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NEA on Department of Education’s Regulations on Teacher Preparation Programs

Lily Eskelsen García: We must ensure that every student has access to a teacher with the knowledge and skills to positively impact learning

WASHINGTON - October 12, 2016 -

Earlier today the U.S. Department of Education released its final rule on the regulations for teacher preparation programs.

The following can be attributed to National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García.

“NEA has been working diligently to ensure anyone who becomes a teacher enters the classroom ready to reach, teach and inspire every child. We as educators want to make sure every student’s teacher can do an outstanding job and be ‘profession-ready’ from day one in the classroom. We must ensure that every student has access to a teacher with the knowledge and skills to positively impact learning.

“We are encouraged by the Department’s attempt to provide more state autonomy over the gathering of evidence of the performance of teacher preparation programs. However, using students’ test scores to evaluate educators takes us back to the failed No Child Left Behind days.

“Using P-12 student test data to measure the quality of teacher preparation ignores whether new teachers are more likely to work in schools with limited resources for textbooks, technology, engaging learning experiences such as connections to community projects. It ignores potentially crucial differences between the quality of mentoring available in one school but not in another, class sizes and class loads beginning teachers may encounter, and the availability of supplemental services to ensure that each student can come to class ready to learn.

"The future teachers of America and their future P-12 students deserve a system that measures both the important inputs as well as the outputs that serve as indicators of quality. NEA renews its commitment to partner with teacher preparation programs to ensure that new teachers have the knowledge and skills necessary, and have significant opportunities for practice that will help them to be ‘profession ready’ when they begin their careers.”

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The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing nearly 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Celeste Busser 202-822-7823,