Echoing the White House earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Education today cited Relay Graduate School of Education among several organizations “demonstrating vital leadership in improving teacher preparation.” The Department recognized Relay as it proposed new rules that would ensure teacher training programs are preparing educators to succeed in the classroom.
“New teachers want to do a great job for their kids, but often, they struggle at the beginning of their careers and have to figure out too much for themselves,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. “Teachers deserve better, and our students do, too.”
The plan builds on existing reforms and innovations in several states, as well as at organizations including the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, which accredited Relay in 2013. The proposed regulations will:
- Encourage all states to identify high- and low-performing teacher preparation programs, including those not based in colleges and universities;
- Ask states to report data on outcomes, not just “input-focused” information related to teacher preparation;
- Reward only programs that are effective, as determined by states, with eligibility for T.E.A.C.H. grants, which are available to students who are planning to become teachers in a high-need field and in a low-income school; and
- Facilitate continuous improvement among programs through greater transparency.
Specifically, the rules would require states to report annually on the performance of teacher preparation programs, including alternative certification programs, based on a combination of:
- Employment outcomes: new teacher placement and three-year retention rates in high-need schools and in all schools;
- New teacher and employer feedback: surveys on the effectiveness of preparation;
- Student learning outcomes: impact of new teachers as measured by student growth, teacher evaluation, or both; and
- Assurance of specialized accreditation or evidence that a program produces high-quality candidates.
In statements about the plan today, and in the White House’s call for new rules last April, federal officials encouraged others to scale and replicate Relay’s “innovative” approach, which: measures and holds itself accountable for both program graduate and employer satisfaction, as well as requires that teachers meet high goals for student learning growth before they can complete their degrees. Students of Relay teachers grew 1.3 years in reading performance in one year.
The Department will publish the final rule in mid-2015, after a 60-day period for public comment.
More information about how Relay holds graduate students accountable for student achievement can be found on our Results page.