For Immediate Release: Friday, December 13, 2002
Regents Partner with K-12 Agency on Teacher Quality Grant
RAPID CITY The South Dakota Board of Regents is teaming up with K-12 educators to focus on enhancing teacher quality in South Dakota through a multi-million-dollar federal grant.
The Regents were briefed Friday on South Dakotas K-20 teacher quality enhancement project dubbed EveryTeacher. In October, the states K-12 education agency, the Department of Education & Cultural Affairs, was awarded an $11 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to improve teacher quality through improved preparation and continuous professional development. The Board of Regents will receive about $1.4 million in a sub-grant from DECA to support its work on the project.
The overall goal is to create a seamless, statewide system that prepares quality educators and then sustains their continuous professional development in subject matter content and effective teaching strategies, said Harvey C. Jewett, president of the Board of Regents. This partnership between K-12 and higher educationfocused on teacher qualityis exactly the type of cooperation that pays long-term dividends. The payoff is better educational opportunities and outcomes for all students in South Dakota.
In the coming year, public higher educations primary responsibilities in the EveryTeacher project are threefold:
1. Create professional development workshops for teachers based on core standards set by the National Board for Professional Teacher Standards (NBPTS). Faculty leaders will team with K-12 teachers who have earned their National Board certification to develop and lead these workshops.
2. Design a university-level course for K-12 education paraprofessionals related to the NBPTS standards.
3. Participate in the review of the teacher licensure examinations, Praxis I and Praxis II, created by the Educational Testing Service. South Dakota is developing plans to use these exams to certify its teachers.
The EveryTeacher collaboration is just another example of ongoing efforts in South Dakota to link together K-12 and higher education initiatives. A growing number of educators and state policymakers see the considerable benefits in looking at education as one systempreschool through graduate educationrather than several separate systems, Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry said. Students are more likely to drop through the cracks of a disconnected education system that does not work well together. In South Dakota, we are working hard to make sure that doesnt happen.
Perry pointed to several collaborative statewide projects involving public higher education and the K-12 system, among those a five-year project to integrate technology into teaching and learning throughout the K-20 curriculum. That work has also resulted in creation of the Midwest Alliance for Professional Leadership and Learning. The two systems are currently investigating a math and science initiative that would focus on improving teachers math and science preparation and helping students make better decisions about their math and science coursework.
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