• AACTE 70th Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD

Archive for March, 2015

Holmes Scholars Share Research, Network in Atlanta

AACTE Holmes Scholars connect during the Annual Meeting in Atlanta
AACTE Holmes Scholars connect during the Annual Meeting in Atlanta

More than 60 AACTE Holmes Scholars® participated in the Annual Meeting in Atlanta last month. The commitment of their 15 host institutions, as well as of AACTE, to building a more diverse professional community was on full display in the lively atmosphere and collegial environment at the conference, which offered a platform of reinvigoration for some and the start of an exciting journey for others. One attendee commented that she had not experienced that much energy in quite a while.

At the kick-off session February 27, AACTE’s Rodrick Lucero, vice president for member engagement and support, described the Association’s renewed commitment to the Holmes Scholars Program and emphasized its value and necessity in the field. He highlighted goals for the coming year, which touched on not only recruiting and retaining scholars in academia, but looking closely at the entire continuum of PK-24. Lucero praised the National Association of Holmes Scholars Alumni (NASHA) for its continued support in providing highly sought-after mentoring services for 1st-year and midlevel doctoral students.

USED Offers Insight, Guidance on TQP Grants

Attendees of the 67th AACTE Annual Meeting in Atlanta were offered an opportunity to meet with a U.S. Department of Education official to discuss the Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grants and how they may explore applying for them in the future.

In a concurrent session presentation, Mia Howerton of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Innovation and Improvement provided attendees with an overview of the TQP grants and what the profile of a successful grantee applicant typically looks like. With the TQP program now in its third grant cycle, Howerton reviewed the successes and challenges of the program and shared its lessons with audience members.

Understanding Urban Communities as Context and Text for Teaching and Learning

Editor’s Note: Professor Hollins inspired attendees of AACTE’s recent Annual Meeting in Atlanta during the Speaker Spotlight Session. (View a video recording of her speech here, and read another version in this Hechinger Report piece, which includes the video she played during her address.) To follow up on her presentation, we invited Hollins to explore her topic in a series of blogs for Ed Prep Matters. This is the second post in the series.

Teaching is an interpretive practice that requires knowledge of the community where students grow and develop, and where they are socialized. Students’ initial and ongoing learning happens within a particular community; is framed by the ideologies and practices of the community; is influenced by the experiences, interests, and values shared among members of the community; and is appropriated through the learner’s perception, which is developed within the particular community. The initial learning that happens within a community constitutes the intellectual, psychological, social, and emotional development of the individual person.

Comment Now on HEA Reauthorization-Related White Papers

TIME SENSITIVE: Responses due April 24, 2015

The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) seeks input from the higher education community for its work on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). Your feedback is requested by April 24 in these areas:

  • Accreditation in higher education
  • Risk sharing in student borrowing
  • Data transparency and consumer information

Bills Introduced in Congress to Impede Proposed Teacher Preparation Regulations

Note: AACTE offered a free webinar to members March 25 and 26 about the next steps on the proposed regulations for teacher preparation programs. A recording of the webinar is available here.

Two new bills introduced in Congress seek to impede the U.S. Department of Education’s attempt to regulate teacher preparation programs. The Supporting Academic Freedom through Regulatory Relief Act (H.R. 970), introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC), and its companion bill in the U.S. Senate, S. 559, introduced by Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), seek to achieve the following objectives:

edTPA: Going Beyond Compliance to Inquiry

AACTE Breakfast Was Forum for Discussion

Nearly 300 educators from around the country packed a February 28 breakfast session at the AACTE Annual Meeting in Atlanta to get updates and ask questions about edTPA. The conversation addressed questions about regional scoring, the line between helping students and coaching them on their edTPA portfolios, and other issues.

First, though, teacher educators were congratulated for their role in edTPA’s progress. They also were reminded that for edTPA to be a meaningful assessment for educator preparation programs and teacher candidates, it must be about more than compliance.

Helping Our Candidates Become Better Communicators

A Conversation With Harriet “Niki” Fayne, Dean of Education at Lehman College

Harriet “Niki” Fayne, dean of education at Lehman College (City University of New York) in the Bronx, isn’t about to say that edTPA was easy for her faculty and students, or that it is the final answer for teacher preparation. But she does say this: edTPA moves the profession in the direction of strengthening the skills of beginning teachers.

Apples to Oranges: Comparing Student Performance Across Countries With Varied Socioeconomic Conditions

In the three decades since A Nation at Risk was released, the state of America’s education system relative to other countries’ has been a matter of heated debate. Along the way, public opinion has placed the onus for our schools’ perceived failure on teachers and their preparation, and education policy has echoed this assumption through an array of accountability measures for teachers and preparation programs.

One driver of the continued misconception about U.S. teacher quality is the highly publicized results of international large-scale education assessments (ILSAs) that suggest America’s students are performing far below other nations. At January’s press briefing for the report The Iceberg Effect, lead researcher and report author James Harvey explained that ILSAs have been misused and that the science behind them is highly questionable, akin to comparing apples to oranges.

Member Voices: Bring It On: Teacher Education Ready for Sensible Evaluation

This post originally appeared in Dean Feuer’s blog, “Feuer Consideration,” and is reposted with permission. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

The dean of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia recently wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post that was well meaning but misleading. It was surprising and disappointing to see a distinguished educator miss an opportunity to dispel conventional myths and clarify for the general public what is really going on in the world of teacher preparation and its evaluation.

For those who may have missed Robert Pianta’s short article, here is a summary and rebuttal.

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