Archive for January, 2016

    Stories of Impact: Preparing STEM Teachers to Serve High-Need Schools in Georgia

    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.

    It’s no secret that Georgia, like many states throughout our nation, struggles to recruit highly qualified teachers committed to serving students in high-need schools in urban and rural communities—especially in math, science, and special education. When you take into consideration the state’s explosive population growth over the last several years, one-third of new teachers leaving the profession within 3 to 5 years, and a large number of retiring teachers, it is imperative that institutions responsible for teacher preparation work together to find a solution to the staffing crisis.

    NNSTOY to Hold Congressional Briefing on Teacher Career Continuums, ESSA Implementation

    Editor’s Note: This briefing has been postponed due to weather challenges. Please stay tuned for an announcement of the new date.

    On Wednesday, January 27, the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) will hold a congressional briefing to release its new study Teacher Advancement Initiatives: Lessons Learned From Eight Case Studies. Completed in conjunction with Pearson, the report is the product of a 3-year study of schools and districts with established career advancement initiatives. The study identifies components of successful, sustainable teacher career continuums with positive impacts on teacher recruitment, retention, and job satisfaction.

    The eight case studies include schools and districts in urban and rural areas of Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Iowa, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington. The report identifies key elements of effective career continuums such as structured roles for teacher leaders, opportunities for release time and collaboration, compensation differentiation, peer coaching and evaluation, embedded professional development, and structured opportunities for teacher voice in decision making.

    Webinar Explores Preparing Educators for Common Core Math Standards

    Last month, AACTE concluded its two-part online series on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) with a webinar discussing preparation of preservice teachers for CCSS in mathematics. The webinar highlighted ways to engage candidates in thinking mathematically, figuring things out the way their PK-12 students will need to do, and using mathematics in context to better assist students in their learning.

    The webinar, “Preparing Teacher Candidates for Common Core State Standards in Mathematics: The Sequel,” was presented December 15 by Reuben Asempapa from Ohio University along with Fran Arbaugh from Penn State University and Cynthia Vavasseur from Nicholls State University, and moderated by AACTE Senior Director Linda McKee. They discussed strategies for program leaders to work on their campuses to educate mathematicians and mathematics educators about the CCSS in mathematics and to bring them together to effectively prepare future teachers:

    Go Green—and Even Win a Contest—With AACTE’s Event Planner

    Event apps for conferences are no longer a novelty. Businesses and associations everywhere are adopting this technology to facilitate interaction with their audiences—and AACTE is no exception! In response to member requests, and to keep AACTE’s meetings up to speed with industry standards, the Association now offers a custom-designed online Event Planner with full mobile functionality.

    “We developed the Event Planner to help our members better manage their time and receive real-time updates during AACTE events,” said Alexandr Gumbar, AACTE’s director of information technology, who created the platform 2 years ago and recently completed its mobile version.

    The online planner takes the place of a printed conference program. A digital planner is not only more environmentally friendly than a printed one, but also more accurate: It can nimbly reflect the latest scheduling changes to provide the most up-to-date information during the event. AACTE’s application also guides you around the conference, assists with creating your agenda, notifies you of important announcements, and facilitates your feedback through surveys.

    Reconceptualizing Teaching and Learning: The 2016 National Educational Technology Plan

    Last month, the U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology released the 2016 National Educational Technology Plan, titled Future Ready Learning: Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education. Billed as the nation’s “flagship educational technology policy document,” the plan contains specific recommendations for teacher preparation programs relative to its “vision of equity, active use, and collaborative leadership to make everywhere-all-the-time learning possible.” For this article, AACTE asked two of our field’s leaders on the topic to reflect on the plan and its relevance for educator preparation providers.

    Since 2000, the AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology has hosted an annual leadership summit for the presidents of a dozen teacher educator associations and editors of educational technology journals, who together comprise the National Technology Leadership Coalition. This summit in Washington, DC, provides a unique forum for interdisciplinary planning focused on technology and teacher preparation. Sharon Robinson, president and CEO of AACTE, recently wrote of the coalition, “Rather than reacting to new technologies, members of [the coalition] sought to shape them by partnering with developers to include discipline-specific pedagogical considerations.”

    Acting Secretary King Announces January Meeting Tour

    The U.S. Department of Education announced Monday that Acting Secretary John King will start an “Opportunity Across America Tour” January 14. The tour will focus on King’s stated priorities for 2016:

    • Promoting equity and excellence at every level of education to ensure that every child has the opportunity to succeed
    • Supporting and lifting up the teaching profession
    • Continuing the Department’s focus on returning America to the top of the rankings in college completion by ensuring more students earn an affordable degree with real value

    In the coming week, King will be visiting Texas; Washington, DC; Delaware; and Pennsylvania. If any of the locations are in your community, you might want to attend to connect with King in person. The full announcement and schedule appear below.

    Project Management Training, Tools Critical for Managing Accreditation Work

    Accreditation work involves considerable project management to track logistics and the activities of stakeholders. Resource management is a usual business practice of academic units, but the tools are not typically suitable for tracking projects with due dates and multiple actors. Tune in to AACTE’s upcoming Online Professional Seminars (OPSs) to learn about specialized software and methods for managing assessment cycles, quality assurance systems, and accreditation submissions.

    In a session starting January 25, OPS #6: Leveraging Accreditation for Quality Improvement will cover topics such as ethical considerations, tools, checklists, site visits, mock visits, and walk-throughs. Or join us starting February 8 for OPS #5: Preparing for Accreditation, where we’ll cover teamwork, readiness, calendar planning, document control, best practices, and more.

    Stories of Impact: University of Nevada, Reno Responds to Local Workforce Needs

    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.

    Teacher shortage is an issue nationwide but especially in Nevada, where 955 classrooms were without licensed teachers at the start of the 2015-16 school year. Now with engineering and technology giants Tesla and Switch establishing a strong presence in northern Nevada, top-quality teachers are in more demand than ever in our community.

    Tennessee EPPs Optimistic About Changes to State Report Card

    On December 2, 2015, the members of the Tennessee Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (TACTE) held their collective breath as the Tennessee State Board of Education released the 2015 Report Card on the Effectiveness of Teacher Training Programs. After 5 years of publicity nightmares as programs’ ratings and rankings received widespread media attention, would this year’s report be any better?

    Back in 2007, the Tennessee General Assembly passed legislation requiring the publication of a report on the effectiveness of educator preparation programs (EPPs) throughout the state. The report was to provide the following information on program graduates: placement and retention rates, Praxis II scores, and teacher effect data based on the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS). Meghan Curran, director of Tennessee’s First to the Top programs, noted, “It is our intent that the report cards will help institutions identify both what they do well and where there is room for growth based on the outputs of their graduates.”

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