The proposal also calls for making entrance into teacher education programs more competitive. Candidates should be required to have a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average, the AFT said, in addition to formal interviews and 10 hours of field experience.
“If you impose that kind of restriction, that means you’re signaling to society at large that not everybody can be a teacher. You’re saying it’s hard to get in. It’s hard to be good,” said Arthur McKee of the National Council on Teacher Quality, which supports the proposal.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan, too, commended the proposal, describing it as part of a broader push to raise the bar for teachers and enable schools to predict a teacher’s potential for success in the classroom.
“Too many new teachers enter our schools feeling unprepared. We shouldn’t tolerate that in a profession so important to our country’s future,” he said in a statement.
The union’s executive council will consider whether to approve the report at a February meeting. Other teachers unions including the National Education Association have yet to weigh in on the proposal.