Every Student Deserves an Equitable Opportunity to Achieve.

A Funding Guide For Supporting a Registered Teacher Apprenticeship Program With Federal and State Funds

For the past several years, our nation experienced a negative impact on the educator talent pool. With fewer individuals entering the profession, particularly via traditional routes, and increased attrition, the educator workforce has declined (Learning Policy Institute, 2023). States, districts, and educator preparation programs (EPPS) are leveraging alternative pathways to establish a pipeline of teachers to fill the nation’s classrooms (Woods, 2016).

One such pathway is Registered Teacher Apprenticeship Programs (RTAPs). RTAP is an industry-vetted training model that is approved and validated by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) or a state apprenticeship agency and is designed to address teacher shortages and provide inclusive career pathways. This funding guide is designed to support RTAPs in accessing a variety of funding sources to support the recommended standards and design principles developed by the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers along with apprenticeship standards from the Pathway Alliance.

Cross-State Learning Groups: Promoting Innovation and Collaboration

This brief highlights how CEEDAR’s model for cross-state learning groups (CSLGs) provides ongoing opportunities for virtual collaboration between states. CSLGs provide a structure to leverage the collective knowledge and resources of the CEEDAR network while building relationships between state-level leadership teams, partner organizations, and individual team members. CSLGs complement CEEDAR’s universally available resources, as well as the customized TA supports provided to individual state teams in creating aligned systems in educator policy and practice.

Take a Seat at the Table: The Role of Educator Preparation Programs in Teacher Registered Apprenticeship Program

With the projected shortfall of teachers hovering around 200,000 by the 2025-26 school year, state leaders are looking for ways to intervene and increase the pipeline of teachers into schools1. Teacher registered apprenticeship programs (RAPs) can potentially fill this high-priority workforce need. In the new brief, Take a Seat at the Table (authored by AIR’s Center on Great Teachers and Leaders, CEEDAR Center, and the American Association of College for Teacher Education), experts share the importance of why input from educator preparation programs (EPPs) is essential in creating these programs. The authors examine why EPPs are best positioned to co-develop teacher RAPs and the benefits of being included at the table. In addition, the brief includes helpful resources and teacher apprenticeship program examples.

Preparing and Retaining Effective Special Education Teachers: Short-Term Strategies for Long-Term Solutions

Many states struggle with shortages of special education teachers (SET). To address the shortage problem in the long term, policymakers, preparation providers, and state and district administrators must ensure that any short-term strategies are combined with a comprehensive plan that includes long-term systemic strategies to strengthen the supply, preparation, and retention of special education teachers.

Practice-Based Preparation in Teacher Education in Virtual Learning Environments

This special issues brief is the second in the series released by the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform (CEEDAR Center). Both briefs describe the essential features for providing high-quality, structured, and sequenced opportunities for teacher candidates to practice within teacher preparation programs. This brief complements the first by offering innovative strategies for reconceptualizing what deliberate practice-based opportunities look like when implemented in virtual learning environments. This brief is intended for educator preparation programs (EPPs) and teacher educators striving to prepare effective teachers by: 

  • Illuminating features of effective practice and special considerations within online learning environments; 
  • Showcasing models of practice-based approaches informed by the science of learning that are effective for supporting candidates in learning to teach; and 
  • Introducing the way the innovative strategies used within virtual learning environments can extend EPPs’ reach to recruit potential candidates not tapped previously.

An Opportunity to Invest in the Educator Workforce

State and local education agencies have been provided $176.3 billion of funding through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER II and ESSER III), which is a one-time funding opportunity to strengthen and support the educator workforce so that educator shortages do not continue to plague our nation’s schools. In a recent letter to schools and districts Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona recommended using American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) funds to implement short and long-term strategies to address educator shortages. This brief is intended to help state education agencies and local education agencies strategically leverage the federal recovery funds to attract, prepare, and retain educators

The Role of Inclusive Principal Leadership in Ensuring an Equitable Education for Students With Disabilities

State education leaders have committed to ensuring that every student has the opportunity to succeed in the college or career path of their choice, including students with disabilities, who, across the country, continue to fare worse than their peers, as measured by learning and behavioral outcomes. Inclusive principal leadership is critical to addressing these challenges. Inclusive principals are well prepared to serve students with disabilities and support teachers across general and special education to improve outcomes. They create learning environments where all students, across backgrounds, can excel in school. And they distribute leadership and provide the resources necessary to support and retain effective teachers of students with disabilities.

Removing Barriers to Effective Distance Learning by Applying the High-Leverage Practices

Distance learning offers a unique opportunity to individualize and personalize instruction  and establish inclusive learning environments for the range of diverse learners in every district, school, and virtual classroom. Applying high-leverage practices (HLPs) to lesson design and delivery, both in-person and virtually, empowers educators to provide the enabling conditions that ensure diverse learners are provided equitable access to high-quality instruction, across all grade levels and in all content areas. This special issues brief from the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR Center) and the National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI) outlines how high-leverage practices (HLPs) can be employed to strengthen distance learning instruction for a diverse range of students by providing strategies to address common challenges students experience.

Selecting Career Changers with Real Potential for Teaching and Designing a Program to Meet Their Needs

Co-authored by the CEEDAR Center and GTL Center, this brief offers guidelines for alternative route programs to help select candidates who are more likely to be successful in the field.

Addressing Shortages of Educators in an Uncertain COVID-19 Landscape: Viewing Teacher Candidates as Assets

Co-authored by the CEEDAR Center, AACTE, and GTL Center, this brief offers concrete ways teacher candidates can be leveraged to better support veteran teachers during the shift to distance learning, or new education models as schools reopen.

Cross-State Conversations Summary Report

On April 6, 2020, the CEEDAR Center and 18 partnering states engaged in cross-state conversations that focused on the following:

  • Strategies that preparation program faculty are taking to provide virtual practice-based opportunities made necessary by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • State guidance on teacher certification and licensure changes made necessary by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This report summaries the conversations from that meeting.

Leading and Engaging Faculty in Teacher Preparation Reform

This Special Issues Brief from the CEEDAR Center in partnership with the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education summarizes the experiences in leadership of six current and former deans who have been identified as engaging in successful collaborative reform efforts within their colleges. Because few resources exist to support deans in their efforts to work with faculty to engage in this work, we believe the experiences of these leaders should be useful to other deans as they work toward similar outcomes.

Short-Term Strategies for Dealing With Shortages of Special Education Teachers

Schools and districts facing teacher shortages often have few options for filling vacant special education teacher positions. Although the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that special education teachers be fully licensed when beginning to teach, many special education teachers receive their certification through fast-track routes that do not fully prepare them with the knowledge and skills they need to be effective. Research has demonstrated that special education teachers who have gone through a full preparation program are more likely to provide effective instruction, increase student achievement, and remain in the classroom. However, when vacancies occur and fully-prepared special education teachers are not immediately available, what can schools and districts do to ensure that students are served and teachers are supported? This brief outlines short-term strategies that, when paired with long-term comprehensive strategies, can be employed to hire, prepare, and support teachers in schools and districts facing special education teacher shortage crises.

Roadmap for Educator Preparation Reform

Local special education leadership is high-stakes work with long-lasting consequences for students, families, teachers, and schools. Procedural compliance has always been important because mistakes can result in costly dispute resolutions and audit exceptions. This paper provides an example of how Washington is addressing these challenges.

Responding to the Need for New Local Special Education Administrators: A Case Study

Local special education leadership is high-stakes work with long-lasting consequences for students, families, teachers, and schools. Procedural compliance has always been important because mistakes can result in costly dispute resolutions and audit exceptions. This paper provides an example of how Washington is addressing these challenges.

High-Leverage Practices and Evidence-Based Practices: A Promising Pair

High-leverage practices (HLPs) and evidence-based practices (EBPs) when used together can become powerful tools for improving student outcomes. This brief is designed to show the promise of these practices in advancing educator preparation and practice and, subsequently, outcomes for students with disabilities and those who struggle.

High-Leverage Practices in Special Education

In partnership with the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), CEEDAR has developed and published a set of high-leverage practices (HLPs) for special educators and teacher candidates.

Policy and Practice Portrait: Teacher Shortages

We simply do not have and cannot keep enough effective teachers. Whether the problem stems from insufficient pay, inadequate preparation and professional learning support, poor working conditions, or all of these, the result is the same. Not all students have equitable access to effective teachers. This paper discusses possible solutions to addressing teacher shortages.

PSEL 2015 and Promoting Principal Leadership for the Success of Students with Disabilities

In October 2015, the National Policy Board for Educational Administration (NPBEA) adopted the new Professional Standards for Educational Leaders 2015 (PSEL 2015). The CEEDAR Center and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) collaborated to produce PSEL 2015 and Promoting Principal Leadership for the Success of Students with Disabilities to help State Education Agency personnel facilitate building inclusive school districts within the PSEL 2015 framework.

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students: What Educator Preparation Programs Need to Do to Support Teacher Learning

This State Policy and Practice Portrait from the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform (CEEDAR Center) and the American Institutes for Research (AIR) provides a link between current research and professional practice. It also provides examples of states and educator preparation programs who are currently engaged in supporting teachers who serve culturally and linguistically diverse students.

Learning to Teach

Practice-Based Teacher Preparation Special Issues Brief

This Special Issues Brief from the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform (CEEDAR Center) and the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center) outlines essential features for providing high-quality, structured, and sequenced opportunities to practice within teacher preparation programs.

Promises to Keep

Promises to Keep, developed through a partnership with Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the CEEDAR Center, outlines some key policy actions state education agencies can take to ensure that teacher and leader preparation prepares teachers to work with ALL learners, particularly those who have the greatest learning and behavioral needs. This important report builds on the 2012 report produced by CCSSO, Our Promise: Our Responsibility. A report designed to help states design preparation policy systems that would transform educator preparation across the country.

325T Best Practice Review

325Ts were funded grants for institutions to restructure and improve special education teacher preparation. The 325T best practice review aimed to identify and disseminate effective strategies for restructuring preparation, fostering collaboration, improving training, integrating EBP into program content, and evaluating program outcomes. The analysis of 325T projects involved a survey and interviews with key informants to capture the project directors’ lessons learned and best practices as they reformed and enhanced the teacher preparation programs.

Literature Syntheses

The literature syntheses were written by teams of experts to provide an evidence-based foundation for the CEEDAR Center Technical Assistance. These syntheses include the most recent and credible research available in selected areas related to reform professional learning systems to ultimately improve outcomes for students with disabilities. We hope that you find these papers compelling and relevant to your work.

Policy Analysis

This analysis explores the role of state policy in preparing educators to meet the needs of students with disabilities.

Practice Review

High leverage practices and teacher preparation in special education.