Teacher Prep

Report Defines State Policies for Future Teaching Workforce

The teaching community of the future will be equity-oriented, focused on continual improvement and committed to lifelong learning — but only if state policymakers set the right priorities. That's the upshot of a new iNACOL brief that has examined the modernization of the teaching workforce. iNACOL is a nonprofit that focuses on promoting "breakthrough policies and practices" that will deliver "high-quality learning for all."

A new way of preparing teachers is called for, according to the report, so they're ready "with the knowledge, skills and systems of supports to be successful in student-centered, competency-based and diverse learning environments." The newest brief builds off work introduced last year by the organization in another report, "Moving Toward Mastery: Growing, Developing, and Sustaining Educators for Competency-Based Education."

The latest report has identified state policy priorities and offers specific strategies, tactics and "lessons from the field" for each:

  • Convene a state task force to develop a unifying vision and roadmap for modernizing teaching;

  • Increase the diversity of the educator workforce by widening access to a more diverse and inclusive group of candidates and emphasizing affordability for teacher preparation pathways;

  • Prepare teachers for learner-centered, competency-based, equity-oriented education by encouraging innovation in higher education through incentives and the use of pilots;

  • Redesign teacher licensure and credentialing to include competency-based pathways for teacher learning, development and advancement; and

  • Build balanced systems of assessments that enable learner-centered, competency-based, equity-oriented teaching while also building capacity for "assessment literacy."

"As we work to shift education from its Industrial Age roots and create multiple pathways to student success, it is critical to consider how we transform professional learning and build capacity for educators as part of that process," said iNACOL President and CEO, Susan Patrick, in a statement. "Education is a democratic institution, and every part of our society plays a role in ensuring it is fit for purpose. State policymakers play a leading role in the effort by enacting and updating policies, practices and regulations that drive the new vision outlined in this issue brief."

"Modernizing the Teaching Workforce for Learner-Centered, Competency-Based, Equity-Oriented Education: State Policy Recommendations" is openly available through the iNACOL website.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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