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Research,  May 22, 2005


"'Preparing and Training Professionals: Comparing Education to Six Other Fields,' published by The Finance Project and funded by The Ford Foundation, addresses the critical issue of how K-12 educators are prepared and trained. The comparison illuminates similarities and differences in the approaches taken to preparation and in-service training and also highlights important areas for further study and possible policy development. The report compares professional development -- both pre-service preparation and in-service training -- in education to six other professions: law, accounting, architecture, nursing, firefighting, and law enforcement. The analysis highlights several ways in which preparation and training of educators differs from the other fields, including: (1) While most of the six fields require practitioners to achieve a passing score on a national exam before practicing, the education field has long resisted a national teacher assessment and continues to rely on varied state standards for licensure; (2) Education is alone among the comparison fields in its lack of universally accepted standards for required in-service training and identification of a single entity to enforce those standards; (3) Education stands alone in allowing professionals to practice independently before they are licensed and to circumvent traditional preparation and licensure through "alternative certification" programs; (4) Education stands alone among these fields in requiring its managers -- principals and superintendents -- to obtain separate licensure before assuming a management role; and (5) Despite
disproportionate assignments to low-performing schools in low-income areas, new teachers do not have consistent access to formal and focused induction programs in contrast to novice firefighters, police, and nurses who complete formal orientation or induction programs to prepare them for the demanding situations they will face."

Referred by: PEN Weekly NewsBlast
Posted by wrivenburgh on May 22, 2005 | Research