Friday, July 8, 2011

Lieberman, Blumenthal, DeLauro introduce Teachers Professional Development Institutes Act

WASHINGTON, DC - Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), along with Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced the Teachers Professional Development Institutes Act, a bill that would help K-12 teachers improve their subject matter expertise and their instructional skills.

The Act would provide for the establishment of eight new Teachers Professional Development Institutes each year over the next five years. These institutes would be modeled after the very successful Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, which has been in operation since 1978. Every Teachers Institute would consist of a partnership between an institution of higher education and the local public school system in which a significant proportion of the students come from low-income households.

"High quality teacher professional development programs that focus on subject and pedagogy are proven methods for enhancing the effectiveness of a teacher in the classroom. The Yale-New Haven program has been incredibly successful. If this model is working let's give other teachers the same opportunity," said Senator Lieberman. "The need for effective teachers with deep content knowledge is most apparent and urgent in schools that enroll a high proportion of students from low income families, exactly the schools that Teachers Institutes serve."

"In order for students in every neighborhood to receive an education that will prepare them for the future, we must have teachers who are experts in their field and equipped with the best tools and strategies to educate our children," said Blumenthal.

"Nothing we do in Congress is more important than ensuring our children have the tools and opportunities they need to succeed. For over 30 years, the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute has demonstrated that partnerships between teachers and institutes of higher education are beneficial to the educators' professional development and, most importantly, lead to improved student achievement," said Congresswoman DeLauro. "I am very proud of the Yale-New Haven model and look forward to expanding its success to schools across the country.

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