DES MOINES — Teachers who teach teachers will likely see changes in what they’re requiring of their students and what their deans require of them after a near-unanimous vote by the Iowa State Board of Education.
Iowa is on the front lines of the push for national education standards, whether it's adoption of a standardized curriculum such as the Common Core or, as the board discussed last week, joining a national accreditation body for teacher prep programs.
Faced with the decision to keep current state teacher prep standards, join the national group known as the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, or chose a third way, the board chose the third.
That requires the department to appoint a panel to oversee updating standards of its teacher preparation program, which could include parts of both state and the national standards.
“I think we’ve been working on this for a long time, and I would have liked to have seen us move in a direction that we could move faster,” said Max Phillips, who was the only board member to vote against the hybrid plan in Thursday's vote.
He said it didn’t make sense to duplicate the work that has gone into the national group already. Still, he was wary because the national standards are still in draft form.
“I wanted to send a message (with the vote),” Phillips said. “We could move faster.”
Board member Charles Edwards said as the panel starts its work, it’s incumbent on the board and the department to keep “significant oversight.”
“I have a concern that our current system is rigorous,” he said. “I think we all have some concern that we’re not the experts (in teacher preparation program evaluation) but the experts we do have, have to be held to a high standard.”
Iowa certifies roughly 2,400 new teachers annually from 33 teacher preparation programs.
State Department of Education Director Jason Glass said the panel’s work would likely take a year or more.