This first analysis of the early NGEI work at comprehensive grant campuses shows that collectively campuses are working across points on the pipeline to address the need for teachers who are better prepared to effectively teach to the new standards. While the bulk of the NGEI reform efforts are targeted at teacher preparation program reform, we see NGEI campuses reaching as far back as high school to cultivate early interest in, and preparedness for, teaching in response to local conditions such as limited candidate pools.
Within teacher preparation, the early NGEI work of campuses is primarily clustered around the reform of the teacher preparation program coursework and clinical work (reflecting the first and third Key Transformation Elements). Partnerships with districts are at various stages of development and, in several cases, are focused primarily at the school level. A few campuses are reforming the formative feedback process for candidates through their NGEI work (Element 4). Work with district partners on the identification of the key skills, knowledge, and dispositions of well-prepared new teachers (Element 2) and work on continuous improvement based on data on candidates and program completers (Element 5) are less prominent in the NGEI work to date.
As campuses clear the hurdle of launching their reforms in the summer and fall and look toward the next phase of NGEI funding, the evaluation (WestEd/SRI) and the facilitation (ConnectEd) teams are poised to provide support to grantees on the Key Transformation Elements that are not yet fully developed across all comprehensive sites, that is:
* Partnerships with K–12 district partners to align programming as much as possible.
* Shared understandings with K–12 district partners about the key knowledge, skills, and dispositions of a well-prepared new teacher that are used to inform teacher preparation program elements.
* Feedback to candidates on their mastery of prioritized skills during preparation.
* Data on candidate progress toward mastery of identified knowledge and practices during their training and after program completion.
Specifically, ConnectEd is available to assist with implementation coaching and support for comprehensive campus teams and can support the work with K–12 partners.
In addition to providing ongoing formative evaluation work across the comprehensive grant sites, the WestEd/SRI team can provide technical support for grantees to assist with the development of high-quality data on candidate progress toward mastery of identified knowledge and practices during their training and after program completion. The data inventories that the evaluation team developed for each campus show that there are opportunities to: a) enhance the quality of existing data, b) improve access to those data, and c) develop new data sources targeted toward the measurement of prioritized skills and knowledge for formative feedback to candidates. In the coming months, the evaluation team will also be seeking opportunities to bridge the system-level work described above in Box 1 with campus efforts to strengthen systems for continuous improvement.