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Archive for November, 2015

ESEA Reauthorization Bill Released

Today, the Conference Report for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was released, manifesting a compromise recently struck between members of the education committees of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. The bill, now known as the “Every Student Succeeds Act,” is expected to be voted on by the House this week, followed by the Senate next week. Should both bodies pass this measure, it will be sent to President Obama for his signature.

Of particular interest for AACTE members is Title II: Preparing, Training, and Recruiting High-Quality Teachers, Principals, or other School Leaders, which spans about 100 of the 1,061-page bill (pp. 298-408). One change is to the formula grants to states, which would phase in the following allotment: 80% based on the population of students in poverty in the state and 20% based on the overall student population.

Conference Committee Advances ESEA Reauthorization

On Thursday, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization process advanced a step as members of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce and the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions reached agreement on a conference report. This report represents a compromise between the House-passed Student Success Act (H.R. 5) and the Senate-passed Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 (S. 1177).

Plans and Progress: AACTE Clinical Practice Commission

The AACTE Clinical Practice Commission (CPC) is composed of 25 members whose experiences represent the spectrum of teacher preparation, from PK-12 through higher education graduate programs, as well as the perspectives of national education organizations.

The CPC conducted its initial work via a series of conference calls and electronic communications throughout the spring and summer, culminating in an August meeting in Washington, DC, hosted by AACTE (see report here). Over the 2 days of intense dialogue and collaboration, commissioners arrived at a common understanding of the current status of clinical practice and a shared sense of commitment to the urgent, complex work of the commission. Our passionate colleagues exhorted the group to “be bold!” in our efforts to both reflect the excellent work already in progress nationally and provide leadership for the future.

Commission Meeting Sets Stage for National Discussions About Clinical Practice

The AACTE Clinical Practice Commission (CPC) has been working over the last 6 months to examine the state of clinical practice in educator preparation. With a charge to develop a white paper that provides a common understanding of effective approaches to field experiences and clinical practice, members of the CPC met for a 2-day working session in Washington, DC, in August.

Members of the commission, who represent institutions of higher education, PK-12 school districts, and professional associations, formed workgroups around the core topics that will provide a foundational structure for the white paper: literature review, foundations of theory, foundations of practice, lexicon, and current context and policy background.

A Visitor’s View: Clinical Practice at Colorado State University

If you have been inspired by the previous Research-to-Practice Spotlight videos featuring the robust partnership between Colorado State University (CSU) and the Poudre School District (PSD) in Fort Collins, don’t miss the final mini-installment in the series, in which various teachers at Fort Collins High School share their passion for teaching. Below, Christine DeGregory reflects on what she witnessed during her visit with the partners last spring.

I’m a firm believer in the power of clinical practice—particularly clinical practice supported by a professional development school model. I had heard many wonderful things about the special partnership that Colorado State University (CSU) had nurtured with the Poudre School District (PSD), but having the opportunity to talk to partnership members and see their work in action reaffirmed to me that some common approaches to clinical practice can be successfully reimagined.

Stories of Impact: Providing Transparency Through a Data Dashboard

Ed Prep Matters is featuring “Stories of Impact” to showcase AACTE member institutions with educator preparation programs that are making a positive impact in their communities and beyond through innovative practices. We are committed to sharing members’ success stories and encourage you to do the same.

The University of North Carolina (UNC) system offers the public a variety of data on its institutions’ work through the UNC Data Dashboard. A series of specialized pages provide overviews of areas from research and development to graduates’ job placement, all in the name of boosting transparency for taxpayers, students, and other stakeholders.

Is Your Activity Tracker a QA System?

An educator preparation program’s quality assurance (QA) system, with feedback loops and continuous improvement mechanisms, monitors all the processes of a program so that effectiveness can be measured. A convenient feature is a dashboard to display status and progress. Your personal activity tracker may have one of those, too!

Fitness trackers reflect a movement called the quantified self, describing people’s desire to measure all the contributing factors to personal fitness. In the assessment arena, our unit of analysis is the academic program or the institution rather than the human body, but we use the same principles as in fitness tracking: data, measurement, analysis, improvement.

Wallace Report Advises State Policy Makers on Strengthening Principal Preparation

On November 3, the Wallace Foundation hosted a policy briefing in Washington, DC, to highlight findings from its recently released report, Developing Excellent School Principals to Advance Teaching and Learning: Considerations for State Policy. Commissioned by the Wallace Foundation and authored by Paul Manna, professor of government and policy at the College of William and Mary (VA), the report addresses the question What can state policy makers do to help ensure that schools have excellent principals who advance teaching and learning in their schools?

During the briefing, Manna presented findings from the report with a focus on the changing role of the principalship, the principal’s position as multiplier of effective teaching and leadership practice, and the impact of state policy making on principal effectiveness. Wallace Foundation President Will Miller underscored these perspectives in his introductory remarks: “There’s growing recognition that principals should no longer mainly be thought of as managers of buildings and bus schedules,” he said. “Indeed, effective leaders are their schools’ chief improvement officers—strengthening instruction, building a culture of high achievement, and supporting teachers and other educators to boost student performance.”

NY Teacher Educators Developing ‘Critical Consciousness to Affect Change’

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On October 14-16, the New York Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NYACTE) partnered with the New York State Association of Teacher Educators (NYSATE) to host a joint fall conference in Saratoga Springs, NY. The conference theme, Developing a Critical Consciousness to Affect Change in Teacher Education, captured the exemplary work of our colleagues who concentrate their energies on shaping policy in educator preparation, nurturing and sustaining PK-12 partnerships, adapting to changes in accreditation, and focusing on best practices.

Towns Named November Scholar of the Month

Congratulations to November Scholar of the Month Leonard D. Towns!

Towns is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership, and Technology at Auburn University (AL). His research interests include educational theory, policy, and program evaluation.

His role as an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychology at Tuskegee University (AL) has allowed him to mentor future scholars and professionals. His encouragement of research has resulted in conference presentations by his students.

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