In a prepared statement, Van Roekel said NEA will support national standards for teacher preparation and licensing. All teacher candidates should have one full year of teaching residency, and pass a performance-based assessment before entering the classroom.
The NEA has supported teacher residency programs in the past, but has not specifically called for all teacher education programs to embrace them. It has long spoken out against alternative-certification routes that permit teachers to learn on the job without a supervised student-teaching experience.
Van Roekel called specifically for the implementation of 50 new residency programs and adoption of performance assessments in at least 10 state licensure systems.
Van Roekel also said NEA would support a career ladder for teachers, with steps including Novice, Professional, and Master Teacher. Those in leadership roles would be evaluated less frequently and earn a higher salary in exchange for working longer hours, mentoring colleagues, and taking on more challenging teaching assignments. In addition, Van Roekel said NEA will help interested affiliates adopt peer-assistance and -review teacher evaluation programs.