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Dean Bray to Moderate D.C. Panel on Endangered Teacher Education Program

By Jon Cawley

Old Dominion University College of Education Dean Jane Bray will moderate a national panel Feb. 14 discussing the potential elimination of a federally-funded grant program that supports the training and preparation of teachers for high-need schools and subject areas.

The panel discussion, which will be held in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, in Washington D.C., will involve the Teacher Quality Partnership Grant Program - the only federal government investment intended to reform and strengthen teacher preparation programs across the country.

The event is being sponsored by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the Higher Education Consortium for Special Education, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the National Science Teachers Association, the STEM Education Coalition and the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children

Bray is an experienced dean who has held numerous academic leadership positions with colleges for more than 15 years. In 2013, she became dean for the Darden College of Education at Old Dominion University. Having spent more than 30 years as a classroom teacher in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Nevada as well as a teacher educator, she is a leading expert in teacher education and educator preparation.

The panel will consist of:

  • Jennifer Robinson, executive director at the Center of Pedagogy and associate professor at Montclair State University;
  • Danielle Riley, resident in Early Childhood Education, who is currently in the Newark Montclair Urban Teacher Residency (NMUTR) Program and a graduate of the Newark Montclair Urban Teacher Residency (NMUTR) Program; who is currently a classroom teacher;
  • Qualyn McIntyre, teacher development director for Atlanta public schools; and
  • Malcolm Outlaw, principal of Harriet Tubman School (PK-6) in Newark, NJ.

Under the TQP program, teacher preparation programs use federal funding to reform undergraduate pre-service teacher and school leader preparation programs or to develop master's-level teaching residency programs.

The President's budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 would eliminate the program if approved.

It was initially approved, with bipartisan support, in Title II of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 and was set to receive $300 million in funding. However, the program has never received more than $50 million in funding through appropriations with the exception of $100 million that was dedicated in 2010 through ARRA funds.

According to the AACTE, school districts involved in TQP are seeing improvements in the quality and retention of their teachers and in the quality of their students' learning experiences and achievements. TQP grants have also funded significant professional development opportunities for teachers in high-need schools, meaningful induction/mentoring programs for novice teachers and the implementation of evidence-based reforms in teacher preparation programs. Finally, teacher preparation programs at institutions of higher education have deepened their partnerships with their PK-12 colleagues and the communities that they serve.

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