Steinhardt Dean Mary Brabeck Gives Testimony on Teacher Preparation at Senate Hearing

Steinhardt Dean Mary Brabeck gave testimony before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions at a hearing titled, “Teacher Preparation: Ensuring a Quality Teacher in Every Classroom,” on March 25, 2014.

The hearing, one of seven in a series, is intended to inform the senate committee’s reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.

In his opening address, Senator Tom Harkin noted that “the Higher Education Act plays a critical role in teacher training by providing funding to institutions of higher education, in partnership with K-12 districts, to reform and strengthen their teacher preparation programs.”

Harken called witnesses to discuss how the Higher Education Act could be “best leveraged to bring about systemic change in our teacher preparation programs.”

In her testimony, Brabeck, the board chair for Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), spoke about CAEP’s standards, which embody four research-based levers of change that  have strong effects on preparation.

The benefits of  CAEP standards are:

•  CAEP requires evidence of strong clinical experiences and partnerships with schools;

•  CAEP will assure the public of teacher candidate enhanced quality and diversity;

•  CAEP includes all providers from university-based programs to alternative, for-profit, and online programs to seek accreditation and meet challenging levels of performance;

•  CAEP insists that preparation be judged by outcomes and impact on PreK-12 student.

In closing Brabeck said, “CAEP aims not only to raise the performance of new teachers as practitioners in the nation’s P-12 schools, but also to elevate the stature of the entire profession. CAEP will do this by raising the standards and evidence that support providers’ claims of quality and insisting on transparency and accountability to the public. CAEP will ensure that accredited programs prepare teachers who are classroom-ready and demonstrably raise learning for all of America’s diverse P-12 student population. This is an urgent national priority.”

A leader in the fields of applied psychology and higher education, Dean Brabeck has served on boards and councils for organizations that include the New York Academy of Sciences, National Society for the Study of Education, the Holmes Partnership, the Carnegie Corporation’s Teachers for a New Era Research Review Committee, the APA Education Directorate (and other APA elected positions), and the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education.

Click this link to watch the government hearing on teacher preparation.

(Photo:  HELP Hearing on teacher preparation, Mary Brabeck, second from left.)