Dec 11, 2017
LSU, ULL to Pioneer Research, Inform Policy Relative to Teacher Preparation in Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, La. - The Louisiana Department of Education today announced two Louisiana universities have been selected to chair the Louisiana Educator Research Consortium, a network of teacher preparation providers from across the state interested in conducting research relative to educator preparation. Starting January 2018, Louisiana State University (LSU) and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL) will direct this research, seek and utilize grant funding, and inform related policies.
"Louisiana leads the nation in its efforts to strengthen teacher preparation," said State Superintendent John White. "This innovative and pioneering consortium will serve as a hub for research on teacher preparation methods and policies, including efforts under way in Louisiana."
LSU and ULL will serve as co-chairs of the Louisiana Educator Research Consortium for five years. LSU and ULL will initially be tasked with:
  • Establishing the process whereby an advisory board and member institutions are chosen, and choosing the board and member institutions;
  • Setting the research agenda for 2018-2019, in consultation with the steering committee and the advisory board; and
  • Organizing at least two meetings by April 2018 during which the advisory board will provide feedback on proposals relative to the Louisiana Teacher Preparation Quality Rating System, a system established by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) in June 2017 to provide preparation providers with meaningful information for improvement, as required by federal regulations. 
Over time, LSU and ULL will work with other consortium members to conduct research relative to teacher preparation in Louisiana, such as the impact of the state's year long, classroom-based residencies and competency-based program design, which will take effect July 2018. Each institution will receive $25,000 in grant funding to launch this work.
BESE charged the state with creating the research consortium at the same time it established policies for the Louisiana Teacher Preparation Quality Rating System. The Department launched a competitive application process for Louisiana universities in October 2017. LSU and ULL were selected following a review process led by a steering committee comprising representatives from the Department, BESE, the Louisiana Board of Regents and the Louisiana Association for Career and Technical Education.
Dr. Joseph C. Rallo, Louisiana Commissioner of Higher Education, said he looked forward to working with the selected institutions.  
"The Board of Regents is delighted to partner with our colleagues to continue Louisiana's leadership role in elevating the preparation of our educators to ensure the success of our students in a dynamically evolving academic environment," Rallo said.

Leaders at each selected institution agreed the consortium will bring about positive shifts in policy regarding how our teachers are prepared.

"It is incredibly unjust that so many of our aspiring prodigies have their cognitive potential hampered by the residual effects of inherited poverty. Yet, there are innumerable accounts of exemplary educators advancing precociousness in such settings," said Dr. Peter Sheppard, Head of the Department of Educational Curriculum and Instruction in ULL's College of Education. " The challenge and excitement of our consortium is that we must situate such accounts empirically so that teacher preparation providers nurture this kind of performance during the formative stages of preparation. Simultaneously, we are elated to provide a scholarly premise to policies associated with preparation of teachers. Collectively, our task brings to life the missions of UL Lafayette, the UL System, and the Louisiana Department of Education."

"I am honored to have this opportunity to work together with Dr. Sheppard to help lead the Louisiana Educator Research Consortium," said Dr. James Madden, Co-Director of LSU's Gordon A. Cain Center, Director of Special Programs in the LSU College of Science and a member of the LSU Teacher Education Council. "The way we choose to prepare and certify teachers in Louisiana has consequences for all citizens. Decisions must be guided by research that is impartial, transparent, replicable, and trusted by all. As public research institutions, ULL and LSU stand for these principles, and I will do everything in my power to uphold them."
To learn more about teacher preparation in Louisiana, click here.

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