teacher preparation programs accountable for preparing new teachers who will be competent to teach in their planned areas. Funds can be used to reform teacher certification or licensure requirements. Grants can be used to establish, expand, or improve alternatives to traditional routes to certification or licensure in teacher preparation programs. Additionally, funds can be used to develop and implement new ways to recruit highly qualified teachers, provide financial rewards to those who are highly effective, and remove those who are not competent.
Partnerships can use their grants for an array of activities. A partnership can address problems in integrating the efforts of schools of arts and sciences and schools of education in preparing new teachers who are highly knowledgeable in relevant content areas. A partnership can work to provide clinical experiences in preservice teacher programs. A partnership can also create and implement improved professional development programs and can work to improve the recruitment of highly qualified individuals into teaching.
The federal government is investing $75 million in these new initiatives in the first year and $98,000,000 in each of the second and third fiscal years.
Title II created a new accountability system of reports on the quality of teacher preparation. This system requires institutions of higher education to report annually to states, states to report annually to the U.S. Department of Education, and the Secretary of Education to report annually to the Congress and the public on the quality of teacher preparation. Institutions are to report by April 7 of each year the passing rates of their teacher education graduates on state-required assessments; the average passing rates of all graduates in the state; and selected program characteristics, such as the numbers of enrolled students, faculty/student ratios, and whether a teacher preparation program has been identified as low performing by the state. All of this information is to be included in institutional publications such as promotional materials, school catalogs, and information sent to prospective employers. Institutions can be fined $25,000 for failing to report in a timely and accurate manner.
States are to aggregate institutional reports and report to the U.S. Department of Education by October 7 of each year. Each state report is to rank teacher preparation programs by quartiles on the passing rates of their graduates on licensure tests. Information on state requirements for teacher certification or licensure is to be presented, and states must identify any institutions identified as low performing or at risk of being so identified based on criteria they select. See Box 7–2.
Finally, the Secretary of Education is to prepare an annual report to Congress and the public on the quality of teacher preparation starting in April 2002. This report is to include information on state requirements for certification or licensure as well as information on efforts to improve the quality of teacher preparation and the teacher force.