Last night’s KET special on “Kentucky Principals, Leading by Example” (sorry, not yet on line) contained a stunning revelation.
Education Professional Standards Board head Dr. Phil Rodgers announced that the certification of every education Masters Degree program in Kentucky will “sunset” (i.e. terminate) in 2010 and the certification of every Kentucky education school’s principal preparation program will cease in 2011.
In all cases, education schools will have to reapply for certification under new guidelines to meet new standards for both the Masters and the principal preparation programs.
While Rodgers didn’t say so, this dramatic change appears to be driven at least in part by Senate Bill 1 from last winter’s regular legislative session.
Regardless, the implications of this announcement are stunning.
The Bluegrass Institute and other independent education observers in the state have been raising concerns about the preparation of teachers for some time. Lately, the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence has been beating war drums on the topic. When Prichard and Bluegrass Institute agree, someone needs to act!
Now, action indeed seems to be taking place. Dr. Rodgers remarkable announcement amounts to an admission that there are indeed major short-comings in several key areas of teacher training.
What remains to be seen is whether undergraduate teacher preparation programs will also undergo a similar reconstitution. It’s fine to fix programs for more experienced teachers and school administrators, but there is abundant evidence that problems in teacher development begin earlier in the pipeline.