“I was honored to share the importance of deep partnerships with school districts to meet their unique needs, and, secondly, the importance of having robust and in-depth data to inform decision making,” said Stacy Edmondson, Dean of the College of Education at Sam Houston State University.
“It was a great opportunity for us to have these conversations with the U.S. Secretary of Education and to have a voice in what will hopefully be a meaningful change for teachers across the country. Teacher preparation is a team sport, so if we have innovative methods that are working in preparing high-quality teachers, we want to share what's working!"
Among the features of US PREP are close partnerships between universities and schools, embedded university faculty in school districts, and intensive clinical experiences featuring a year-long teaching experience and robust performance assessments.
US PREP also supports their member providers with developing high-quality teacher preparation pathways that are affordable and accessible to prospective teachers. One example involves accelerated preparation pathways and partnerships with community colleges.
“I shared with Secretary DeVos how important it is to have support for candidates in the teacher preparation programs and the chance to foster relationships,” said Ayodele Shofoluwe, a University of Houston graduate who now teaches in nearby Lamar Consolidated Independent School District.
“Having a year-long residency of actually teaching alongside a mentor in a classroom for a year prior to stepping into your own classroom was very critical. I was able to meet with the principals and teachers and get a three-dimensional perspective on how the classroom works, the procedures and the expectations,” Shofoluwe said.
US PREP was launched in 2015 and originally worked with eight school-university partners. US PREP is now adding eight more partners, including in New York City and California. In all, the US PREP coalition will prepare over 5,000 new teachers each year.