Archive for June, 2015
A new ethics framework from the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) aims to guide PK-12 educators in their decision making—and assist their preparation programs in nurturing their ability to make ethical decisions. NASDTEC unveiled the Model Code of Ethics for Educators at a press conference June 25 in Washington, DC.
The code was developed over the past year in a joint effort with Educational Testing Service, the University of Phoenix, and the National Association of State Teachers of the Year. Once the draft was ready, a public comment period last winter provided feedback before the language was finalized. NASDTEC considers the result to be a fluid document that will continue to adjust to conditions in the field. Its board even created a new National Council for the Advancement of Educator Ethics to oversee modifications to the framework on an ongoing basis, and comments are still welcome on the document.
I recently had the pleasure and honor of delivering the keynote address for the 2015 edTPA Mid-Atlantic Implementation Conference in Towson, Maryland. As a longtime supporter and champion of observation- and performance-based educator preparation and assessment, I was eager to share with peers from across the nation who are at different places on their journey with edTPA.
First, I wanted to commend each person for being there. By the virtue of their attendance and leadership, participants were helping shift the negative tone of dialogue around teacher preparation by highlighting innovative practices and committing to positive change. At the core of the narrative is a shared rallying call to ensure each teacher candidate enters tomorrow’s classroom ready to teach.
Congratulations to June Holmes Scholar of the Month Terrance McNeil!
McNeil is a doctoral student at Florida A&M University (FAMU). His research interests include education policy, education technology, distance learning, professional development, and charter schools.
McNeil’s nominator had this to say about him: “Terrance has maintained an unwavering standard of excellence in his academic endeavors and is always willing to assist his cohort members to ensure that we all excel in our classes.”
The model standards of the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC), developed in 1996 by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and last revised in 2008, generated controversy in the field during their most recent revision effort last fall and this spring. The National Policy Board for Education Administration (NPBEA), which convenes an array of stakeholder groups, is partnering with CCSSO to consider the feedback received from the field and make final adjustments to the new standards, now planned for release this fall.
NPBEA was among the groups that approved the original standards nearly 20 years ago and has been involved to some degree in subsequent revisions. Its constituent organizations* all have close connections to the work addressed in the standards, but some of these constituents felt their voices were not heard in the recent standards update.
AACTE issued a press release June 24 announcing a new Clinical Practice Commission, which has already begun working on an ambitious agenda to better define what constitutes high-quality clinical teacher preparation. Read on to learn more, or contact Vice President Rodrick Lucero, who chairs the commission, for more information.
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations completed its work on the Labor, Health & Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill June 24. In the full committee markup, Representative David Price (D-NC) offered an amendment to restore funding for the Teacher Quality Partnerships and other programs supporting teachers and administrators, but the amendment was defeated on a party-line vote. The bill does retain the policy rider prohibiting the promulgation or enforcement of the proposed teacher preparation program regulations.
A new partnership between the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) launched last week to “transform policy and practice” in educator preparation. Announced June 16, the new Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning will be a graduate school of education based at MIT that conducts research and offers competency-based master’s programs in teaching and school leadership.
Foundation President Arthur Levine, former president of Teachers College at Columbia University (NY), touted the academy’s plan to “throw out the clock”—focusing on its students’ mastery of competencies rather than on credit hours—and to produce open-source course modules for ease of replication nationwide.
A double narrative dominates contemporary discussions of teacher quality, leading to often-contradictory policies that stymie reform efforts. First is the democratic imperative to provide equitable access to a quality education to all students, which calls for broadening the diversity of the teaching force to better reflect student demographics. Second is the push for tightening quality controls such as GPA and testing requirements in teacher preparation programs, which results in a considerably less diverse teaching pool. AACTE Holmes Scholars learned about this paradox firsthand earlier this month during Washington Week as they explored the themes of diversity, equity, access, and accountability with a variety of guest speakers from national organizations.
The U.S. Department of Education invites applications for Skills for Success grants to support local education agencies and their partners, including colleges and universities, in developing the noncognitive skills of middle-grades students.
According to the Department’s web site, up to $2 million is available to fund “the implementation, evaluation, and refinement of existing tools and approaches (e.g., digital games, growth mindset classroom activities, experiential learning opportunities) that integrate the development of students’ noncognitive skills into classroom-level activities and existing strategies designed to improve schools.”
During AACTE’s 2015 Washington Week, we were among a dozen AACTE Holmes Scholars® attending a 3-day Summer Policy Institute that promoted mentorship and support while introducing participants to the national education policy scene. In addition to meeting with policy makers and leaders of various educational organizations, Scholars engaged in a site visit June 9 to the U.S. Department of Education.