First and foremost is the U.S. Department of Education, which funded the Education Commission of the States (ECS) through its Fund for the Improvement of Education to carry out a number of activities. These activities include a series of reports on teaching quality, of which this is the first; meetings between and among policymakers, funders and researchers; and the development of 50-state databases on teacher quality policy, which can be found on the ECS Web site, www.ecs.org. Particular gratitude is extended C. Kent McGuire, former assistant secretary for educational research and improvement, who appreciated the potential importance of the ECS project, approved its funding and generously continues to take an active interest in the work. In addition, Thelma Leenhouts, this project's program officer, and Martin Orland have provided invaluable assistance and support.
Much gratitude also is owed former Wyoming Governor Jim Geringer, who served as ECS chairman in 1999-2000 and was instrumental in making teaching quality a central focus of ECS' work. Michael Knapp, with the Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy (CTP), graciously allowed the report to borrow liberally from the 2001 CTP review, Teacher Preparation Research: Current Knowledge, Gaps and Recommendations. ECS Commissioners Doug Christensen, Hazel Loucks, Ted Stilwill and Carl Takamura provided valuable comments on an early draft of the report, as did Willis Hawley of the University of Maryland and Pepper Sturm of the Nevada Legislative Council Bureau. Also providing a thorough review and sage advice was Christopher Cross, who serves ECS as a Distinguished Senior Fellow.
Special thanks goes to the project advisory committee membership for their insight and expertise, which benefited this report and related work. Members include Tom Bellamy, Barnett Berry, Lynn Cornett, Bridget Curran, Mary Dilworth, Jim Geringer, Willis Hawley, Eric Hirsch, David Imig, Leo Klagholz, Sabrina Laine, Lawrence Leak, Dane Linn, Corinne Mantle-Bromley, Deborah McGriff, Michael Poliakoff and Esther Rodriguez.
ECS staff who contributed to the preparation of this report are: Suzanne Weiss, Josie Canales and Sherry Freeland Walker, who performed their editorial magic; Deborah Bachler, who provided research assistance; Robert Palaich and Charles Coble, who offered welcome advice and encouragement, as well as careful review; and ECS President Ted Sanders, who has strengthened ECS' focus on teaching quality and whose personal interest in this report and the issues it addresses have been invaluable.
Rick Griffith is responsible for the excellent layout and look of the final online and print products.
Finally, this report owes a great deal of its content to the work of four individuals whose previous analyses of the research on teacher preparation provided the foundation for the discussion here. Suzanne Wilson, Robert Floden and Joan Ferrini-Mundy, of Michigan State University, were the authors of Teacher Preparation Research: Current Knowledge, Gaps and Recommendations (2001), the central resource for this report. Suzanne and Bob also wrote an invaluable addendum to that work commissioned by ECS, and they provided a thorough review of a draft of this report. Patricia Lauer of Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) provided an excellent secondary analysis of the Wilson, Floden and Ferrini-Mundy publication as well as invaluable review and advice for this report. Lauer is also author of A Policymaker's Primer on Education Research: How To Understand, Evaluate and Use It, a unique and valuable publication intended to serve as a companion to this report for those who wish to understand the methodological issues in greater depth.
In addition, ECS and the author wish to thank Lauer and McREL for allowing the Glossary, which was written by Lauer, to be included in this report.
Although this report relied heavily on the previous work of others, the interpretations of the research and the opinions expressed herein are the responsibility of its author and do not necessarily reflect the views of any of the other individuals mentioned or of the U.S. Department of Education.
Michael Allen, program director for the ECS Teaching Quality Policy Center, wrote this report.