Expert: Teacher Prep Reform Necessary to Serve Low-Income, Minority Students

Scott Ridley, dean of the College of Education at Texas Tech University, is at the forefront of teacher preparation reform.

On Wednesday (Oct. 12) the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) released final regulations for educator preparation programs that will go into effect at a later date. Educator preparation reform has met significant resistance, and previous proposals inspired feedback from those affected, which the DOE took into account.

Scott Ridley

Scott Ridley

The regulations create measurements for states to report on teacher preparation program performance, outline actions and consequences states must take in identifying and improving low-performing programs and ties performance to eligibility for TEACH (Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education) Grants, among others.

Scott Ridley, dean of the College of Education at Texas Tech University, is at the forefront of teacher preparation reform. He created and implemented the TechTeach program, which upends traditional teacher education by putting students in classrooms for a full year, offers real-time feedback for student measures, measures student-teacher performance according to a competency-based rubric and requires content mastery before student teaching. Although the program is too new to have trends or data, administrators say first-year teachers coming out of TechTeach are significantly more prepared to teach than cohorts from traditional programs.

He authored a grant proposal that earned $7 million for Texas Tech to create the U.S. PREP National Center, which partners with several teacher prep programs in the region to help them create more functional programs, and he has consulted with various educational leaders to help them lead education reform in their states. He also is a founding member of Deans for Impact, a nonprofit organization that champions education reform.

Expert

Scott Ridley, dean, College of Education, (806) 742-1837 or scott.ridley@ttu.edu

Quotes

  • "Greater teacher prep accountability is long overdue, and students of color living in poverty have paid the greatest price for our delay. This is a good day."
  • "The College of Education at Texas Tech supports the new teacher prep regulations that focus on graduate effectiveness and impact. It is our authentic partnerships with the school districts that we serve across the state that compel us to ensure we are producing quality teachers who positively impact their students from day one."

College of Education

The College of Education at Texas Tech University offers a full range of programs, including 9 doctoral degrees, 10 master's degrees, two bachelor's degrees and numerous specializations which can lead to careers in public or private education as teachers, professors, administrators, counselors and diagnosticians.

Programs in the college are housed in three departments.

The Department of Curriculum & Instruction offers advanced degrees that prepare leaders, researchers, and professors with the knowledge, skills, and practical application experience needed to analyze, construct, and evaluate curricula in ways that create optimal learning conditions for all learners. Language and literacy, bilingual education and STEM education are just a few of the specializations offered by C&I.

The Department of Educational Psychology & Leadership consists of a diverse group of academic programs that equip students with a comprehensive knowledge of learning, motivation, development, and educational foundations. The disciplines of counseling and school psychology are housed within the EP&L department as are programs to prepare future college administrators, primary and secondary school and district leaders, as well as practical and academic educational psychologists.

The Department of Teacher Education focuses solely on teacher preparation, ensuring that teacher candidates are ready for the classroom on day one. The Teacher Education Department is home to TechTeach, an innovative teacher preparation program that puts teacher candidates into public school classrooms for a full year and requires that students pass teacher certification tests prior to entering the classroom. Various paths to teaching careers, including fast-track distance programs statewide and alternative certification options, are also housed in this department.

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