The Ford Foundation has awarded the Texas Center for Education Policy (TCEP) $300,000 for the 15-month planning phase of the Teacher Education Institute initiative to be conducted by the National Latino Education Research Agenda Project (NLERAP).
The Teacher Education Institute is a national initiative that will result in a more diverse and highly skilled teacher workforce equipped with best practices for educating Latino/a and language minority youth. The initiative and NLERAP are housed in TCEP under Dr. Angela Valenzuela, associate vice president for school partnerships in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Valenzuela said, "The Teacher Education Institute initiative is significant because quality teachers are the factor that most influences student achievement, graduation rates and college eligibility among young Latinas and Latinos. If we are to begin addressing disparities in Latino students' opportunities to learn, we must focus squarely on our children's teachers."
Part of the planning process includes establishing five regional boards for the Southwest, Midwest, West, Southeast and Northeast. Each of the boards will be responsible for developing, implementing and coordinating local Teacher Education Institute efforts and providing input into a national toolkit. The NLERAP will foster multiple pathways into teacher preparation programs. These pathways will address the intricacies of local, state and national policies that perpetuate the undersupply of quality teachers across the Southwest, Midwest, West, Southeast and Northeast regions that have been targeted for reform.
"We will also generate a well-informed agenda and action plan for K-12 educational research that honors the participation of Latino and Latina community members, practitioners and university-based researchers," Valenzuela said. "Based on this agenda, we can make sound recommendations to guide researchers, policymakers, educators, families and community organizations on Latino education issues."
For more information on the Teacher Education Institute and the National Latino Education Research Agenda Project, contact the Texas Center for Education Policy at 512-471-7055 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.