Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) today will be introducing the Educator Preparation Reform Act in each of their respective chambers. The purpose of the bill is to improve the quality of teaching and school leadership in high-need schools by reforming and strengthening accountability of educator preparation programs and supporting partnerships to meet the needs of educators and educational leaders.
At a press event announcing the bill’s introduction, NASSP President Denise Greene-Wilkinson said: “We are pleased that The Educator Reform Act recognizes the unique leadership skills necessary for effective principals while also making it clear that ongoing professional development opportunities is necessary for all school leaders.”
The primary focus of the legislation is on teacher and principal preparation and amends the Higher Education Act (HEA). It also improves Title II of the HEA—the Teacher Quality Partnership Grants Program—by expanding the residency programs to include principals and providing partnerships flexibility in meeting the instructional needs of local school districts.
The bill additionally proposes to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act’s (ESEA) Title II teacher quality state formula grant program to better coordinate these initiatives with educator preparation programs and professional development. NASSP has strongly spoken out about ESEA policies that have inadvertently overlooked principal professional development, as currently only 3% of ESEA Title II funds are spent on principal activities.
While The Educator Reform Act won’t be passed in the last days of the 112th Congress, the introduction sends a strong message that the legislation will be reintroduced in the next Congress.