THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
ATTRACTING AND PREPARING TOMORROW'S TEACHERS: INVESTING IN QUALITY FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
To have the best schools, we must have the best teachers...and, we should challenge more of our finest young people to consider teaching as a career. --President Clinton, 1997 State of the Union Address
Today President Clinton proposed a $350 million initiative to attract talented people of all backgrounds into teaching at low-income schools across the nation, and to dramatically improve the quality of training and preparation given to our future teachers. This new initiative will help bring nearly 35,000 outstanding new teachers into high-poverty schools in urban and rural areas over the next five years. In addition, it will upgrade the quality of teacher preparation at institutions of higher education that work in partnership with local schools in inner city and poor rural areas. The President's initiative will help recruit and prepare teachers nationwide to help our neediest students succeed in the 21st century.
A NATIONAL CHALLENGE: RECRUITING AND PREPARING THE BEST TEACHERS FOR THE CLASSROOMS THAT NEED THEM THE MOST.
Nationally, two million teachers must be hired over the next decade to accommodate rapidly growing student enrollment and an aging teaching force. The most severe shortages will occur in high-poverty urban and rural schools, which must hire 350,000 teachers over the next five years.
Urban and rural schools serving high percentages of poor students face especially serious challenges in their teaching forces, with many teachers arriving without the qualifications or preparation needed to succeed and with high rates of attrition. In urban districts, up to 50% of teachers leave the profession within the first five years. In high poverty schools across the U.S., one-third of students take math from teachers with neither a major nor a minor in mathematics. Meeting our national challenge requires providing a sufficient number of well-prepared teachers to fill the expected vacancies in urban and rural schools.
MEETING THE CHALLENGE: RECRUITING NEW TEACHERS INTO HIGH-POVERTY SCHOOLS AND IMPROVING THE PREPARATION OF FUTURE TEACHERS IN THOSE SCHOOLS.
Teaching Fellowships to Help Talented People from All Backgrounds Teach in High-Poverty Schools. The President's initiative will provide five-year competitive grants to institutions of higher education with high-quality teacher preparation programs, in partnership with local schools and others, to offer scholarships and other support to prepare prospective teachers who commit to teach in under served urban or rural schools for at least 3 years. Scholarships could cover costs of tuition, room, board, and other expenses of completing the teacher preparation program --as well as some costs of mentorship or additional preparation for scholarship recipients in their first two years of teaching. The President's proposal will help recruit nearly 35,000 teachers over five years, meeting nearly 10% of the need for new teachers in high poverty urban and rural communities.
Scholarships for young people and adults making a career change into teaching. Eligible scholarship recipients would include undergraduate and graduate students, former military personnel, education paraprofessionals or teacher aides desiring full teacher certification, and other mid-career professionals looking to enter into the teaching profession.
A commitment to bringing outstanding new teachers into high-poverty schools. Eligibility would be limited to those making a commitment to teach in high-poverty schools for at least three years. Scholarship recipients who do not complete the full three years would repay the institution of higher education from which they received their teaching credentials.
Support for Institutions of Higher Education to Strengthen Preparation of Future Teachers in High-Poverty Schools:
Improving teacher training in institutions of higher education placing graduates in high-poverty schools. The initiative will provide competitive five-year grants to 10-15 national "lighthouse" models of excellence --institutions of higher education that operate the highest quality teacher education programs. Each institution receiving a "lighthouse" grants will use a majority of these resources to help 8-15 other institutions of higher education improve their teacher preparation programs, helping to improve the preparation of future teachers at 150 institutions of higher education across the nation. These institutions must place a large number of graduates in high-poverty urban or rural schools.
Drawing on research and best practices, and holding institutions of higher education accountable for performance. Grant recipients would draw on research and best practice for preparing future teachers, including such critical strategies as: forging strong links between schools of education and their universities' departments of arts and science, providing future teachers with mentors and structured opportunities for teaching in elementary and secondary school classrooms, and incorporating the use of educational technology into teacher preparation. Continuation grants will be given to institutions making demonstrable progress toward clearly defined objectives.