Judgment of teacher preparation better left to states

The U.S. Senate voted Wednesday to overturn the regulations governing Obama’s teacher-preparation programs.  Education Week quoted Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), the bill’s sponsor, saying, “This regulation actually makes the assumption that bureaucrats in Washington are competent to micromanage teacher-training programs in America.” Senate HELP ranking Democrat Patty Murray “said the rules would ensure that prospective teachers have more and better information about teacher-training programs” and “would protect teacher preparation from the as-yet unknown approach that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos would take.”

The House version with these changes passed last month and President Trump is expected to sign the bill. With the change, states will not be required to report on the “success rate of teacher-training programs, partly on the basis of graduates’ employment and evaluations of their work.” It also will mean that funding of federal Teach Grants to prospective teachers no longer will be tied to this reporting.

The National Council on Teacher Quality, which was involved in brokering these new rules, criticized the bill, with reports quoting: “Repealing these rules would tell the institutions that they will not be held accountable for how well they train teachers.”