quality. TEAC has applied to the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation for recognition as an accrediting agency but has not yet received this recognition.
Some states also address teacher quality by specifying standards for admission to teacher education programs. Thirty-five states specify entrance requirements for their teacher preparation programs (National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification, 2000b). Almost all include meeting a basic skills standard. Additional requirements may include minimum grade point averages, subject area majors, and certain coursework.
States specify the coursework their teacher candidates should take and the competencies they must demonstrate. Thirty-seven states specify some required coursework in English, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematics, although the specific course requirements may differ for elementary or multiple-subject teachers and single-subject teachers (National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification, 2000b). Some states require that a subject area major be completed prior to entering teacher preparation.
Most teacher preparation programs include a mix of courses and field experiences (National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification, 2000b). The coursework usually includes teaching strategies and methodology, social foundations, development and learning, curriculum and instruction, classroom management, and student assessment. Some states also include the teaching of reading, use of technology, cultural diversity, school organization, and school improvement course requirements.
Instead of specifying course requirements, some states have identified competencies or performance standards to be demonstrated by program completers (Alaska, Alabama, California, Minnesota, North Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, Connecticut and Ohio; National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification, 2000b). These competencies generally follow the tenets of the states’ teaching standards or the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) and other nationally developed standards statements.
Although most states also specify the type and amount of supervised teaching experience candidates must complete, there is variability in state requirements. Some states require some experience in schools before the student teaching experience begins; others do not. Thirty states have field experience requirements before student teaching. For student teaching, states require between 9 and 18 weeks of supervised teaching (National Association of State Directors of Teacher Educa