A Call to Preserve Title II of the Higher Education Act
Today the National Council of Teachers of English sent the following letter to the members of the U. S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce in response to the introduction of H. R. 4508, the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act, a bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA).
Title II of the HEA authorizes grants for improving teacher education programs, strengthening teacher recruitment efforts, and providing training for prospective teachers. In the bill introduced today Title II is eliminated- we will be mobilizing members to speak out about the importance of maintaining this crucial support for the growth and success of our teacher workforce.
December 1, 2017
S. House of Representatives
2176 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Members of the U. S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce,
The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is writing today in response to the introduction of H. R. 4508, the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act, a bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA).
NCTE represents more than 25,000 English, literacy, and composition teachers spanning the PreK– college spectrum. As such, we are the nation’s most comprehensive literacy organization and represent one of the very few subjects that must be consistently taught in each grade. NCTE has led every major improvement in the teaching and learning of English and the language arts since 1911.
As the Committee on Education and the Workforce considers the reauthorization of the HEA, we respectfully request that Title II be preserved through the Committee process. As you know, Title II of the HEA authorizes grants for improving teacher education programs, strengthening teacher recruitment efforts, and providing training for prospective teachers. NCTE recognizes the integral role Title II plays in the classroom, for both teachers and students. Every student deserves highly qualified teachers who are well prepared in both content knowledge and diverse instructional approaches, and teachers equally deserve to be prepared to the highest degree possible before entering the classroom and on an ongoing basis.
Teacher preparation is particularly important for the field of literacy. Each year we discover new ways of understanding how students learn to read and write and new mediums for accessing and producing information. English and language arts teachers work in an ever-changing landscape when it comes to means of communication, and unlimited access to content has changed the way we must teach our students to become critical consumers.
Rather than eliminating Title II, NCTE supports improved federal support for sound teacher education practices through investment in State Partnership Grants, sustained accountability for alternative teacher preparation programs, and increased funding for teacher induction and retention programs.
On behalf of teachers nationwide who rely on Title II and the vital support it offers, NCTE respectfully asks the members of this Committee to restore this critical program during the Committee process to ensure teachers and other school personnel are provided the resources they need to facilitate high-quality education.