As the organization representing 325,000 California educators, CTA has a special interest in promoting teacher quality and quality teaching. CTA has concluded that teacher quality is a result of the relationship among several factors, three of which are addressed here: pre-service preparation, professional development, and the occupational environment in which teaching occurs.
Pre-service Test Preparation
California’s current battery of tests should be streamlined and revised to focus on evaluating the skills that candidates need to apply content knowledge to teach students with varying needs.
- Teacher preparation programs should include a supervised teaching component that more appropriately supports teacher collaboration.
- Standards for preparation program approval and continuing accreditation should require closer cooperation between university-based programs and K-12 systems, especially in the transition and placement of new teachers in appropriate teaching assignments.
- Professional development and teacher learning programs should be aligned to state standards and the work teachers do in their classrooms. They must also meet locally determined needs.
- California should invest in a professional practice model that builds school based teacher learning communities and teacher leadership. Teacher leadership includes traditional roles such as mentoring and coaching and should be expanded to increase teacher authority in other areas of professional practice. Funding must be provided for teacher-directed professional development that occurs during the workday and addresses the challenges of practice within the teachers’ classrooms.
- California should fully fund professional development that spans the spectrum of a teacher’s career, beginning with mentoring support for new teachers (Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment) and continuing through a comprehensive Peer Assistance and Review program.
- Teaching effectiveness should be recognized as more than the efforts and attributes of an individual teacher.
- Teachers are only as effective as the systems in which they work. California should invest sufficient resources to provide the teachers the facilities, tools, and resources necessary for effective instruction.
Read the full recommendations.