January 2013 Issue
December 18, 2012

Teacher preparation support program underway

Source: NYSUT United
Caption: Jamie Dangler, UUP vice president for academics, is leading UUP's task force on teacher preparation. Photo by Steve Jacobs.

NYSUT members from around the state will play a role in New York's initiative to implement major changes to teacher and school leader preparation programs at colleges and universities.

This work is the result of Race to the Top funds awarded by the State Education Department to the State University of New York and City University of New York (and forthcoming to independent colleges) to support changes related to the Board of Regents' reform agenda.

SUNY's initiative is the State Teacher and Leader Education Network (S-TEN). It will draw upon the expertise of NYSUT members, including pre-K-12 educators, four-year and community college higher education faculty, and professionals and staff who work with teachers and education faculty at schools and colleges. SUNY was awarded $3.5 million for this work.

These campus teams — seven to 10 members each — will be asked to develop campus and regional strategies to address four areas — the pre-K-12 Common Core Learning Standards, performance assessments, data-driven instruction and clinically rich teacher and school leader preparation. Funds also will be used for online and print resources and research activities.

CUNY was awarded $3.5 million to address assessment, data-driven instruction, college and career readiness and other topics. Activities were launched in October and were attended by campus teams.

NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira and United University Professions Vice President Jamie Dangler met recently with Johanna Duncan- Poitier, senior vice chancellor for SUNY's Community Colleges and the Education Pipeline, to discuss the program, and the importance of faculty getting the information and resources they need.

"NYSUT has long upheld the belief that public education in New York should be viewed as a continuum that begins with a strong, rich pre-K program and continues on to graduate school," said Neira, who oversees higher education policy for the union.

"The voices of our members need to be included in this important process, and we will continue to monitor how information is being shared, and supports are delivered."

NYSUT affiliates, UUP and the Professional Staff Congress, the higher education locals that represent the faculty and staff at the state and city university systems, respectively, have internal workgroups that also will be following these initiatives.