AASCU Statement on the Department of Education’s Regulations on TEACH Grant Eligibility and State Ratings of Teacher Preparation Programs

The Department of Education’s regulations on TEACH Grant eligibility and state ratings of teacher preparation programs have both a downside and an upside.

AASCU has long opposed a federally mandated state-rating structure for programmatic offerings of colleges and universities.  It sets a dangerous precedent for political intervention in academic policy. We are disappointed that the Department did not delay the regulations that address teacher education. We urged them to wait until after Congress, state colleges and universities, and other key stakeholders could work together, through the reauthorization process of the Higher Education Act (HEA), to address the underlying policies and practices around preparing America’s teachers.  Additionally we disagree with the department’s view that the regulation will have only a minimal affect on costs for our institutions,

On the upside, we welcome a number of the Departments changes:  Specifically, the regulations echo the language of the Every Student Succeeds Act and allows the states greater discretion to define “student learning outcomes” through any methodology that allows meaningful differentiation to be made about teacher evaluation. The regulations also address some of our concerns about diversification of the teacher profession by eliminating certain entry criteria for evaluation of teacher preparation programs. These criteria would have had a negative affect on programs serving minority populations. We are pleased that the final rule appropriately focuses on exit criteria.

AASCU will continue to examine the hundreds of pages of this regulation and keep our members informed about the key provisions that will affect their campuses. 

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The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of more than 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development.