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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Education Dean Jane Bray Moderates Washington, D.C. Discussion of Teacher-in-Residency Programs

By Brendan O'Hallarn

Jane Bray, dean of Old Dominion University's Darden College of Education, moderated a panel discussion last month in Washington, D.C., about federally funded teacher-in-residency programs.

The session, which featured higher education leaders from Virginia and New Jersey, focused on the U.S. Department of Education's Teacher Quality Partnership Grant Program. Old Dominion recently completed a successful five-year TQP grant, producing 41 secondary teachers for school divisions.

The briefing was held in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill.

Because of the success of the TQP grant, the Darden College received an additional $500,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Education for a similar program to prepare 15 math and science teachers for middle schools in the Norfolk public school system.

"This is a tremendously exciting collaborative program with Norfolk Public Schools," Bray said. "Our research and teaching faculty have longstanding links with Norfolk Public Schools. Many of our graduates have had exciting careers teaching throughout Hampton Roads. This program matches our proficiency in training STEM educators with the obvious needs in our public schools."

After the Washington meeting, Bray was invited to a roundtable in Newport News, hosted by U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott, to discuss teacher impact and teacher preparation. The session also featured U.S. Secretary of Education John King.

Asza Snipes, a student in Old Dominion's teacher-in-residency program, who currently is placed in the Norfolk Public Schools, also spoke at the session.

The Teacher Quality Partnership Grant Program aims to increase student achievement by improving the quality of new prospective teachers through professional development, teacher preparation programs and recruitment of good instructors into the teaching force. The briefing moderated by Bray was focused on ensuring that funding for these grants continues.

The grant program seeks to improve the quality of new teachers by creating partnerships among high-need school districts, their schools and early childhood education programs.

These partnerships create model teacher preparation programs at the pre-baccalaureate level. The TQP Grant Program also supports school leadership programs to train superintendents, principals, early childhood education program directors and other school leaders in high-need or rural school divisions.

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