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“The quality of a child’s teacher is the single most important school-related factor influencing student achievement.”

Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, will serve on a new high-profile national commission to raise standards for teacher preparation across the nation and help ensure that every classroom in the United States has an effective teacher. Announced on February 28 by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), the Commission on Standards and Performance Reporting will develop rigorous accreditation standards for educator preparation that will raise the bar for preparation providers. CAEP is a new accrediting body being formed through the unification of the two major organizations charged with assuring quality in educator preparation—the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council.

“The quality of a child’s teacher is the single most important school-related factor influencing student achievement,” said Wise. “With the development of the common core state standards, it is even more urgent to improve teacher effectiveness in delivering instruction.”

Through his leadership of the Alliance and in his role as chair of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Wise has focused on the vital role that powerful teaching can play in transforming the nation’s schools. He has also studied how high-performing nations around the world, such as those in Finland, Ontario, and Singapore, have used highly developed systems for recruiting, preparing, developing, and retaining teachers and school leaders to attain high levels of student performance. (More information on the Alliance’s work on teacher effectiveness is available at TeachersLeaders.)

“The good news is that more has been learned in recent years about the features of quality preparation and professional development that increase teaching effectiveness, including opportunities for extensive and well-supervised clinical training, collaboration between universities and school districts, and the use of portfolios to document and improve teacher effectiveness. Unfortunately, state and district regulatory systems for teacher preparation and licensure have not incorporated many of these elements,” Wise said.

The Commission is taking the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Clinical Preparation and Partnerships for Improved Student Learning to the next level. The Panel’s report, released in November 2010, says it is time to “turn teacher education upside down.” The Panel urges increased oversight and expectations for educator preparation and the expansion of new delivery models in which teacher candidates work more directly in clinically based settings from the beginning of their preparation, as in medical education. The Panel also calls for preparation programs to operate through new types of partnerships between higher education and P–12 schools in which both systems share responsibility for preparation.

When it becomes operational in 2013, CAEP will accredit more than 900 teacher-education institutions across the nation, producing approximately 175,000 graduates annually.

For more information on the Commission, visit

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Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.