Teacher Education

The California Alliance for Teacher Preparation Partnerships


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Background and National Context: Clinical Teacher Preparation

The California Alliance for Teacher Preparation Partnerships was launched to advance the blueprint for reform contained in the seminal National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) report, Transforming Teacher Education through Clinical Practice: A National Strategy to Prepare Effective Teachers.

The report was the product of the distinguished NCATE Blue Ribbon Panel on Clinical Preparation and Partnerships for Improved Student Learning. CSU Chancellor Charles Reed and Long Beach Unified School District Superintendent Christopher Steinhauser both served on the Blue Ribbon Panel. NCATE invited them to work together and with groups from across California to launch a State Alliance (PDF) piloting clinical teacher preparation, based on the medical education model emphasizing learning through professional practice that was the centerpiece of the highly respected NCATE report.

Goals of State Alliance for Clinical Teacher Preparation

The goals of the California Alliance focus on establishing collaborative partnerships for preparing new teachers that involve universities, school districts, and schools. The State Alliance is designed to:

  • Develop demonstration sites that have or will create a strong partnership between teacher preparation providers and school districts, including particular attention to high need schools;
  • Test new delivery models for clinically based teacher preparation such as year-long residencies and other school-based pre-service practicum experiences;
  • Develop funding approaches to institutionalize teacher preparation delivered through school-based clinical models;
  • Work with a full range of providers to assure that robust clinical teacher preparation is a central feature across all pathways into the teaching profession; and
  • Advance approaches that feature joint responsibility for induction by hiring districts and teacher preparation providers.

Additional issues the State Alliance will address over time include: (a) increased preparation of teachers in high demand fields; (b) productive utilization of state-of-the-art technology applications; (c) scaling up from a limited number of model clinical sites to a statewide implementation that contributes to improved student learning, especially in high need schools; and (d) new approaches for assessing outcomes among teacher preparation programs and candidates.

California Alliance and Its Partnership Design

The California Alliance is addressing the question that is centrally important for successful and sustained clinical preparation partnerships: how best to involve higher education and school districts together in the preparation of future teachers in ways that benefit both.

The Alliance will include broad representation of universities, P-12 districts and schools, education partners having an interest in the preparation of teachers, policy-makers, and other stakeholders. Although it will initially focus on five areas, additional ones that advance clinical preparation and are of interest to participating institutions will also be included. The five primary initial areas are:

  • Rigorous Selection and Admission Criteria for Teacher Education
  • High Quality Clinical Preparation Demonstration Sites
  • Collaboration in Selecting Practicum Placements for Candidates
  • Alternative Induction Programs for Teachers Affected by Lay-offs
  • Performance-Based Teacher Preparation Outcomes Assessment.

Partnerships between institutions of higher education and school districts from across California are invited to join the Alliance, as are others with an interest in clinically based reforms in teacher preparation. For additional information, or to join the Alliance, please email the Alliance contact.