programs acquire field experience in both public and parochial school settings. Student teaching occurs during the senior year.
Nebraska is exploring different methods to assess the strength of its teacher education programs and was awarded a Title II grant by the U.S. Department of Education to support this endeavor. The grant will be used to pilot the use of teacher tests as a possible accountability measure of teacher education programs. The state will pay the testing costs for students who will be student teaching in elementary, middle, and high schools during the 2000–2001 and 2001–2002 academic years. All students will take the Principles of Teaching and Learning test, an Educational Testing Service product. Students seeking an endorsement in elementary education will also be required to take the ETS’s Elementary Education: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. There is no plan to incorporate the use of these tests as additional requirements for an initial teaching license. The state intends to explore the use of student’s scores on these tests as one measure of the strength of its teacher education programs.
The state of California is currently experiencing a significant shortage of teachers, with a predicted need for an additional 250,000 to 300,000 teachers in the next decade. The demand for new teachers is fueled by changes in state policy regarding class size reduction, a high number of teachers seeking retirement, and significant growth in the student population. The state anticipates that 1 million more students will be attending California schools by 2005 than did in 1998–1999. The greatest need for teachers is, and will be in the near future, in elementary education, special education, language acquisition and development, mathematics, and science. Urban and rural areas are experiencing the most significant teacher shortages. To address the demand for new teachers, a variety of teacher preparation programs have been developed in the state to provide multiple opportunities for individuals to seek teacher licensure and accelerate the time line for certification.
There are three general pathways to gaining preliminary teacher licensure in California: traditional teacher preparation programs, district internship programs, and university internship programs. California has also established a preinternship program that assists emergency teachers in meeting prerequisites for entry into one of the three formal teacher preparation programs. Each program is highlighted below.