Rethinking Teacher Preparation: Empowering Local Schools to Solve California’s Teacher Shortage and Better Develop Teachers

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As California school districts ramp up hiring efforts, they are finding that teacher preparation programs are producing fewer candidates than districts need. Further, existing programs face a variety of challenges, including fragmented approaches to teacher preparation, and failing to use classroom effectiveness as a measure of teacher quality. The result is a qualitative and quantitative gulf between school districts’ demand for teachers and preparation programs’ supply of teachers. In light of this, researchers at Bellwether propose a variety of actions that districts, charter schools, preparation programs, and state policymakers can take to increase the supply and quality of teachers, including:
  • Aligning preparations programs’ standards with districts’ needs and expectations;
  • Connecting teacher preparation with human capital strategies; and
  • Publicizing and using data on teacher supply and demand to recruit prospective teachers to the profession.