US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions

Alexander: Let’s Rewrite “Outdated, Imprecise” Teacher Preparation Reporting Requirements in Higher Education Act

Asks witnesses at Senate hearing to submit proposals that will make requirements current and useful, not waste time and money that could be spent on students, and help create an environment for teachers to succeed

Wednesday, March 26, 2014Liz Wolgemuth (202) 224-8584

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“After the parent, a teacher is the most important person in a child’s life. So, what can we do to create an environment in which the best teachers can succeed?...I’d like to review the requirements we impose from Washington on teacher colleges today and make sure they’re current and that they’re useful and that they just haven’t stacked up over the last 40 years.” –Lamar Alexander

Washington, D.C., March 25 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate education committee, Tuesday at the seventh hearing in a series on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act called for witnesses to submit proposals for rewriting the law’s reporting requirements on schools of education to make them current and useful.

“When we took a look at the federal application for grants and loans, we found a lot of unnecessary questions and answers that we can probably eliminate and save a lot of time and money that could be used to educate students,” Alexander said.

Addressing the witnesses, Alexander said: “Would you be good enough to write and say—if you were writing the reporting requirements of Title II of the Higher Education Act, what would you say? What I’ve found around here is that a specific written proposal actually has a pretty good chance of being adopted.”

Title II of the Higher Education Act requires all teacher preparation programs within schools receiving federal funds to report detailed data on their programs and students each April. States must submit reports that compile this program-by-program data and add additional information

Each of the witnesses at today’s hearing recommended the reporting requirements be changed.

Alexander, who has already said he is asking his staff to start from scratch on rewriting the Higher Education Act, said of the current reporting requirements: “Once questions are answered and information is sent here, there’s nobody to do anything with the information.”

“Non-ideological inertia piles up rules and regulations here that become outdated and imprecise." 

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