Archive for April, 2016

Recruiting More Teachers for Rural Schools: What South Carolina Is Doing Right

It is no secret that South Carolina has faced many challenges related to education. Most recently, a shortage of teachers has been severely affecting the most vulnerable regions of South Carolina: our rural and poverty-stricken regions. In a state where most students live below the poverty level, there are some unsung heroes doing their best with the lowest of means, but we desperately need to improve our recruitment and retention of professional educators.

One way the state is supporting this goal is through Proviso 1A.73, also known as the Rural Teacher Recruiting Incentive. The FY16 budget allows for $1.5 million to be spent on this plan. The Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA) at Winthrop University along with the South Carolina Department of Education and the Education Oversight Committee has been charged with the responsibility to develop the initiative, and CERRA Executive Director Jane Turner submitted the plan for the first year in January 2016 with multiple components:

Second Lady Calls for More Research on Military-Connected Students

Dr. Biden at AERA
From left to right: Jeannie Oakes, University of California – Los Angeles; Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden; Mary Keller, Military Child Education Coalition; Catherine Bradshaw, University of Virginia; Ron Avi Astor, University of Southern California

During the American Education Research Association (AERA) 2016 annual meeting last week, Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden was a featured panelist in a session on military-connected students in PK-12 schools. Stressing the need for more research and additional support for these students, Biden reflected on her visits with military families around the world and the commonly overlooked needs of military-connected students.

Other panelists discussed their research on military-connected students as well as the need to ensure teachers are prepared to address the needs of these students. Mary Keller, president and CEO of the Military Child Education Coalition, joined Biden in discussing some of the transformative work that colleges of education have embarked on through the Operation Educate the Educators partnership with AACTE to ensure teachers are prepared to meet the needs of military-connected students.

Collaboration Across State Lines Transforms Educator Preparation

In February, the Louisiana Department of Education hosted representatives from six states in the Council of Chief State School Officers’ Network for Transforming Educator Preparation (NTEP). Formed in 2013, this aligned action network brings together state chiefs and their education agency staff who are committed to activating key policy levers around licensure, program approval, and data as they transform educator preparation in their respective states. As a representative from the Missouri NTEP team, I joined colleagues from five states—Georgia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Washington—on the visit to Baton Rouge to attend Louisiana’s Believe and Prepare Community Meeting and learn from the work of practitioners, programs, and districts across Louisiana leading efforts to improve educator preparation.

AACTE to Support Members Using ETS Assessments

A new agreement between AACTE and Educational Testing Service (ETS) will bring support to AACTE member programs as they implement performance assessments with their students. Under the agreement, AACTE will develop various events, online platforms, and communications related to the assessments PPAT, NOTE, and ProEthica.

AACTE is assisting ETS with the development of a curriculum clinic for member institutions that are using the PPAT and piloting NOTE. The clinic aims to guide programs through curriculum redesign based on the reports generated through the performance assessments. AACTE is working on a curriculum matrix template to be used with participating educator preparation providers (EPPs) in a review of their data with ETS. AACTE also will coordinate the creation of case studies with volunteer EPPs to build out the clinic process, to be followed by an interactive curriculum clinic that will guide teams from the EPPs through the redesign process.

Please Join Me in June at AACTE’s Day on the Hill

I am so fortunate to have an opportunity to share my experiences in advocacy leadership at AACTE as chair of the Committee on Government Relations and Advocacy. It is my goal as chair to facilitate educator preparation advocacy at the state and national levels. The upcoming AACTE Day on the Hill, to be held June 7-8 as part of AACTE’s 2016 Washington Week, is an excellent opportunity for us all to develop and practice our advocacy skills together.

This 2-day event includes time to learn an effective advocacy strategy and then apply the strategy in scheduled visits with elected officials from our home states. Before the culminating congressional visits, participants will engage in a day of professional development focused on the knowledge and skills needed in advocacy efforts. We will hear from AACTE experts on what’s happening in Washington related to teacher preparation and discuss key issues that need the profession’s voice on the Hill.

Call for Comment: Draft Standards for Educators Rising

Educators Rising, the national network supporting high school students who are interested in the education profession, seeks comment on its brand-new draft standards by April 24.

In partnership with the National Education Association, Educators Rising is coordinating an effort to back-map the road to accomplished teaching into the “pre-preservice” secondary space. Using a committee process modeled after the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Educators Rising brought together accomplished practitioners to draft strong standards for what teenagers should know and be able to do to demonstrate they are developing the skills and dispositions of effective educators.

Shaywanna Harris Is April Holmes Scholar of the Month

Congratulations to April Holmes Scholar of the Month Shaywanna Harris!

Harris is a second-year doctoral student in the Counselor Education program at the University of Central Florida. Her research interests are traumatic childhood experiences, brain development in children, resilience in families, and neurofeedback training in counseling.

Harris is known for working collegially and collaboratively with diverse individuals across different organizations. As supervisor of a community counseling and research clinic at her university, she has demonstrated a commitment to successfully advocating for and valuing diversity. She also works with minority children of alcoholics by conducting research and disseminating information to the public through manuscript publications.

Panelists, Participants Sought for U.S.–China Education Conference

Are you an expert who can speak on teacher quality issues? Are you interested in discussing education research, policy, and innovation for the knowledge-based economy with colleagues from China and the United States?

The College of Education and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) seeks prospective teacher-quality panelists and general participants for an international conference in Beijing this June. There is no registration charge, but space is limited.

Five Tips for Writing a Successful AACTE Annual Meeting Proposal

Last year, AACTE received 400 session proposals for the 2016 Annual Meeting in Las Vegas. Given the limited number of spaces available for presentations, we were able to accept only 53% of the proposals.

Looking to present at AACTE’s 2017 Annual Meeting in Tampa? Want to make your proposal stand out from other proposals received? Here are five tips to help your proposal rise to the top:

School-University Partners Discuss Clinical Principal Preparation and Partnerships at Preconference Event

Wallace PreCon
Facilitator Angela Sewall talks with participants in the Wallace-sponsored preconference event

Prior to the start of the 68th Annual Meeting, AACTE hosted a daylong workshop titled “Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders Through School-University Partnerships Educational Leaders Preconference,” sponsored by The Wallace Foundation. The event was attended by more than 125 PK-12 and higher education leaders from across the nation, including school-university partners who attended together with the goal of strengthening their collaboration in principal preparation programs.

The event agenda featured a series of presentations and interactive PK-24 “table talk” discussions, focused on examining aspects of clinical practice and effective partnerships to advance principal preparation. Participants explored topics such as these:

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