The Need for Residency ProgramsNCTR and teacher residency programs are raising the bar for teacher preparation, specifically for teachers preparing to serve in high-need areas and in high-need schools across the nation. For too long, teacher preparation programs have relied on course grades to demonstrate a pre-service candidate’s ability to teach – this measure is too narrow and indicates the teacher preparation candidate’s knowledge of theory, not readiness for a classroom.Teacher residencies are leading as a 21st century teacher preparation pathway that measures and monitors a teacher candidate’s (resident’s) knowledge and skills prior to entering the classroom as teacher of record. The ability to positively impact students must be observed, demonstrated, and honed in real school environments with intensive immersion experiences that use master educators as the translator of theory to practice.NCTR's Strategy to Improve Student AchievementNCTRRESIDENCY PROGRAMSRESIDENTS / GRADUATESSTUDENTSLaunch and Sustain High-performing ProgramsPrepare Effective TeachersProvide Effective InstructionImprove AcheivementClose Achievement GapIn schools across the country, there is a need for new and effective educators to join the more than 3.5 million existing teachers who serve elementary, middle and secondary students. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects a 13% increase in the number of teachers who will need to fill 455,000 new positions between 2008 and 2018.Traditional teacher preparation programs are not equipped to develop teachers to fill this kind of national need, as historically they have lacked a real connection to school districts as the “client,” focusing on academics rather than practical application.To respond to this need with a corps of highly-effective educators would require a redefinition and redesign of teacher quality, effectiveness, and preparation. Residency programs can help to bridge this divide, developing “home grown” teachers who are committed to working in high-need districts.