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Archive for March, 2014

Senate Hearing on Teacher Prep Examines Data Collection, TQP Grants

On March 25, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) convened the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) to consider changes to Title II of the Higher Education Act (HEA), the portion of the law that addresses teacher preparation. This was the seventh hearing in a series in the Senate on HEA reauthorization.

The predominant theme of the hearing was concern that the Title II data reporting requirements for teacher preparation programs are out of date, onerous, and not useful for program improvement. All five witnesses agreed on this point and offered recommendations for change.

Webinar Series to Offer Resources, Tools on Common Core

AACTE has partnered with Achieve Inc. to provide a series of webinars on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) this spring for teacher preparation programs.

In the summer and fall of 2013, AACTE surveyed its members about the activities programs have undertaken relative to CCSS and what resources AACTE might provide to support members’ understanding and capacity to address the standards. A majority of respondents cited access to CCSS-aligned lesson plans and rubrics as the number-one resource they needed.

New Carnegie Report Examines Effects of Teacher Turnover

On March 19, I attended the release event of Beginners in the Classroom: What the Changing Demographics of Teaching Mean for Schools, Students, and Society, a report that examines the causes, conditions, and consequences of the rise of less-experienced teachers in the classroom.

Issued by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the report cites research showing that the shift toward greater numbers of inexperienced teachers has “serious financial, structural, and educational consequences for American public education—straining budgets, disrupting school cultures, and, most significantly, depressing student achievement.” (AACTE, too, seeks to address these problems through its Educator Workforce Advisory Task Force, an initiative of the new Innovation Exchange.)

Major Forum Videos Now Available

We’ve just posted video recordings of all 10 major forums held during AACTE’s 66th Annual Meeting in Indianapolis.

These videos, housed in AACTE’s Learning Center, are accessible only to conference registrants. Other available videos include one from the Town Hall Meeting (open to all AACTE members), two from other general sessions (open to the public), and two installments of “AACTE News 14” (open to the public).

In other exciting news, we’ve heard from our Indianapolis community partner School on Wheels that AACTE attendees donated $1,500 to that organization during the conference. Many thanks to all who contributed!

New Videos Showcase edTPA Experiences of Preparation Programs, Candidates

AACTE and the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE) are pleased to announce the availability of new video interviews about edTPA, a nationally available teacher performance assessment created to ensure new teachers are effective from Day 1.

The first set of video interviews comes from New York State. As of May 1, 2014, New York State will require teacher candidates to pass edTPA as a requirement for initial certification, and many institutions in that state have been piloting edTPA. For the videos, we set up a roundtable discussion with teacher candidates from some of these institutions to talk about their experiences using the assessment. The video series Candidate to Candidate: Reflections on Taking edTPA shows teacher candidates discussing the challenges of edTPA, sharing advice and major takeaways they learned from the program, and offering many other valuable insights on teaching and teacher preparation. Click here to see for yourself!

Q&A With AACTE Board Member Grant Hayes

With AACTE’s annual Call for Nominations under way, I asked a current Board of Directors member to share why he serves on the Board and what skills have proved particularly valuable. Grant Hayes, executive associate dean and professor in the College of Education and Human Performance, University of Central Florida, graciously accepted my request. The Call for Nominations is open at submit.aacte.org from now until May 9, 2014. If you have any questions, please contact me at lberrier@aacte.org.

What caused you to want to serve on AACTE’s Board of Directors?

Serving on the Board provides me the chance to make a difference and to give back to the profession by assisting to achieve AACTE’s goals and mission. It also affords me the opportunity to be part of a leadership team of one of the most dynamic professional associations in education.

Connect With TAGs

You may have heard about AACTE’s Topical Action Groups (TAGs), a valuable member program that provides an AACTE-sponsored forum for peers to work together on a common professional topic of interest.

Now we’ve made it even easier for you to connect with TAGs! Simply click here to identify your areas of interest and expertise through AACTE’s Profile Manager—it won’t take more than a minute.

edTPA @ AACTE’s Annual Meeting: A Recap

Did you attend the edTPA-related sessions at AACTE’s Annual Meeting this year? If not, here’s a taste of what you missed! Click here to view a list of the descriptions and presenters for the various sessions that provided attendees the opportunity to converse with other users of edTPA.

A highlight of the conference was the edTPA breakfast hosted by SCALE, which drew more than 200 attendees. In her opening remarks, AACTE President/CEO Sharon P. Robinson championed edTPA, emphasizing that it was developed by and for the people in the room. She also encouraged audience members to advocate for edTPA in their communities. Afterward, Ray Pecheone, SCALE’s executive director, described in detail the developmental process of edTPA. He explained topics such as standard setting and state policy and announced that SCALE would conduct validity and consequential studies in the weeks ahead. Finally, attendees engaged in a question and answer session with Andrea Whittaker, SCALE’s director of teacher performance assessment, and other representatives.

RFP Announcement: AACTE State Chapter Support Grant Program

AACTE is pleased to offer the State Chapter Support Grant Program for a 4th year, directing member dues toward strengthening the relationship between the state chapters and AACTE and supporting the development of state chapters through their initiatives. Since the creation of the program, AACTE has dispensed $150,000 in grants to 26 states to support chapters’ advocacy, professional development, and capacity-building efforts.

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