Member Voices: Rallying Faculty to Comment on Teacher Preparation

It is time for us to again be advocates for our profession. In response to the notice of proposed federal regulations for teacher preparation programs, we need faculty, students, and the community of PK-12 partners to respond and let their voices be heard.

This is not easy given the February 2 deadline for comment—comments are due just as faculty and students are returning for the spring semester!

In my commitment to maximize the work we accomplish at meetings, I decided to use our faculty’s January assessment retreat as a call to action—taking the opportunity to learn as a group about the regulations, read through available resources, discuss the institutional and state implications, and write letters to the Department of Education.

As the focus of our assessment retreat is reliability and validity of candidate performance assessments and the institutional decision-making necessary to reflect both our mission and the needs of our PK-12 partners, the opportunity to comment on the change in federal mandates is timely for us and elevates the context of our work.

We will set up writing and analysis “stations” at the retreat, equipped with laptops, iPads, graduate students, and munchies. At these stations, faculty will be able to individually formulate comments and exemplars from our work and submit their letters electronically—a “pull-out” model, knowing there are times during an assessment retreat where you just need a break from the data!

In education and human services, advocacy inspires us to take action, and it is my hope that by using writing stations at our retreat we will heighten interest and rally both faculty and students. By sharing our feedback to the Department, we can engage in the rule-making process and let the Department know that teacher preparation matters to university communities, students, and faculty.

Faculty meetings are one of many forums that can generate this kind of discussion and comments on the proposed regulations, which would take us in different directions in the teaching profession. We expect cutting-edge and evidence-based practice to shape our profession, and it is time to ensure that our voice is heard as the Department of Education seeks to work against this expectation.

Editor’s Note: Visit AACTE’s regulations web page for information and links to a variety of resources, and send any questions for us to regs@aacte.org.

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Debra A. Colley

Dean, College of Education, Niagara University, and member of AACTE Committee on Government Relations and Advocacy

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