It’s with great excitement that I get to help share the historic vote the Minnesota Professional Licensing and Standards Board made today when they voted unanimously to approve TNTP as a teacher certification provider in our state.
MN Comeback’s interest in bringing TNTP’s teacher training to our state stemmed from the need voiced by school leaders across our city and state who have struggled to hire enough teachers, particularly teachers of color, by relying solely on traditional sources (e.g., colleges of higher ed).
Teacher assistants, paraprofessionals and substitute teachers, as well as recent college graduates, individuals inspired to change careers, parents re-entering the workforce and aspiring Teach For America teachers, are the profile of candidates TNTP’s alternative pathway program would serve. Many schools have staff, such as these, already working alongside students and teachers in support roles and are in need of alternative licensure options that are more affordable and that take into account the experiences they already have working in their school.
Across many states, TNTP has trained 37,000 teachers—50% identify as people of color (compared to 18% of teachers nationwide). And, research shows that TNTP’s teacher preparation leads to highly effective classroom instruction and, compared to other programs, its teachers are more likely to still be teaching a year later.
While more than a third of Minnesota students come from diverse backgrounds, only 5% of teachers do. For our students’ success, it’s critical to introduce alternative pathways in Minnesota that not only have a proven track record of increasing teacher effectiveness, but also diversify the teaching profession.
Over the course of the 2018-19 school year, TNTP worked toward getting today’s PELSB approval to become a certification provider. This included a local advisory board comprised of leaders of district and charter schools who will benefit from this pathway. With today’s win, TNTP is preparing to launch its program in fall 2020.
Today’s approval is a big first step but additional work and support is needed for the program to launch and become the pathway so needed for aspiring teachers seeking alternative, high-quality training toward licensure. TNTP is committed to building a sustainable presence in Minnesota—it will continue to need the financial and advisory support from all of us.
More work ahead, but this is a big milestone for our state’s aspiring teachers and the children they will serve.
Director of Talent