REL Midwest will lead two projects in 2017 that support the Michigan Department of Education (MDE)'s focus on ensuring equitable access to effective teachers for all students in the state.
For the first project, REL Midwest researchers will analyze data from schools and districts to identify trends in teacher shortages and surpluses in Michigan. The researchers will examine whether trends vary by license area, region of the state, school characteristics, or teacher pay. REL Midwest researchers also will create projections of teacher shortages and surpluses for the next 5 and 10 years to inform the work of alliance members and other stakeholders as they develop new programs and policies.
The other REL Midwest project will examine clinically oriented teacher preparation programs. Much like a medical residency program, clinically oriented teacher preparation programs offer prospective teachers both classroom experience and opportunities to work directly in a classroom under the guidance and direction of an experienced teacher. The programs typically include ongoing coaching, supervision, and support from the mentor teacher. MDE has identified clinically oriented teacher preparation programs as a potential strategy to develop highly effective new teachers and to remedy the teacher shortage problem.
In light of this interest, REL Midwest will research and develop a series of profiles of clinically oriented teacher preparation programs throughout the United States. In addition, REL Midwest will host a series of trainings to connect MDE staff and alliance members with representatives from clinically oriented programs with demonstrated effectiveness in teacher retention, student learning, and other outcomes if reported. MDE looks to use the in-depth information about clinically oriented programs to consider the feasibility and value of implementing such programs in Michigan.