"There is a broad consensus that students need to leave high school prepared for postsecondary education and the world of work," concluded Gaston, "but this will only happen if California substantially strengthens the capacity of the teaching force to deliver high quality instruction to each and every student. Right now the state has a patchwork of policies for secondary education, but more ambitious high school reform efforts are largely an unsupported local endeavor. We must find a way to make smart investments in our teaching force if we are to ensure that high school graduates develop the skills and knowledge that colleges, business and industry demand and the students themselves deserve."
To assist educators and policymakers, the report also includes recommendations that specify ways that state policymakers and education leaders can help close the gap between the preparation and support teachers need to succeed in reforming high schools and what they currently receive. The recommendations recognize California's budget context and are designed to be realistic, drawing upon existing, realigned, or earmarked federal resources.
The Status of the Teaching Profession 2009and summary materials of the findings are available on the Web at http://cftl.org/whatsnew.php.The report is produced annually by the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning as part of its Teaching and California's Future Initiative in consultation with the California State University; University of California, Office of the President; and WestEd. Research for the report is conducted by SRI International.
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John McDonald is a writer and consultant in Los Angeles.