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TEACHER U: Charter Folks Get Hands Dirty On Teacher Prep (Finally)


By and large, it seems, charter folks have tried to work around teacher preparation rather than take it on directly.  Easier to do alt cert and keep complaining about traditional prep than putting anything into changing the existing system.  Pretty typical charter school stuff.

HandcuffsBut now, reports Andy Smarick, Teacher U is finally taking shape in New York -- a creation of the leaders of Uncommon Schools and Achievement First and KIPP -- along with Hunter College. 

It's too soon to tell whether it's going to work, but it's a positive development that these charter-oriented folks are digging into one of education's core issues.  Other notable teacher prep efforts include the Boston Teacher Residency Program, AUSL in Chicago. 

Wouldn't it be cool if TFA got into the mix, too?  They've got the best brand recognition, and some subset of candidates who would actually like to be prepared for the job before they start doing it. 


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This is NOT a teacher prep program: "To be considered for acceptance into the program, an applicant must be employed as a full-time classroom teacher in one of the program’s Sponsoring Schools or have accepted an offer to teach at a Sponsoring School beginning in fall 2009" and applicants "must be recommended to the program by their employer-schools."

It is a professional development program for charter school teachers. Not that there's anything wrong with that, although it will be difficult to evaluate the efficacy of the program because the participants in the program are essentially creamed from the pool of charter school teachers, who we're told are already AWESOME, so how will we measure how much more awesome they are for having taken this program?

Regardless, it is not pre-service and has nothing to do with preparing people "for the job before they start doing it."

i am awesine i love playin teacher

It actually is a prep prgm because course work begins the summer before people begin teaching. They are offering it to new york teaching fellows, most who are career changers with little to no teaching background. It is also open to incoming tfa members. most, if not all, of those people don't have teaching positions yet due to recent hiring freezes in new york city.

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