Statement by Stig Leschly, CEO, Match Education on Teacher Training and Preparation Programs

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In response to yesterday’s Teacher Prep Review by the National Council on Teacher Quality, Match Education has issued the following statement. Match operates the Charles Sposato Graduate School of Education in Boston, which awards Master’s in Effective Teaching degrees.

Our selective, practice-based and accountable approach to teacher training is producing some of the most sought after novice teachers in the country.

“The Teacher Prep Review, released yesterday by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), elevates and sharpens our national dialogue on how we train teachers in the United States.

“As the Teacher Prep Review correctly points out, students suffer enormous learning losses when subjected to underprepared novice teachers, and teachers themselves exit the profession in significant numbers because of on-the-job difficulties in their first year of teaching.

“Teacher training, if executed properly, can solve these problems, preparing novice teachers who succeed immediately and who persist in the profession. To succeed, teacher training programs should prioritize high-dosage coaching and intensive practice of classroom management and other entry-level teaching techniques. These programs should also hold themselves intensely accountable to whether their graduates eventually succeed with students.

“At Match Education, we have developed our graduate school of education – the Charles Sposato Graduate School of Education – with these principles in mind, and with the goal of producing exceptionally high-quality first-year teachers.

“Our graduate students, as part of a two-year Master in Effective Teaching program, spend their first year as full-time tutors in our award-winning charter schools. During that time, they receive intensive coaching from accomplished school leaders, undertake carefully observed student teaching in increasingly complex situations and earn their teaching licenses. During the second year of the program, our graduate students take full-time teaching jobs in high-performing, high-poverty schools across the country and, even as they carry a full teaching schedule, complete coursework to finish their degree requirements.

“Our Master’s degree program is strongly rooted in three basic principles, all of which are echoed in NCTQ’s evaluation protocols:

  •     Rigorous Selection. We recruit and admit graduate students from top-tier undergraduate universities, and require auditions and extensive interviews as part of the admissions process. Our students have strong prior records of academic excellence, reflected in part by their SAT scores and GPAs. We admit less than 10 percent of applicants and believe that teaching should be a highly selective profession – our country’s most talented college graduates will pursue long-term teaching careers if given high-quality training and rewarding workplaces.
  •     High-Dosage Coaching and Practice Related to Classroom Management and Other Basic Teaching Techniques. Mastery of classroom management, structured lesson planning and execution, and other basic teaching techniques are essential to success among novice teachers and form the basis of sustained careers. Our graduate school faculty, composed of accomplished school leaders, intensively coaches our graduate students, requires them to practice these skills in increasingly complex student teaching settings and diligently evaluates their progress.
  •     Accountability. We are accountable for the eventual success of our graduate students in the classroom. For example, we charge our graduate students tuition (currently set at $4,000) but only collect if our graduate students are thriving in our program. If a student leaves our program before completion, we forgive unpaid tuition. We will not charge our graduate students for training that is not generating value and a viable career for them. Relatedly, our employers pay a recruitment fee to hire our graduates (currently set at $6,000) but we only collect if our employers report satisfaction with our graduates and elect to renew their contracts. Finally, we only grant our Master of Effective Teaching degree after our graduate students have succeeded on blind reviews of their classroom practices during their first year of full-time teaching.

“Our selective, practice-based and accountable approach to teacher training is producing some of the most sought after novice teachers in the country. In each of the last four years, 100 percent of our graduates have been hired by top-performing, high-poverty public schools across the country, and 90 percent of our graduates are persisting in their teaching positions.”

About Match Education
Match Education is considered an engine of innovation in public education. Match operates high-performing urban public charter schools for low-income and minority children and a unique graduate school of education that trains teachers for urban settings. Out of its applied work in schools and teacher training, Match originates, proves and shares solutions to core problems in education reform. Learn more about the Match Teacher Residency program and the Charles Sposato Graduate School of Education by contacting Scott McCue, chief operating officer of the Match Teacher Residency program, at scott(dot)mccue(at)matcheducation(dot)org.

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Ida Linden
Match Education
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