Senate Bill to Prepare Next Generation Teachers

May 3, 2012

Hartford, CT – Senator Toni Boucher (R- Wilton) applauds the bipartisan passage of a bill she helped to craft and co-sponsored SB 384 AN ACT CONCERNING TEACHER PREPARATION.

Teaching is the noblest and most important of our professions. Our teachers have an enormous responsibility as they can have an indelible impact on a student’s life. We must ensure they have the best preparation to succeed in today’s challenging school environment.

Every avenue must be explored to tackle Connecticut’s widest in the nation achievement gap. Teacher preparation programs are among the most important focus areas.

“We want to attract and better prepare the next generation of teachers,” said Sen. Boucher.

The bill was inspired by concerns brought forward by Superintendents who were concerned about the disparity in quality of teacher candidates being interviewed. One of the main issues is the variation between teacher preparation programs state university system programs that prepare teachers. Committee members were told that school systems have found that there was a need for more, higher quality and more in classroom experience was needed in the program.

SB 384 will ask The State Board of Education, The Board of Regents for Higher Education and University of Connecticut to do the following including:

  • Study the issues concerning teacher preparation
  • Spend a minimum number of hours student teaching in the classroom beginning freshman year
  • Include student teaching hours with special education and gifted students
  • Candidates must possess a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0

The State Board of Education shall report their study recommendations by April 1, 2013.

“When you increase the quality and reputation of a program you help elevate the profession. The selectivity of the programs seems to attract more, higher performing students,” said Sen. Boucher. “By increasing the quality of our teaching programs we can improve the learning environment for our students.”

Senator Boucher thanked the co-chairs of the Higher Education Committee for their willingness to consider the ideas she brought forward and the support for the betterment of the learning environment for our next generation teachers.

Committee members are hopeful other higher education institutions, like many of the liberal arts schools around the state will also develop a masters degree to help increase the pool of applicants.

The bill now goes on to the House for consideration.