The Consortium will link William Paterson University, Kean University, and Rowan University, 10 high-need LEAs, and corporate and parents partners in a venture to fundamentally improve teacher education and the teaching profession in New Jersey--and thus to improve student achievement in the state's culturally diverse schools. The partnership planning effort, including the active participation of the LEAs, identified four broader goals:
1. Effective regional and statewide LEA/IHE/business linkages to integrate curriculum reform, teacher preparation, and educational policy activities
2. Assure the supply of future teachers and see that they are adequately prepared
3. Provide a full range of professional development activities at the preservice and in-service levels, especially in technology and the content areas of the N.J. Core Curriculum Content Standards (CCCS, mandated to assess student achievement at various K- 12 grade levels)
4. Address a number of issues critical to New Jersey's "high-need" LEAs, especially student achievement.
The Consortium will accomplish these goals through measurable objectives and activities which will: incorporate content-area preservice education and curriculum reform designed to meet CCCS requirements; require at least 12 credits of math and science of all preservice students; change the length and intensity of the clinical experience and increase preservice field experiences by 25%; increase liberal arts/sciences IHE faculty participation in teacher preparation; align preservice curriculum, especially in technology and other needed content areas, with actual classroom experience and of high-needs LEAs. Other activities will focus on recruiting preservice students, reducing attrition among new teachers, working with parents, and expanding Professional Development Schools in the high-need LEAs.
These activities should: improve the quality and number of teacher graduates who meet the needs of the LEAs and take teaching positions in those LEAs (we will supply 65% of new hires by Yr. 5); increase preservice exit GPAs to at least 2.75; b) increase the NTE passing rate to 85%; increase the number of minority teachers by 20%; eliminated out-of-certificate teaching; cut induction period attrition by 25%; and increase high-need LEA student achievement by 25%.
Kean University will house the Consortium, which will function at the regional level through joint LEA/IHE (liberal arts and education)/business "joint committees"; a statewide joint committee will coordinate overall operations and hire a fill-time executive director.