teacher meetings); induction programme quality; programme standards; requirement to complete induction before full licensure; programme accountability; and provision of optimal teaching and learning conditions (and as part of legislation and school improvement plans). The NTC concludes that states have made only limited progress over the past several years. As 21 states still have no requirement for support for all new teachers, the NTC recommends that “states institute multi-year induction programmes, or at least a comprehensive grant programme for school districts or consortia to develop comprehensive, high-quality local induction programmes”. The authors highlight the importance of providing support for school leaders, setting high expectations, making the right investments and developing great mentors.

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Potemski, A. and L. Matlach (2014), Policy Snapshot: Supporting New Teachers: What Do We Know About Effective State Induction Policies?, American Institutes of Research, Washington, D.C.

This short policy brief summarises existing research and policy about induction, and the potential impact of state education agencies in building a systematic, comprehensive approach to teacher induction. The authors identify strategies for setting effective policy related to induction programmes: 1) setting programme requirements (i.e. required participation, length of induction, clear expectations for the induction team, programme standards, mentor qualifications, criteria for assignment); 2) allocating sufficient time for induction work (i.e. minimum contact time, regular release time and manageable load); 3) allocate and secure resources to support and sustain implementation; and 4) provide ongoing professional development for teachers and mentors. This brief also provides considerations for differentiating supports for special educators and teachers of English language learners (ELLs), which are often difficult-to-staff positions. To help support states in making policy decisions, practical examples of mentoring policies and programmes are included.

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Woods, J. (2016), Mitigating Teacher Shortages: Induction and Mentorship, Education Commission of the States, Denver, CO.

This brief is the third in a series of reports examining the teacher shortage dilemma. Designed to guide state leaders in policy decisions, this brief examines one of four strategies states are using to address shortages: induction and mentorship. This brief begins by stating the need for comprehensive approaches to teacher induction, especially in the 21 states that do not require some form of induction or mentoring for new teachers. The authors then present what the data reveals about retention and how induction relates to academic achievement. Four qualities of a comprehensive induction and mentoring programme are then presented: appropriate programme timing and length; setting high standards; and mentor criteria, training and tools. Examples of programmes in three states and policy recommendations are then described for each quality. The authors conclude by citing four general aspects from which induction and mentoring programmes can benefit: consistent funding streams; programme accountability systems that assess and monitor programme quality; supportive school leaders and school cultures; reducing teacher isolation through peer networks and learning communities; and providing induction and mentoring to cohorts that can provide ongoing support.

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3. Other reports on the United States

United States Department of Education (USDOE) and National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) (2004), Teachers Matter. OECD Country Background Report. United States, USDOE, Washington, D.C.

This document is part of a reporting exercise undertaken by the United States for the OECD project “Teachers Matter: Attracting, Developing and Retaining Effective Teachers” conducted between 2002 and 2004. The focus of the country background reports is on the aspects of teacher policy that deal with how to attract, recruit, develop, and retain effective teachers. The report has the following four objectives: to synthesise relevant research, to identify innovative and successful policy practices, to facilitate exchanges of lessons among countries, and to identify policy options. It outlines trends in US education; the school system and teaching workforce; how policies are attracting highly qualified people into the profession; educating, developing, and certifying teachers; recruiting, selecting, and assigning teachers; and retaining effective teachers in schools, in addition to references.

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OECD (2015), Education at a Glance 2015: OECD Indicators (Summary).

The presentation shows a series of charts illustrating different aspects of the education system in the United States, compared to other countries. Drawn from Education at a Glance 2015, the four topics include early learning, teachers and teaching, tertiary education; and gender differences. The charts show that expenditure on pre-primary educational institutions in the United States is below the OECD average, whereas annual spending per tertiary student in the United States is one of the highest among the OECD countries. Like many other countries, teachers’ salaries in the United States are lower than the earnings for similarly educated workers with tertiary education. The results show that the returns to tertiary education remain strong including the United States and that the nation has attracted almost 20% of all foreign and international students in tertiary education.

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OECD (2016), “Country note. Education at a Glance 2016. United States”, OECD Publishing, Paris.

This “Country note” was prepared for the United States for the release of results from the 2016 edition of the annual OECD publication on statistics and indicators, Education at a Glance. It focuses on four major topics: the output of educational institutions and the impact of learning; financial and human resources invested in education; access to education, participation and progression; and the learning environment and organisation of schools. Key results from United States indicate that lower secondary teachers in the United States are required to work about 200 hours longer at school than the OECD average per year, and their net teaching time amounts to 981 hours. Students in the United States who had pre-primary education were less likely to be low performers on the mathematics assessment of the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) than those who didn’t have pre-primary education. More than half of young people in the United States can expect to graduate at least once from a tertiary degree in their lifetime. The United States continued to have higher-than-average annual spending per student in 2013, at each level from primary through tertiary education.

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OECD (2012), “Country note. United States. Programme for International Study Assessment (PISA) Results from PISA 2012”, OECD Publishing, Paris.

This “Country note” was prepared for the United States for the release of results from the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2012. It summarises key findings on the student performance in mathematics, science and reading literacy. Students in United States performed below average in mathematics in 2012, while their performance in reading and science was close to the OECD average. There has been no significant change in the performance in the mathematics, reading and science over time. Socio-economic disadvantage has a significant impact on student performance in the United States: 15% of the variation in student performance in the United States is explained by students’ socio-economic status which is similar to the OECD average. 15-year-olds in the United States view student-teacher relations positively, only half of the students agreed that they are interested in learning mathematics. Despite their below average performance in mathematics, students in the United States feel relatively confident in their own abilities in mathematics compared with their counterparts in other countries. Finally, the note explores what makes schools successful by citing data on the learning environment, learning time, resource allocation, accountability arrangements, school governance, and sorting students. The note also provides key data tables and a description of the PISA study.

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