Bennet Highlights Need for Improved Teacher-Training Programs During Greeley School Visit

Hears About UNC-Maplewood Elementary Partnership to Provide Future Teachers with Hands-on Experience

Greeley, CO – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, a former superintendent of Denver Public Schools, today highlighted the need to improve teacher training during a visit to Maplewood Elementary, one of two Greeley schools involved in a partnership with the University of Northern Colorado’s School of Teacher Education to give future teachers hands-on experience with students.

“Study after study affirms what I saw in the classroom every day as superintendent of Denver Public Schools: Nothing makes a bigger difference for student learning than great teaching,” said Bennet. “It is great to see partnerships such as the UNC-Greeley Schools Reading Achievers, which provides students with one-on-one reading instruction while giving future teachers experience working with students. The bill to roll back No Child Left Behind will help ensure more teachers enter the classroom with hands-on experience and proven results, like those coming from UNC.”

Bennet met with teachers and teacher candidates participating in the Reading Achievers Partnership.  The teacher candidates receive hands-on experience reading to the students and instructing them in comprehension strategies and vocabulary under the supervision of both school district reading coaches and their UNC instructors.

Among the key provisions Bennet secured in the bill to roll back No Child Left Behind, which passed the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) last week, are several measures that would support teacher training, including one that is based on the GREAT Teachers and Principals Act, which would focus teacher training on results.

Bennet’s visit to Maplewood Elementary is part of his ongoing effort to inform conversations about how best to improve public education and build consensus for reforms that will help revitalize our schools and help prepare kids for success in college and the 21st century economy. The visits are modeled after the approach Bennet took as superintendent of Denver Public Schools, where he scheduled daily meetings with teachers and principals, and members of the community—conversations that helped build consensus and support for the positive reforms he implemented at the district. Bennet believes that the best ideas come from outside of Washington and wants to bring the voices, ideas and aspirations of teachers, principals, parents and students to the U.S. Senate.