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Report: New York moving quickly to change teacher prep policies

report released Tuesday praised New York state for moving more quickly than other states toward stricter teacher preparation policies.

The report, released by the National Council on Teacher Quality, ranks teacher preparation programs and looks at what states have done to raise academic standards for aspiring teachers. NCTQ, which released the report for the first time last year, has been a forceful critic of most college teacher training programs, arguing they focus on theory more than practice.

Among its notes about New York state:

  • New York has started using an exam called edTPA, which focuses partially on practical teaching skills and requires candidates to to videotape classes, to assess teacher candidates. Chalkbeat reported in April that aspiring teachers who fail the exam will be able to take a different test until the 2015-16 school year, after some early troubles with the logistics of the video-based exams.
  • The report noted that New York is one of 17 states to test elementary school teacher candidates on effective reading instruction.
  • New York City became the first district in the country to analyze data about the impact of teacher training programs at local institutions last August. That report showed what proportion of graduates from the city’s training programs went on to teach in high-need schools, what percentage were denied tenure, and what teachers who came from each program received on their evaluations. The Obama administration has said that it, too, is looking to find ways to better measure the success of graduates from teacher training programs.