More Healthy Exit

New from TNTP:

Almost everyone agrees that teacher preparation is broken. But how can we fix it?

Fast Start shares what we learned from rebuilding our own pre-service teacher training from the ground up, with one goal in mind: give new teachers the skills they need to be successful from day one.

Our new training approach differs from conventional teacher training in three major ways:

Focus: Fast Start focuses on four critical skills most closely linked to first-year success: delivering lessons clearly, maintaining high academic and behavioral standards, and maximizing instructional time.

Practice: Like athletes or musicians, teachers need to learn by doing—but most programs spend too much time on theories about teaching. In Fast Start, teachers spend 26 hours in intensive, hands-on practice.

Feedback: Every Fast Start participant benefits from 32 hours of one-on-one and group coaching to help them constantly fine-tune their use of essential instructional techniques.
Early results are promising: after two years, we’ve found that teachers who performed better during Fast Start training earned higher ratings from their principals and did better on their district’s performance evaluation system.

Find the whole report here.  This stuck out.

312 of 474 total participants in four Fast Start sites were recommended to advance to teaching in summer 2012.

Hey!  Big exit component.  They write:

Evidence of a teacher’s performance during pre-service training does have a relationship to on-the-job success. In fact, we’ve found that performance during Fast Start pre-service training explains nearly three times as much of a teacher’s overall first-year performance compared to selection criteria.

That’s why we now place much more emphasis on how teachers perform during pre-service training. Prospective teachers must still meet rigorous minimum standards to earn an invitation to pre-service training, but we are much more willing than we have been in the past to give people a tryout. We do not want to risk shutting out capable candidates who might have what it takes to be great teachers.

Where we do not take risks is in putting teachers into the classroom. Prospective teachers who do not become proficient in Fast Start skills cannot continue beyond pre-service training, because they probably won’t be able to consistently help their students learn as full-time teachers.

In 2012, the first year of Fast Start, 34 percent of participants were not recommended for teaching after pre-service training (Figure 4). Preparation programs clearly have an obligation to help teachers become effective. At the same time, it is unreasonable to expect that 100 percent of teachers will successfully complete pre-service training. Teaching—especially in high-need schools—is extraordinarily difficult. Some people simply are not cut out to be teachers, and it’s impossible to identify those people without seeing them teach.

I think this is consistent with TNTP's Widget Effect report. 

Consistent: "teaching is hard" ; therefore "not everyone can do it" (so have meaningful barriers to entry, and legit evaluation to exit some and celebrate others). 

Inconsistent: "teaching is hard" (so you should respect the profession!), but we don't want meaningful evaluation, and we prefer meaningless jump-thru-the-hoop barriers to become a teacher.