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Aurora Institute

Press Release

Federal Policy Opportunities for Re-Imagining the Teaching Profession for the 21st Century

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 21, 2019) — Today, iNACOL (@nacol) outlined a new vision for the future of the educator profession, framing a role for federal policymakers to support the alignment of the profession with the opportunities and demands of a 21st-century education system.

Developing a Modern Teacher Workforce: Federal Policy Recommendations for Professional Learning and Supporting Future-Focused, Competency-Based Education Systems, a new issue brief, calls for federal policies that make the profession more accessible to a diverse array of professionals; reimagines higher education to support lifelong learning by teachers; and promotes quality, accountability, and improvement. It responds to the growing needs of states, school, and districts across the country seeking to prepare students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed for an ever-changing workforce and economy.

The brief also articulates specific policy actions for each recommendation. The recommendations laid out in this brief do not necessarily need to be enacted in full or at once. However, federal policymakers should aim to support policies that drive toward a common vision of preparing a diverse and sustainable education workforce for 21st-century learning and teaching. This includes communicating clear priorities to states; providing aligned incentives, supports, and funding; and addressing any barriers from outdated or competing policies that exist in federal statutes and laws today. Federal policymakers can use the levers available to them – funding, eligibility and accreditation criteria, incentives, and support – to enable quality, innovation, and diversity in the teacher workforce.

“Preparing students for success in an increasingly complex future demands that we support educators to develop contemporary learning theory with deeper knowledge, strategies and skill sets than that required of educators in the industrial age, which is a model that still dominates our current school system,” said iNACOL President and CEO Susan Patrick (@SusanDPatrick). “Moving to a future state of teaching requires supporting educators, modernizing teacher and leader preparation and focusing on inquiry, research and practice. And it means using the policy levers we have under our control today to create change.”

The policy issue brief builds off a larger report, Moving Toward Mastery: Growing, Developing and Sustaining Educators for Competency-Based Education, and provides three areas that federal policymakers can leverage right now to begin better preparing and supporting teachers.

Federal policymakers should prioritize:

  • Increasing affordability and instituting incentives to expand and diversify the teacher workforce;
  • Supporting innovation in teacher education to enable 21st-century learning; and
  • Helping states build balanced systems of assessments.

Download a full copy of Developing a Modern Teacher Workforce: Federal Policy Recommendations for Professional Learning and Supporting Future-Focused Competency-Based Education Systems here.

About iNACOL

The mission of iNACOL is to drive the transformation of education systems and accelerate the advancement of breakthrough policies and practices to ensure high-quality learning for all. Visit our website, like us on Facebook, connect with us on Linkedin and follow us on Twitter.

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