• AACTE 70th Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD

Archive for April, 2014

Department of Education to Move Forward With Teacher Preparation Regulations

On Friday at Dunbar High School in Washington, DC, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and White House Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz announced movement on long-overdue teacher preparation regulations. These regulations are the successor to the spring 2012 negotiated rule making held by the Department of Education, which failed to reach consensus after several tumultuous sessions.

Joined on a panel at Friday’s event by Jim Cibulka (Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation), Camilla Benbow (Vanderbilt University, TN), Chris Minnich (Council of Chief State School Officers), Kaya Henderson (District of Columbia Public Schools), Elisa Villanueva Beard (Teach For America), and Secretary Duncan, Muñoz said the regulations are “something that the president has a real sense of urgency about.”

Lock Haven University Hosts Pennsylvania Core Summit

Last week, I participated in a summit at Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania on implementing and preparing for the Pennsylvania Core Standards. In attendance were the institution’s president and vice provost along with faculty, deans, and other administrators from throughout the university. Administrators and teachers from nearby PK-12 school districts as well as representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Education also joined us.

Following my keynote presentation discussing the fundamental instructional shifts of the Pennsylvania Core, all vested stakeholder groups took part in a conversations addressing the impact of the standards on their programs and the supplemental changes necessary to enact to support implementation. Among the suggested changes were strengthening ties with the PK-12 districts to provide necessary clinical experiences for candidates and deepening core content knowledge of both in-service and preservice teachers. One great idea was for the university to host academies throughout the summer to provide training for PK-12 teachers and administrators.

Flood of Applications Received for AACTE’s New Research Fellowship

The deadline to apply for AACTE’s new research fellowship was March 28, and we are ecstatic about the number of submissions we received! Nearly 80 research teams from a variety of member institutions submitted applications to study educator preparation pedagogy and/or educator workforce development.

The AACTE Research Fellowship for Educator Preparation is a new program established under the Innovation Exchange that aims to cultivate emerging scholars and support high-quality research in the area of educator preparation. Aligned with AACTE’s mission and strategic goals, the research fellowship will engage education scholars in collecting, documenting, and disseminating research on innovative educator preparation practices to fuel program improvement and influence policy decisions.

Coalition for Teaching Quality Submits Commentary on HQT Data Collection

Tomorrow, April 18, is the deadline for public comment on the proposed “highly qualified teacher” (HQT) data collection by the U.S. Department of Education. A detailed letter submitted yesterday by the Coalition for Teaching Quality hails the proposed collection as “an important first step towards meeting the legislative intent” of Congress’ directive to report on the extent to which students in certain high-need categories are taught by teachers who are labeled as “highly qualified,” but who are actually teachers-in-training in alternative routes. 

Graduate Students Benefit From AACTE’s Day on the Hill

Sam Miller and Marcie Rock (UNC-Greensboro), Gliset Colón (U. at Buffalo), and Mel Sullivan (UNC-Greensboro) with Chris Toppings, staffer for Senator Richard Burr (NC).

Have you considered bringing your graduate students to Washington, DC, for AACTE’s Day on the Hill? Last year, Marcia Rock, associate professor and director of doctoral studies in special education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, did just that with a cadre of graduate students in special education fields. Here is what they had to say about the experience:

Carly Roberts, Doctoral Scholar, University of Wisconsin-Madison:

I was fortunate to be able to attend five meetings on the Hill. I had never realized how accessible our congressman and senators were to constituents. These visits showed me what a powerful force lobbyists and individuals passionate about education can have in Washington. Seeing AACTE’s dedicated staff and all of the university representatives, teachers, and graduate students prepare for their visits with such fervor and passion was inspiring. The gains we’ve made in special education in the past 40 years would not have been possible without such inspired groups and individuals.

I realize now more than ever how important being an advocate for public education and for individuals with exceptionalities is, because I’ve seen firsthand how such advocacy really can have an impact.

Symposium to Mark 60th Anniversary of Brown Decision

Next month marks the 60th anniversary of the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision that put an end to legalized segregation of U.S. public schools. To commemorate the occasion, George Mason University (VA) is hosting a film screening and symposium on Monday, April 28. (AACTE is a promotional partner for the event.)

The free symposium, titled “Unspoken Histories of Unequal Education,” will kick off with an hors d’oeuvres reception at 6:00 p.m., followed by a screening of the film Stolen Education. After the movie, join the filmmaker (Professor Enrique Alemán, Jr., of the University of Utah) and other esteemed panelists to discuss the film and the impact and relevancy of Brown today.

Membership Committee Chair: Service Brings Broad Perspective on Profession

The Call for Nominations to serve on AACTE’s Board of Directors and standing committees is open at submit.aacte.org until May 9, 2014. One of the seven standing committees is the Committee on Membership Development and Capacity Building, focused on membership recruitment and retention, including the development of supporting programs and services. I asked the committee’s chair, Patricia Heydet-Kirsch, director of Assessment of Program Evaluation at Florida Atlantic University, to share why she was drawn to serve and what experiences she has gained.

What caused you to want to serve on AACTE’s Committee on Membership Development and Capacity Building?

I was interested in serving on AACTE’s Committee on Membership Development and Capacity Building to understand the broader perspective of AACTE’s impact.

JTE Senior Advisers Convene at AERA Conference

Seeking to identify promising research areas in teacher preparation as well as roles for the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) in advancing and disseminating the field’s knowledge base, JTE editor Stephanie Knight (Penn State University) and AACTE assembled a group of advisers for a meeting last week in Philadelphia.

The meeting, held in conjunction with the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), also included AACTE President/CEO Sharon P. Robinson and the following advisers:

University of Florida Launches CEEDAR Center for Teaching Students With Disabilities

The College of Education at the University of Florida last week announced the launch of a new center on “Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform”—also known as the CEEDAR Center—focused on supporting states in developing teachers to prepare students with disabilities for college and careers. CEEDAR is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, receiving $15 million over 3 years with the possibility of receiving additional funds for an additional 2 years.

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