As 2016 draws to a close, NCTR looks back on the year’s most interesting teacher preparation news – those stories which are likely to shape the trajectory of the field for years to come. These six areas were of particular importance to building momentum around the teacher residency model and effective clinical preparation nationwide. In no particular order, NCTR presents its Top Six Teacher Preparation New Stories of 2016: 1) The Every Student Succeeds Act: The Future of Teacher Preparation Under ESSA Finalized in 2016, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) creates new opportunities for states, universities, and nonprofit organizations to accelerate the impact of quality teacher preparation through the launch and scale of teacher residency programs. The Department of Education (Department) released guidance to support the launch of residencies as a significant part of a systems approach to increase teacher quality, improve teacher preparation, and ensure that our highest need students have access to effective educators. Speculation on ESSA’s impact: January 11, 2016 || New America – How Will ESSA Influence States’ Teacher Quality Efforts? January 28, 2016 || Brookings Institution’s Brown Center Chalkboard – ESSA Unlocks Teacher Prep Innovation The Department released a draft of ESSA accountability rules, requested comments from the education community, and received over 20,000 responses: May 26, 2016 || Education Week – Education Department Releases ESSA Accountability Rules August 4, 2016 || Education Week – Your Guide to Comments on the Draft of ESSA Accountability Rules The Department released its Final Guidance on ESSA, requiring new reporting by states on program effectiveness, which moves beyond their basic annual reporting requirements under the Higher Education Act: October 12, 2016 || U.S. Department of Education Press Release – Education Department Releases Final Teacher Preparation Regulations October 12, 2016 || The Washington Post – Obama Administration Releases Long-Delayed Regulations for Teacher-Preparation Programs 2) Looming Teacher Shortages Made Headlines Across the Country Teacher shortages are at their highest since the 1990s, and several states remarked on the urgent need for effective teachers in their public schools. February 2, 2016 || NBC KCRA Channel 3 – Lawmakers Propose Bills To Address California’s Teacher Shortage July 24, 2016 || The Roanoke Times – Supply and Demand: Teacher Shortage Acute In Key Subject Areas September 14, 2016 || The Washington Post – America Has A Teacher Shortage, And A New Study Says It’s Getting Worse October 12, 2016 || Louisiana Department of Education News Release – BESE Expands Full Year Classroom Residency for Teachers 3) The Teacher Residency Model Gains Popularity in Response to Shortages In response to teacher shortages across the country, the education community began to reconsider the needs not only of prospective teacher candidates, but also their students; the schools, districts and communities they would serve; and the institutions of higher learning that prepare them. Given that the teacher residency model meets the needs of all the above named constituents, stakeholders looked deeply at the model as a way to prepare highly effective teachers. March 23, 2016 || U.S. News & World Report – Opinion: Rethinking How To Teach Our Teachers April 15, 2016 || The Atlantic – The Promise of Teacher Residency Programs May 18, 2016 || EdSource – Teacher Residencies: A Long-Term Strategy to Solve California Teacher Shortages June 28, 2016 || The Hechinger Report – Opinion: This May Be The Best Way To Train Teachers – And Yes, We Can Afford It July 8, 2016 || The New York Times Opinion Pages – Train Teachers Like Doctors 4) Teacher Residency Programs Launch Across the Country Lawmakers in several states enacted legislation that would create opportunities to increase the number, quality and diversity of prospective teachers, especially in high-needs communities and within specific subject areas like special education, ESL, and STEM subjects. Even in areas where the states did not mandate increased and improved teacher preparation, local organizations banded together to support the launch of teacher residencies in their communities. California and the California State University system February 18, 2016 || Education Week – California Should Invest in Teacher Residencies March 4, 2016 || ABC 30 – Fresno Unified Getting Creative In Order To Fill Hundreds of Teaching Positions July 11, 2016 || 23 ABC News Bakersfield – CSUB, BCSD Receive Grant for Teacher Training Rural Colorado April 4, 2016 || 9 NEWS NBC – Residency Program Addresses Teacher Shortage April 21, 2016 || The Durango Herald – Boettcher Program Trains Teacher To Be Successful Kansas City, MO April 23, 2016 || The Kansas City Star – Kansas City Area Urban Schools Get A New Teacher-In-Residency Program April 25, 2016 || The Topeka Capital-Journal – Teacher Residency Program Comes to Kansas City Area Schools Louisiana October 3, 2016 || The Advocate – Bid to Overhaul Teacher Training Gets $67 Million Boost October 12, 2016 || MyArkLaMiss.com – BESE Expands Full Year Classroom Residency For Teachers December 21, 2016 || AmericanPress.com – Residency Required for La. Teachers New York, NY January 25, 2016 || Washington Square News – Steinhardt to Offer Online Teaching Program After a rigorous application process, NCTR selected its U.S. Department of Education Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grant partners; four high-needs school district and higher education partnerships which received funding through the grant and are now participating in our New Site Development Program. McCormick County, SC McCormick County Teacher Residency August 16, 2016 || McCormick 1 of 4 School Districts in US to Receive Teacher Residency Grant Nashville, TN Metro Nashville Urban Teacher Residency & Nashville Teacher Residency July 27, 2016 || Chalkbeat Tennessee – Two Nashville Teacher Residencies Selected To Partner With National Center New Orleans, LA Norman C. Francis Teacher Residency Program December 5, 2017 || WDSU 6 NBC – Xavier University Launches Teacher Residency Program 5) Diversity Remains at the Forefront of the Teacher Recruitment Conversation The need for increased teacher diversity is top of mind for most education advocates. This year marked the 50-year anniversary of the 700+ page report commissioned by the Department of Education on racial inequity in public schools. James S. Coleman’s “Equality of Education Opportunity“, dubbed The Coleman Report, raised important concerns about the achievement gap, segregated schools, testing, college enrollment and the effectiveness of teachers. As more and more research indicates, there is a sharp imbalance in teacher diversity — one that does not match the demographic makeup of the general American student population. This year, the Albert Shanker Institute released “The State of Teacher Diversity in American Education,” which showed racial imbalances in the teaching force still persist to this day. February, 25, 2016 || FOX 26 OKC – Where Are The Male African-American Teachers? March 18, 2016 || MinnPost – Growing Teacher Shortages: Opportunity for Increasing Teacher Diversity May 17, 2016 || Latin Post – ‘Added Value’ Why Increasing The Number of Latino and Black Public School Teachers Matters June 7, 2016 || Slate – Why Boston Desperately Needs More Hispanic Teachers June 7, 2016 || The Philadelphia Tribune – New Strategy to Attract More Black Male Teachers July 1, 2016 || Education Week – 50 Years Seeking Educational Equality: Revisiting the Coleman Report 6) Teacher Advocacy Organizations Join Together to Elevate Teacher Preparation through TeachStrong 2016 marked an important shift in legislation and policy conversations concerning teacher preparation and effectiveness. Much of the conversation was led by TeachStrong, a diverse coalition of education leaders from across the country, including NCTR, dedicated to modernizing and elevating the teacher profession January 21, 2016 || The Charlotte Observer – National Coalition Brings TeachStrong Push to Charlotte on Monday February 12, 2016 || Center for American Progress – Release: Teachers Nationwide, Leading Education Groups Join for First TeachStrong Tele-Town Hall May 26, 2016 || EducationDive – TeachStrong Coalition Offers Advice on Diversity, Recruitment in Colorado August 16, 2016 || Center for American Progress – Release: Teachers Shouldn’t Be Forced to Sink or Swim, Says TeachStrong Coalition While 2017 is sure to bring many new successes and challenges, NCTR looks back on 2016 with appreciation for the progress made around the recruitment, preparation, and support of effective teachers in the U.S. – and for our many partners and collaborators in this incredibly important effort. Onward!