Archive for April, 2015

    Highlights From Educational Horizons

    Have you seen the April/May 2015 issue of Educational Horizons from Pi Lambda Theta? It’s a humorous one that makes light of some imagined—and real—classroom challenges.

    Thanks to a partnership with Phi Delta Kappa and Pi Lambda Theta, all AACTE members receive free online access to this magazine for future teachers as a benefit of their AACTE membership. Chief Representatives also receive each issue by mail.

    Member Voices: Opting Out of Our Future

    Editor’s Note: Former AACTE Board member and education dean Nancy Zimpher reminds readers of the important purpose of standardized testing, which has been overshadowed by recent political battles and opt-out campaigns. This essay originally appeared on the State University of New York’s Big Ideas blog and is reposted with permission. The opinions expressed in this essay do not necessarily reflect the position of AACTE.

    When it comes to whether students should opt out of standardized testing, no one is actually talking about what’s best for our kids. Standardized tests have become a pawn in political debates about teacher evaluations and we have lost sight of what they are: a way to measure what students know so we can help them improve.

    Letter to Editor: Prepare Teachers to Adapt to Factors Outside School

    The following letter to the editor was published today in Education Week.

    There are kids entering urban classrooms every day hungry, sad, tired, and angry. Name an obstacle to learning, and most urban teachers have seen it play out firsthand among their students.

    In January, the Horace Mann League of the United States released School Performance in Context: The Iceberg Effect, a report on the “unparalleled levels” of poverty, inequity, and violence faced by U.S. students. Though outside factors such as these are not the reason for increasing gaps in achievement, they’re barriers teachers must understand and address to have an impact on student learning.

    Washington Week: Diverse Perspectives, Deep Partnerships, One Profession

    Join your voice with those of other educator preparation providers at AACTE’s annual Washington Week, to be held in the nation’s capital June 9-11. Under the unifying theme “Diverse Perspectives, Deep Partnerships, One Profession,” this year’s Washington Week will be held at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. This is your chance to deliberate with colleagues on provocative issues in the profession, experience interactive sessions with national leaders, and convene with policy officials.

    Update: AACTE Board Resolution

    AACTE has long supported the role of accreditation in the field and continues to uphold the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) as the profession’s single accreditor. This commitment was reaffirmed by the AACTE Board of Directors at its meeting February 26, 2015. Along with offering this affirmation of support, the resolution passed by the Board also sought to open a conversation with CAEP around persistent concerns raised by the field with respect to CAEP’s standards, process, capacity, and representativeness in its governance structure.

    USED Webinar: ‘First in the World’ Grants

    Are you thinking of applying for a federal “First in the World” (FITW) grant? Learn about the program during a free webinar with the U.S. Department of Education this Wednesday, April 15, 4:00-5:00 p.m. EDT.

    The FITW program is run through the Department’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education office. Intended to spur collaborative innovation among institutions of higher education and partnering nonprofit organizations, FITW grants target improved educational outcomes, college affordability, and an evidence base of effective practices. The grants are funded at $60 million this year, including a $16 million set-aside for minority-serving institutions.

    Why I Score edTPA

    Editor’s Note: Tracy Spesia, a nationally trained edTPA scorer, is the recent recipient of an innovation award from the University of Saint Francis for her work on edTPA at the College of Education. According to the university, Spesia’s “creative and successful efforts with the implementation of edTPA have positioned USF as a leader in the state” and have helped enhance “the quality of USF students’ application of theory into practice during their field experiences.” In recognition of her leadership, she was appointed to the Illinois Association for Teacher Education in Private Colleges as the edTPA liaison. Spesia also serves on the executive board of the Illinois Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. Click here for information about becoming an edTPA scorer.

    This year I became an official edTPA scorer, and it is one of the most rewarding professional experiences I have had since I started working in the area of teacher preparation.

    Take Action With AACTE’s TAGs

    Did you know that AACTE has 14 topical action groups (TAGs) established to date? TAGs are member-initiated working groups that are supported by AACTE. Anyone from a member institution can join existing TAGs, or start their own TAG, at any time.

    TAGs address topics as diverse as accreditation, diverse workforce development, research in teacher preparation, and women in the deanship, among others. (For a complete list of TAGs, visit our web site).

    Mark Your Calendar for AACTE Summer Events

    Kick off the summer with AACTE’s signature June events: Washington Week and the Leadership Academy. Join your colleagues from around the country in Washington, DC, advocating for the profession on Capitol Hill and participating in a special conference on closing the achievement gap in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields; or meet with fellow new deans and administrators in Cincinnati, Ohio, for intensive leadership development and networking. These are two popular summer conferences, so mark your calendar today!

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