• AACTE 70th Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD

Archive for March, 2016

Hope Street Group Report: Teachers Reflect on Preparation

A new survey report from the Hope Street Group (HSG) presents perspectives of nearly 2,000 classroom teachers on their own preparation and that of future educators, aiming to inform both preparation program improvement and state and federal policy. The report, On Deck: Preparing the Next Generation of Teachers, asks whether teachers are being prepared effectively for the realities of today’s classrooms and what changes to curriculum, clinical experiences, and accountability measures might be needed.

The study was conducted by 18 HSG National Teacher Fellows, who are practicing classroom teachers and instructional coaches from 17 states. Last fall, they collected data through surveys and focus groups from other practicing teachers in their regions on their experiences and perceptions of how well teacher preparation providers are doing. Participating teachers ranged from 1 to 31 years of experience and came from all grade levels and subjects and from rural, urban, and suburban settings.

Call for Proposals: JUSTEC 2016

The 28th annual seminar of the Japan-U.S. Teacher Education Consortium (JUSTEC) will be held November 4-7, 2016, at Japan’s Ehime University. Conference organizers invite proposals for paper and poster presentations by May 15 under the theme “Collaborative Teacher Education With Local Communities.”

This year’s theme is conceptualized this way:

When we look at trends in formal education, the centralized administrative approach prevails more and more in both the United States and Japan. Such an approach has been pointed out by a number of reports to often produce detachment of teachers’ practices from local conditions and needs. On the other hand, when we look into region-oriented alternative approaches, we can still discover a considerable number of successful cases with alternative methods. JUSTEC 2016 sets a conference theme, “Collaborative Teacher Education with Local Communities,” to explore regionally developed teacher education practices, created with local schools and related parties.

AASCU Invites Applications for Christa McAuliffe Excellence in Teacher Education Award

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) invites applications for the Christa McAuliffe Excellence in Teacher Education Award, which honors exemplary teacher education and professional development programs at AASCU-member public colleges and universities. The submission deadline for this year’s award is April 22.

To win this award, teacher education and professional development programs at AASCU institutions must not only demonstrate effectiveness in producing PK-12 learning outcomes; award winners must also demonstrate and explain how they have redesigned their programs as a result of these PK-12 learning outcomes (including, but not limited to, state data—when and where this is available).

Promising Principles for Safeguarding Student Information

As performance assessment of teacher candidates becomes more widespread and as more video evidence is collected in classrooms, we have to make sure that everyone involved with these videos—and other artifacts assembled for assessment purposes—understands how they may and may not be used. I’m pleased to report that a broad base of educators, convened by AACTE to bring various stakeholders’ perspectives to the discussion, is making promising strides to help safeguard the personal information of both teacher candidates and the students in their classes.

I wrote about the importance of this topic last year (see “Safeguarding Student Data Is Everyone’s Business”), celebrating the White House’s call for heightened attention to protecting students’ digital privacy. The whole education field must engage in this campaign, and AACTE takes its role seriously. Since last fall, we have been convening an Information Privacy Task Force to develop principles regarding the secure and ethical use of classroom video and associated materials collected in performance assessments of newly prepared teachers.

AACTE Major Forum Explores Pathways Needed to Advance Diversity Through Recruitment, Retention Strategies

Holmes/NIC Major Forum
Holmes Scholar Whitney Watkins shares a student’s perspective during a major forum at the AACTE 68th Annual Meeting

Over the past few years, AACTE has been leading efforts to advance teacher diversity in the education workforce through the establishment of the AACTE Black and Hispanic/Latino Male Teachers Initiative Networked Improvement Community (NIC) and the expansion of the AACTE Holmes Program. Both initiatives are dedicated to increasing the recruitment and retention of educators from historically underrepresented groups into the education profession. The NIC’s work is identifying and testing strategies to increase the recruitment and retention of Black, Hispanic, and Latino males in the teaching workforce, and the Holmes Program supports aspiring educators at various points in their education careers to enter teaching, administration, policy, and the professoriate.  

A Practitioner’s Reflections From AACTE Annual Meeting

As a practicing high school classroom teacher, I have made it a point to be aware of educational happenings. When the Common Core standards were introduced I learned what they were and whom they affected and thought about the impacts on how I would teach the upcoming students. As edTPA and other higher education reforms began to occur I registered to score edTPA to learn about what it was. I continued to monitor the higher education landscape from a distance. I remained in close contact with three institutions of higher education where conversations would dabble in shifts but never seemed to be too urgent.

Looking from the outside in, it is easy to deduce why you think certain things are occurring. Prior to attending the AACTE Annual Meeting, I had some experience working in teacher preparation during the summer and by hosting preservice teachers. I updated my knowledge of changes in law during my fall focus groups, researched factors impacting teacher preparation that connected findings from our Hope Street Group Teacher Preparation Report, and even spoke with individuals who worked within teacher prep at various universities within New York State. I perceived myself as well informed with (as always) some room for growth.

Speaker Spotlight Session Urges Multidimensional Perspectives

The AACTE Speaker Spotlight Session ended the 68th Annual Meeting February 25 by focusing on the tough questions facing educator preparation across the nation. Panelists urged the audience to tackle complex issues by addressing them as a community, going beyond a one-dimensional viewpoint. They expressed what they saw as the greatest challenges facing the field, ways to enhance the educator pipeline, and models that will foster growth within the education workforce.

The panel was moderated by Nancy Zimpher, chancellor of the State University of New York. Panelists included National Board Certified Teacher Cheryl Redfield from Highland Junior High (AZ); Daniel A. Domenech, executive director of AASA: The School Superintendents Association; Anthony S. Bryk, president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and Carol Basile, dean and professor in the College of Education at the University of Missouri Saint Louis.

New Action on Proposed Regulations on Teacher Preparation Programs

While we were convening at the 68th AACTE Annual Meeting, the U.S. Department of Education made its next move on the proposed regulations on teacher preparation programs. The Department sent the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a supplemental Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) focused on the distance education portion of the proposed regulations. OMB will review the supplemental NPRM prior to publishing it in the Federal Register.

We won’t know exactly what information the Department is seeking until the supplemental NPRM is issued. We also don’t know how long the comment period might be—but it could be as short as 30 days, so we will need to be ready to respond.

New ESSA Resource Available, Negotiated Rule Making Announced

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education released a new document of frequently asked questions (PDF) on the transition to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) from the No Child Left Behind Act.

While this 17-page document does not answer every question, it provides key hyperlinks and covers a range of topics, from state flexibility to requirements under different sections of the law. The Department will continue to update the document in the coming months.

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