Texas Tech University

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

Heidi Toth

October 13, 2016

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.


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


  • "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."