The Iowa Board of Education has  authorized a  task force to study  how to beef up standards in the state’s teacher preparation  programs. The department’s Lawrence Bice says they’re looking at tougher standards for professors in the teacher prep programs, and clearer rules for what student teaching should look like.

“We’ve been charged by the state board of education to update the standards, to make sure they are rigorous, and that’s what we’re doing,” Bice says. “Beefing up teacher prep  is a high priority  of the state board.”

Bice says state law already mandates what tests  prospective teachers have to pass. “We don’t have the authority to change legislation certainly, that’s what our legislators do. So what we’re doing is we’re lookint at what do we have control over — and we’re trying to,  frankly we’re trying to make the requirements more rigorous,” Bice explains.

That includes requiring the teacher preparation programs to report on  what they’re doing to improve based on their last accreditation review.