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Pennsylvania has a long and rich tradition of preparing excellent teachers for the Commonwealth’s schools and for schools beyond our borders. Pennsylvania is one of the top five states in producing future teachers – some 13,000 per year. Our public and private colleges and universities have an almost universal commitment to teacher preparation, whether they conduct the programs themselves or partner with others. Many out-of-state school districts turn to Pennsylvania to hire new teachers, and have done so for years. The Pennsylvania Department of Education has a long, commendable history of supervising teacher certification in a way that allows many different styles of programs to coexist and to demonstrate their strengths in the marketplace. In an era of changing needs and increasing opportunities, this is a wonderful and strong base upon which to build – to ensure the continued growth and vitality of our teacher education system.

This is what Governor Rendell has asked the Commission on Training America’s Teachers to do.

The Commission plans a deliberative process focusing on the knowledge and teaching skills with which our teacher preparation programs must equip future teachers; a seamless system of preservice and inservice teacher education for lifelong learning; ways to meet the shortages and geographic imbalances in the supply and demand for high quality teachers; and more strategic ways to enhance the state's economic development potential through the intellectual capital provided by teacher education.  Based upon this review we will recommend specific policy and practice approaches to dealing with those four broad areas. 

   
 

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