Colorado teacher prep programs ranked first in nation for reading instruction, report says – By Ann Schmike and Sara Martin, Chalkbeat

Colorado is the top state in the nation for how its teacher preparation programs train aspiring educators to teach children to read, according to a new national report.

The report, released Tuesday by the National Council on Teacher Quality, praised Colorado for pushing teacher prep programs to improve reading coursework through stricter state oversight. It credited those efforts with moving Colorado from the middle of the pack in the council’s 2020 report to No. 1 in 2023.

Colorado’s top billing in the council’s report reflects the state’s yearslong campaign to get more students reading on grade level by banning discredited elementary reading curriculum and mandating teacher training aligned with research on how children learn to read. Those efforts sometimes spurred pushback from school district and teacher prep program leaders, but generally the state education department held its ground.

Heather Peske, president of the National Council on Teacher Quality, said Colorado’s progress in recent years demonstrates that teacher prep programs not only can change their practices, but can do so relatively quickly.


Pa. lawmakers move ahead on stipends to ease financial burdens for student teachers – By Peter Hall, Pennsylvania Capital Star

As lawmakers grapple with a drastic decline in the number of new teachers certified in Pennsylvania, a state House panel approved legislation that would ease financial burdens for student teachers.

The House Education Committee voted 20-1 on Tuesday to send the full chamber a bill providing up to $15,000 as a stipend for student teachers and $2,500 for teachers who serve as mentors to aspiring educators.

State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, the bill’s prime sponsor, told the committee that student teachers must often leave other employment to do the semester-long mandatory student teaching assignments required to receive a teacher’s certification.

During that time, they still have living expenses, tuition and other bills to pay, Otten said.

“It’s really hard to maintain a part time job while you’re student teaching,” Otten said. “So this bill would help us to get our student teachers to the finish line by giving them financial support.”


Coalition of principals to Congress: ‘Here’s how to help prevent school shootings’ – By Matt Zalaznick, District Administration

The Principal Recovery Network of building leaders who have experienced school shootings is pressing Congress for several billion dollars worth of mental health and safety support for staff and students.

Members of the network, including the former principal of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the current principal of Sandy Hook Elementary, visited lawmakers last week to alert them to the unending trauma endured by victims and communities that have experienced school shootings.

“We’re asking for the conversation to stay on the front burner and to convince legislators not to get complacent about school safety,” says Elizabeth Brown, the network’s co-facilitator and former principal of Florida’s Forest High School, which she took over two months after a student was shot and wounded by a school intruder in 2018.

The Principal Recovery Network is a team of current and former school leaders assembled by the National Association of Secondary School Principals to help guide building leaders in the immediate aftermath of shootings or other violence. Members of the network will reach out to a principal shortly after a shooting occurs to tell them what to expect (e.g., a lot of calls from the media) and help with decision-making (when to reopen school) in the days and weeks that follow.


Principal Recovery Network - Image by NASSP

Federal funding approved for North Dakota CTE centers – By Inforum staff reports

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has approved North Dakota’s application for $68 million in federal funding to help finance the construction of 13 career academies in the state, including the James Valley Career and Technology Center in Jamestown and the Sheyenne Valley Area Career and Technology Center in Valley City.

The James Valley Career and Technology Center was awarded an $800,000 grant from the Career and Technical Education Capital Projects Fund. The grant is matched by a combination of funds from the Jamestown Public School District’s contribution from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp., James Valley Career and Technology Center, and the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006.

Jamestown Public School District officials are exploring the best uses of funding for the project at the James Valley Career and Technology Center. The School District plans to construct a 7,000-square-foot addition at the James Valley Career and Technology Center that will be used by the building trades program to build lake cabins and to house ambulances for training students and providing public service in northeast Jamestown.