All North Carolinians want an educated, responsible, and productive citizenry, a safe society, and a sound economy. A responsible citizenry and a creative and productive workforce can be a reality, however, only in a society that expects and supports high quality public schools.
Central to quality education are well prepared and effective teachers, counselors, administrators, and other school professionals. Past efforts to improve the competencies of professional educators, and school improvement generally, have been largely piecemeal and without adequate collaboration between public schools and institutions of higher education. To be successful, the initial and continuing education of school-based professionals must be a joint responsibility of both the public schools that employ them and the colleges and universities that initially prepare them and then subsequently provide opportunities for their continuing professional development.
Needed now are strong partnerships that will support the continuous improvement of both B/K-12 schools and their faculties, and university-based professional education programs and their faculties and, thereby, the enhancement of student success at every level. Public school staff and professional education faculty in The University of North Carolina recognize this joint responsibility and are implementing a systemic approach to it by creating University-School Teacher Education Partnerships in each institution. During the next few years, University and public school faculties in each Partnership will collaboratively:
The ultimate indicators of success of these Partnerships will be “the value added” to professional education programs in the 15 UNC institutions and “the value added” to the quality of instruction and learning in Partnership schools. Evaluation of the long-term impact of these Partnerships, therefore, will focus on two key questions:
What value do the Partnerships add to programs, teachers, and students in the participating schools?