Agenda: Ready for Day 1? Covering the Education of Teachers

Seminar on Teacher Education

This is a preliminary agenda and is subject to change. Check back for any updates. (Updated Oct. 24)

Friday, October 23

Site Visit
8:15–11:45 a.m.

Participants meet with leaders, faculty, and students at the University of Chicago Urban Teacher Education Program, a highly regarded two-year program that leads to a master’s degree. The university also provides supports to graduates for another three years, and finds that 90 percent remain in the classroom for at least five years.

Lunch and Welcome
12:00–12:45 p.m.

‘Excavating the Teacher Pipeline’
12:45–1:45 p.m.

What does research reveal about the quality of education schools? Some recent data shine a light on outcomes when it comes to teacher attrition as well as the impact teachers from particular preparation programs have on student achievement in reading and math. In addition, how effective are school districts in screening applicants for teaching jobs? Research suggests they could do better.

  • Dan Goldhaber, American Institutes for Research
    Tweet@CEDR_US |

The Real Story on Teacher Shortages
2:00–3:00 p.m.

Is the rising alarm about teacher shortages well-founded or misplacedChronic shortages have long existed in certain fields—but why haven’t schools and colleges been able to solve the problem? How can reporters cut through the noise and get to the reality?

Recruiting a More Diverse Teaching Workforce
3:15–4:15 p.m.

The teaching profession continues to be overwhelmingly white, unlike America’s rapidly diversifying student population, and some research suggests the gap could become still larger. What explains the situation? What steps are needed to promote greater racial and ethnic diversity in teaching?

  • Susan Asiyanbi, Teach For America
  • Ulrich Boser, Center for American Progress
    Tweet@ulrichboser |
  • Rachelle Rogers-Ard, Oakland Public Schools
  • Alexandria Neason, The Teacher Project (moderator)

Writing Stories About Teacher Preparation 
4:30–5:30 p.m.

Get guidance from veteran journalists on effective ways to report on and bring to life the challenges of teacher preparation.

Saturday, October 24

What Does It Take to Prepare New Teachers?
8:00–9:15 a.m.

Recommendations on how to improve teacher preparation have been remarkably consistent since a group of deans issued the Holmes Report in the 1980s. Yet reform efforts have frequently failed to gain traction. Where’s the rub? What will it take to ensure rookies hit the ground running? Where is the most promising work unfolding? Universities are now trying to track the skills needed for teachers to be successful. Could that information help transform teacher preparation?

  • Deborah Loewenberg Ball, University of Michigan
  • Bob Floden, Michigan State University
  • Scott Ridley, Texas Tech University
  • Emily Richmond, Education Writers Association (moderator)

New Routes to the Classroom
9:30–10:30 a.m.

New models of teacher training have emerged in the last two decades, with more in the works. They range from a program specializing in math and science with MIT to initiatives by charter school networks and online programs. What are the implications for traditional education schools? Are these efforts too small to have much impact on the teacher workforce? What lessons might traditional programs learn from them?

GAO: Tracking Education School Reports
10:45–11:15 a.m.

In July, the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a stinging report chronicling the lack of oversight to ensure states identify low-performing teacher preparation programs and the inconsistent ways of reporting the data on such programs.

  • Melissa Emrey-Arras, U.S. Government Accountability Office

New Rules for Teacher Prep: Federal Overreach or Overdue?
11:15–12:15 p.m.

The U.S. Department of Education is expected in December to issue final federal rules for its controversial effort to track the progress of colleges of education. What implications will the regulations likely have for preparation programs around the nation? What questions should reporters keep in mind as they gear up for the final release?

12:15–1:15 p.m.

Let’s Go to the Video: What Does Inexperienced Teaching Look Like?
1:15–2:30 p.m.

The University of Michigan School of Education uses simulation training and videos to help prepare teacher-candidates for the classroom. In this session, we watch, and analyze, the videos to better understand what instruction looks like in the first days compared with later when teachers have more experience.

  • Timothy Boerst, University of Michigan
  • Suzanne Pekow, American RadioWorks (moderator)

What States are Doing
2:45–3:45 p.m.

Some states have adopted new examinations and licensing requirements for teachers to enter the profession. In other places, observers say, state legislatures are loosening the rules to become a teacher. Learn about recent trends and upcoming developments in teacher licensing, and get ideas for how to explore what these rules mean for the teaching workforce in states and local districts.

  • Mary-Dean Barringer, Council of Chief State School Officers
  • Phil Rogers, National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification
  • Alejandra Matos, Minneapolis Star-Tribune (moderator)

Tapping Federal Data on Ed. School Graduates
4:00–5:00 p.m.

The federal government regularly collects a rich set of national data on graduates of education schools that can be a powerful resource for enterprising journalists. It reveals the number of completers by subject area and academic major, entry and exit requirements, GPA requirements, and the clinical experience required. Learn about the data, how to mine it, and how to use it to inform your reporting.