Informing State Policy

Working with a wide range of stakeholders to conduct research that informs the policy questions stakeholders are asking.

Improving teacher quality is one of the most accessible and viable policy tools for leveraging improvements to P-12 education. Despite many efforts from the field aimed at improving teacher preparation, policymakers and practitioners echo the conclusions reached by the National Research Council’s (NRC) comprehensive evaluation which states that, “because the information about teacher preparation and its effectiveness is so limited, high-stakes policy debates about the most effective ways to recruit, train, and retain a high-quality teacher workforce remain muddled.” Of the cited reasons for this, a primary one is the lack of research on the relationship between characteristics of teacher education and K-12 student learning, and the limitations of current research in capturing and accounting for the complexity of organizational, institutional, and policy factors that influence teacher education. Another is the idiosyncratic nature of the research which some researchers claim is often due to the “framing of questions and research agendas almost exclusively around the interests of academic researchers to the near exclusion of policymakers and practitioners” (Sleeter, 2014).

Using the California Statewide Data System and other research conducted through CTERIN, researchers in collaboration with the Stakeholder Advisory Committee are working on a research agenda which includes the following six areas of study:

  • Teacher retention and recruitment within teacher preparation programs and partners, particularly focusing on recruiting and retaining teachers of color and teachers in high-need schools.
  • Clinical practice (e.g., student teaching) in teacher preparation
  • Effectiveness of teacher preparation pathways in California
  • Preparation of teachers to teach students with particular assets and needs (e.g., students with disabilities, Multi-lingual Learners, students learning within diverse communities)
  • The qualifications and work of teacher educators in higher education and P-12
  • Improving coherence between pre-service and in-service induction programs.

The purpose of the agenda is to guide investigation of the impact of state policy on teacher education pathways and practice, as well as to inform future policy. ​The agenda also guides the calls for center sponsored projects.