ing disciplines and from schools of education.
As described elsewhere in this report, two-year community colleges are playing increasingly critical roles in educating students who are likely to pursue careers in teaching. Hence, full participation will be required of two-year colleges in both formal partnerships and in other kinds of arrangements to promote improved teacher education. Additional recommendations concerning these kinds of collaborative activities are detailed below (see RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE K-12 Community, Recommendation #3).
1. Following a period of collaborative planning and preparation, school districts in a partnership for teacher education should assume primary responsibility for providing high-quality practicum experiences and internships for prospective teachers.
Currently, local school districts serve as laboratories that provide prospective teachers with opportunities to obtain classroom experience. However, most of the funds to support these practicum programs come from the two- and four-year colleges and universities that prepare future teachers.
The CSMTP proposes that this arrangement change and that, in concert with local teacher education partnerships, school districts take primary responsibility for developing and implementing practicum experiences for preservice teachers, piloting various ways to handle this responsibility over time to test for the most effective arrangements. This proposal would be of benefit to both districts and prospective teachers because districts have a much better appreciation of their staffing needs and how student teachers and teacher internships might address them than do the colleges and universities that supply those student teachers. The activities to come under the direct sponsorship and supervision of districts would include early field experiences for students who are just beginning their teacher education programs, field placement with a master or mentor teacher for more prolonged student teaching experience, and induction-level internships for recent graduates with baccalaureate degrees. In addition, the master or mentor teachers and school district administrators could work through a partnership arrangement with the pre-teaching advisors from the collaborating college or university (see also Recommendations for Collaboration Between Institutions of Higher Education and the K-12 Community.