California Should Invest in Teacher Residencies – February 2016

From, February 2016:

It’s estimated to cost $6-million to train a fighter pilot. A new physician’s training costs over $500,000. Training a service dog costs between $7,000 and $15,000. Given these metrics, why wouldn’t we spend the $30,000 or more for a first class teacher residency?

Recently, three bills were introduced in the California legislature to address the deepening shortage of teachers. They are timely. The supply of new teachers is at a 12 year low. Last year the state issued only about a third the credentials it did in 2008. Students are not lining up at the teacher ed recruiting table.

One of the pieces of proposed legislation, introduced by Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) would support teacher residency programs that mimic medical education’s practice of pairing new practitioners with veterans. Rather than the traditional teacher education that often provide only weeks of classroom-based training, residencies last for a full school year or more. Residents train with veteran teacher mentors: an experience variously called an apprenticeship or clinical practice. When finished, they receive their teaching credential, often a Master’s degree, and a job.

Residents are expected to make a commitment to the district in which they are trained, 3 to 7 years depending on the program. In return, they get various benefits: scholarships, load forgiveness, financial support for housing or health care, as The San Francisco Teacher Residency…

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