Archive for February, 2016
As you join the nationwide conversation on the future of educator preparation at the AACTE 68th Annual Meeting next week, don’t miss your chance to interact with the Association’s leadership during the Town Hall Meeting. Members of the AACTE Executive Committee will take the stage to discuss topics of interest to the field and answer your questions on Wednesday, February 24, at 11:45 a.m. PST.
“The vision for having a town hall meeting was to get the members actively involved in the issues we are facing,” said Fayneese Miller, who served as chair of the AACTE Board of Directors during 2013-14 and is now president of Hamline University (MN). “How can we as a community begin to solve some of the questions? How do we work collaboratively? How do we ensure that a variety of different voices are heard?”
Take advantage of the opportunity to ask tough questions and receive candid answers from these current AACTE leaders on how the Association is working to support members in meeting the demands of the profession:
Have you noticed AACTE’s fresh look? Last year, the AACTE brand received a face lift. The corporate logo was streamlined, the organization’s key messages were refined, and new marketing materials were developed (and more are under way!).
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.
As America and its school-age population grow increasingly diverse, educator preparation programs are striving to recruit and prepare more teachers from historically underrepresented groups. Statistics show that by 2050, the United States will have no clear racial or ethnic majority, yet the educator workforce remains largely White—a mismatch decried as violating students’ educational civil rights.
“Teaching is a high-stakes practice—there is no more powerful position to hold than that of teaching,” said University of Missouri Kansas City Professor Etta Hollins at her November 2015 TeachingWorks streaming seminar series talk. What’s more, Professor Hollins described coherence as a series of opportunities to learn teaching, “like glue” that makes the opportunities to learn teaching work.
Hollins’ statements capture the commitments that inform the 2016 TeachingWorks/AACTE “Preparing Teachers for Practice” strand of the AACTE Annual Meeting, including a warrant to work together on the problems of change, improvement, and coherence in teacher education. This year’s strand confronts critical obstacles to change in teacher education. We ask boldly: Can we as the profession of teacher education stand up and take charge of change? What—if anything—would you argue should be common in teachers’ preparation across programs? Are there things that we can agree are crucial for any beginning teacher to be committed to and be able to do? Is there a way to reach some common professional ground in ways that are sensitive to contexts and respectful of difference? Is there a way to do this that does not silence or dominate diverse perspectives? What would you argue must vary, and why? Can such difference avoid exacerbating inequality?
Congratulations to Thomas S. Tucker, superintendent of Princeton City Schools in Cincinnati, Ohio, who has been named 2016 AASA National Superintendent of the Year!
Tucker’s selection was announced February 11 at the National Conference on Education hosted by AASA, The School Superintendents Association. He was one of four finalists for the honor; others included Pamela Moran of Charlottesville, Virginia; Steven Webb of Vancouver, Washington; and Freddie Williamson of Raeford, North Carolina.
On February 9, President Obama released the final budget request of his presidency, a request for Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17). Next, Congress will respond with its own budget followed by the appropriations process—when lawmakers can choose to implement the president’s request or parts of it, or move forward on their own priorities. With the Congress under control of the Republicans during this presidential election year, the president’s request is unlikely to receive much focus.
The budget request for the U.S. Department of Education is $69.4 billion for FY17, a 2% increase over the FY16 level. The administration again proposes to eliminate the Teacher Quality Partnerships—the only federal grant program focused on strengthening and improving teacher preparation programs—replacing it with the Teacher and Principal Pathways programs. The administration also proposes to eliminate the TEACH grants in 2021 and increase loan forgiveness for teachers in high-need schools.
You still have time to apply for the 2016 Holocaust Institute for Teacher Educators (HITE), a week-long, all-expenses-paid professional development opportunity in June at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. The deadline for applications has been extended until March 4!
Be sure to also stop by the HITE concurrent session at AACTE’s 68th Annual Meeting in Las Vegas! The session (Education Under the Third Reich: A Case Study for the Ethics of Teaching) is scheduled for Thursday, February 25, at 10:30 a.m. in Grand Ballroom E. Add the session to your personal schedule through our Online Event Planner.
The annual National edTPA Implementation Conference will be held March 31 – April 2 at the Savannah Marriott Riverfront in Savannah, GA. The program planning committee seeks session proposals by Monday, February 15, from implementers of edTPA, the PK-12 community, and others involved in supporting teachers and candidates in using the assessment.
The conference, “Building Bridges to Highly Accomplished Teaching: From Preservice to Teacher Leader,” aims to include interactive sessions to share and develop practices, perspectives, and research aligned with the following strands:
Congratulations to February Scholar of the Month Amanda Wilkerson!
Wilkerson is a doctoral candidate at the University of Central Florida. Her research interests are historically Black colleges and universities, college transition programming for first-generation, low-income students, and program evaluation, curriculum development, and instrument design for Freshman Year Seminar.
“Amanda is truly a dynamic educator, scholar, and individual,” said Wilkerson’s nominator. “Her passion for social change is one of her many facets that I admire and am inspired by. You never leave the same after having an encounter with Ms. Amanda Wilkerson, and her future college presidency will surely bode well for the institution being served under her leadership. It is my honor to nominate such an outstanding woman!”
As chair-elect of AACTE’s Advisory Council of State Representatives (ACSR), I invite you to join me in an engaging, thought-provoking, and solutions-oriented panel discussion about school-staffing challenges during AACTE’s Annual Meeting in Las Vegas.
On Tuesday, February 23, at 1:45 p.m., ACSR will host the major forum “A Regional Lens to Addressing Teacher Shortage and Distribution by Subject and Location,” focusing on factors contributing to the western region’s teacher shortages and to the inequitable distribution of effective educators. (You can add the session to your personal schedule in the Online Event Planner).