Archive for January, 2016

AACTE, Nevada EPPs to Host Press Conference on Teacher Shortage

To discuss Nevada’s persistent teacher shortages and what local educator preparation providers (EPPs) are doing about it, AACTE will partner with member institutions for a press conference in advance of the 68th AACTE Annual Meeting. The event will be held Monday, February 22, at 2:00 p.m. PST on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Severe staffing shortages in Clark County, Nevada’s largest school district, have been making national headlines and spurring emergency policy changes to boost numbers in the local teaching workforce. The press conference will address how the state’s EPPs, and those in similar contexts around the country, are addressing the crisis.

Officials from Clark County School District, nearby university-based colleges of education, and AACTE will discuss factors contributing to the local shortage as well as efforts to alleviate it. The following panelists have been confirmed to date:

  • Staci Vesneske, Former Chief Human Resources Officer, Clark County School District, on special assignment to the superintendent’s office
  • Kim Metcalf, Dean, College of Education, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Kenneth Coll, Dean, College of Education, University of Nevada, Reno
  • Dennis Potthoff, Dean, School of Education, Nevada State College
  • Thomas Reagan, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Great Basin College
  • Mark LaCelle-Peterson, AACTE Senior Vice President for Policy and Programs

AACTE Board Election Results

Congratulations to the future members of AACTE’s Board of Directors! In a recent online election, AACTE members chose several of their colleagues to serve a 3-year term beginning March 1:

Wanda Blanchett, Rutgers University – New Brunswick (CADREI)
M. Christopher Brown II, Southern University System (NAFEO)
Kim Metcalf, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (At-Large)
Beth Quick, University of Alabama Huntsville (At-Large)
Monika Shealey , Rowan University (At-Large)

Free Webinar to Discuss Expanding Principal Pipeline Framework

Please join AACTE next week for a free webinar led by participants in the Wallace Foundation’s Principal Pipeline Initiative, who will discuss lessons from their urban districts on how to sustain and expand successful models for principal preparation and development.

The online event, to be held Wednesday, January 13, at 12:00 p.m. EST, is the final webinar in a series sponsored by the Wallace Foundation to showcase the work of the initiative. Earlier installments addressed laying the foundation for change, building partnerships among districts and institutions of higher education, and revising process and practice to enhance districts’ and principals’ commitment to professional development and improvement. (To access recordings of the earlier webinars in the series, click here. Member login is required to view the archive.)

Are Rubric Shortcuts OK?

Is it OK to take a shortcut with rubrics? Join a free online course starting February 1 to discuss the appropriate uses of “minirubrics” and other feedback mechanisms in AACTE’s Online Professional Seminar (OPS) #1: Building Quality Assessments.

Here’s a quick preview: A minirubric is a cross between a rating scale and a short rubric. With criteria barely described, a minirubric cannot be said to provide guidance—but it does provide feedback. And its typical visual form puts color to work for the learner. The rating labels may be identical to those in a full rubric. What’s new is the at-a-glance presentation.

Department of Education Webinar Slides Available on ESSA

On December 21 and 22, the U.S. Department of Education held webinars on the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the law that reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Click here to access slides from the webinars, which included some timelines and initial information about the transition from the framework of the No Child Left Behind Act to the new framework of ESSA.

I recommend that you review the Department’s slides to support and enhance your program’s partnerships by giving you a sense of what your state education leaders and PK-12 partners will be experiencing over the coming months and year(s). In particular, consider the implications of ending the waivers (referred to in the webinar as ESEA flexibility or ESEA waivers) as of August 1 of this year.

Plums and Lemonade: Making the Most of ESSA

On December 10, after many painful years of wrestling with the heavy-handed No Child Left Behind Act and state waivers that were often more prescriptive than the law itself, educators finally got a new federal law governing PK-12 education. Its replacement, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), promises to return power to the states, reduce accountability burdens, and broaden the scope of support for students with the greatest needs. I join my fellow educators around the country in celebrating these improvements.

Nonetheless, there are lemons lurking among the plums in the new ESSA. This law contains more concessions to reformist entrepreneurs and venture philanthropists than many of us would like. For example, one provision in Title II allows states to create charter-like “academies” for preparing teachers and principals for high-need schools—an idea that has been debated for several years and widely opposed by education organizations. Now that it is part of the law, however, we will do well to heed Maya Angelou’s advice: if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. So let’s celebrate the plums and then get busy making lemonade.

Stories of Impact: Getting Doable Ideas on the Education Table

This post also appears on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas web site and is reposted with permission. 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.

UNLV
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval addresses the Summit on Nevada Education held at UNLV. (R. Marsh Starks/UNLV Photo Services)

Improving education in the Silver State and beyond was the focus of more than 250 educators, policy makers, and community leaders who gathered December 7 for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) inaugural “Summit on Nevada Education.”

The daylong conference, hosted by the UNLV College of Education (COE), drew decision makers from the local, state, and national levels to discuss policy opportunities in the wake of a landmark 2015 Nevada Legislative Session for education. Also front and center were Nevada’s role and impact on the national education conversation and the importance of partnerships to ensure quality education at all levels.

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