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Teacher education programs, take note: today U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will announce a program designed to leverage federal financial aid to reward teacher training programs that produce teachers who consistently raise student test scores and have a high number of graduates who land teaching jobs and stay in the profession.

From Stephanie Simon over at Politico:

The Obama administration plans to use tens of millions in federal financial aid as leverage to reward teacher training programs that produce teachers who routinely raise student test scores — and to drive the rest out of business.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan will announce the revival of a push to regulate hundreds of teacher preparation programs Friday at a town hall meeting with White House policy director Cecilia Muñoz. He plans to release a draft regulation by summer and aims to enact it within a year.

The goal: To ensure that every state evaluates its teacher education programs by several key metrics, such as how many graduates land teaching jobs, how long they stay in the profession and whether they boost their students’ scores on standardized tests. The administration will then steer financial aid, including nearly $100 million a year in federal grants to aspiring teachers, to those programs that score the highest. The rest, Duncan said, will need to improve or “go out of business.

Simon reports that the proposal is sure to draw heavy amounts of criticism.

Many traditional education schools are especially uneasy about the drive to hold them accountable for how well their graduates’ students perform on standardized exams. “It’s not that [such measures] shouldn’t be used at all, it’s the relative weight of it, compared with other metrics that might be really informative,” said Mary Harrill, senior policy director for the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

The formulas for measuring how much “value” a teacher adds to a student’s test scores are complex and often carry a sizable margin of error.

Read the full story by clicking here.

Yesterday, I wrote a story about the House Education Committee’s debate over SB 337, a bill that includes language allowing public charter schools to employ a higher percentage of uncertified teachers than current law allows.

In that story, I quoted Rep. Larry Pittman (R-Cabarrus) as having said, “In my county, public schools are doing a lousy job.”

Rep. Pittman emailed me to point out the fact that I misquoted him in my story. Upon review of audio made available late yesterday on voterradio.com, I realized that in fact I did not hear Rep. Pittman correctly and I misquoted him in my story. What Rep. Pittman actually said was:

“And I know in the case of my family, the public school’s doing a lousy job of teaching my kids.”

I apologized to Rep. Pittman and corrected my story to accurately reflect what he said.

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