The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 respond to the nation's critical need for high-quality teachers. Our nation's schools will need to hire 2.2 million teachers over the next decade, more than half of whom will be first-time teachers. These teachers need to be well-prepared to teach all students to the highest standards.
Title II of the HEA provides new opportunities to invest in the recruitment, preparation, licensing, and support of teachers. The following Teacher Quality Enhancement initiatives are provided for in Title II of the HEA:
This initiative provides grants to partnerships among teacher preparation institutions and high-need school districts. To ensure that new teachers can meet the many challenges of today's classrooms, the partners will work to strengthen teacher education through activities such as:
Implementing reforms that hold teacher education programs accountable for preparing high-quality teachers.
Improving prospective teachers' knowledge of academic content through increased collaboration between faculty at schools of education and schools of arts and sciences;
Ensuring that teachers are well-prepared for the realities of the classroom by providing strong hands-on classroom experience and strengthening links between university and K-12 school faculties; and
Preparing prospective teachers to use technology as a tool for teaching and learning and to work effectively with diverse students.
This recruitment initiative supports the efforts of States and school-university partnerships to reduce shortages of qualified teachers in high-need areas. Grant recipients may offer scholarships, high-quality preparation, and support services to prospective teachers who agree to teach in the high-need schools.
These grants encourage States to improve the quality of their teaching force through such reforms as:
Strengthening their teacher certification standards to ensure that new teachers have the necessary teaching skills and academic content knowledge;
Implementing reforms that hold institutions of higher education accountable for preparing teachers who have strong teaching skills and knowledge of their content areas;
Establishing or strengthening alternative pathways into teaching for highly qualified individuals, including mid-career professionals and former military personnel; and
Reducing shortages of qualified teachers in high-need areas.
The law helps ensure accountability in teacher education by requiring states and institutions of higher education to prepare "report cards" on the quality of teacher preparation, including their students' performance on teacher licensing examinations.