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8 'Chiefs For Change' Endorse Education School Review

Eight state education chiefs belonging to the "Chiefs for Change" coalition today endorsed a controversial review of university-based teacher education programs now being conducted by the National Council on Teacher Quality and U.S. News and World Report.

"Great teachers make great students. Preparing teachers with the knowledge and skills to be effective educators is paramount to improving student achievement. Ultimately, colleges of education should be reviewed the same way we propose evaluating teachers—based on student learning," the chiefs said in a statement. "Until that data becomes available in every state, Chiefs for Change supports the efforts of the National Council on Teacher Quality to gather research-based data and information about the nation's colleges of education."

Chiefs for Change is a coalition of state education chiefs that supports such reforms as teacher-evaluation reform, school choice, and school accountability. The group currently counts nine members (a tenth, former Louisiana Superintendent Paul Pastorak, resigned recently).

Eight of the nine members endorsed the review, with Virginia Secretary of Education Gerard Robinson apparently the lone holdout.

The NCTQ/U.S. News effort to grade every college of education in the country against more than a dozen standards is now well under way. It is based primarily on reviews of course requirements and syllabuses.

The groups' standards and review process have been criticized by several heavy-hitters in the teacher education community, and some public institutions are not participating voluntarily in the review.

The chiefs endorsing the review are Janet Barresi, Oklahoma state superintendent of public information; Tony Bennett, Indiana superintendent of public instruction; Steve Bowen, Maine commissioner of education; Chris Cerf, New Jersey commissioner of education; Deborah A. Gist, Rhode Island commissioner of elementary and secondary education; Kevin Huffman, Tennessee commissioner of education; Eric Smith, Florida commissioner of education; and Hanna Skandera, New Mexico public education department secretary-designate.

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