Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations marked up the FY17 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-H) funding bill. This was the last of the 12 appropriations bills to be marked up by the full committee prior to the congressional recess.
During the markup, members of the committee submitted 32 amendments seeking to restore or increase funding to programs, clarify language, or repeal policy riders. Of key interest to educator preparation is an amendment offered by Representative David Price (D-NC) to restore funding for the Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grants, the only federal grant program designed to reform and strengthen teacher preparation across the nation. (See our fact sheet for an overview of the TQP grant program.) The son of two teachers, Price spoke passionately of his support for the TQP program and the work of grantees to strengthen teacher preparation. Unfortunately, this amendment failed, but the chairman of the subcommittee, Representative Tom Cole (R-OK), committed to further conversations on the matter as the appropriations process unfolds.
The annual AACTE call for award nominations is currently open. As members of the AACTE Committee on Professional Preparation and Accountability, we have the honor of overseeing the three Professional Achievement Awards. Please take a moment to nominate someone deserving for the 2017 Margaret B. Lindsey Award, David G. Imig Award, or Edward C. Pomeroy Award.
These awards honor individuals who have made a meaningful contribution to our profession with their research, policy leadership, or other service to the community. Certainly, you know someone whose tremendous impact on educator preparation deserves recognition. We hope you will take a moment to help us develop a robust pool of nominees for these awards:
Congratulations to July Holmes Scholar of the Month Adrianne Taylor! Taylor is a third-year doctoral candidate at Florida A&M University (FAMU). She is also a reading coach at Griffin Middle School, a Title I information technology school in Tallahassee, Florida. Her research interests include principal leadership at Title I schools, student achievement at high-poverty schools, and cross-curricular reading.
Taylor exudes the qualities of a Holmes Scholar not only within the organization (including writing for the Scholars Report newsletter) but also within her university and her school district. As vice president of the FAMU Holmes chapter, she facilitates professional development with preservice teachers focused on building capacity in using technology to enhance instruction. Most recently, Taylor was a presenter at the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers Annual Meeting.
A new report on international approaches to developing elementary teachers will be released next week at a webcast event featuring AACTE President/CEO Sharon P. Robinson. Register at this link to tune in for the event, which will be held Tuesday, July 19, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. EDT.
The report, Not So Elementary: Primary School Teacher Quality in Top-Performing Education Systems, is authored by Australian researcher Ben Jensen on behalf of the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE). It looks at international practices in elementary teacher preparation and their effects on student achievement. Recommendations for U.S. policy and practice are included.
Ask any new teacher what part of their preparation was most important, and the answer will almost always be the final clinical component—the student teaching, internship, or residency experience. But while everyone seems to agree that high-quality clinical experience is critical to high-quality preparation, a persistent set of challenges have stood in the way of widespread implementation: identifying excellent clinical faculty, providing adequate time in clinical placements, and helping candidates, particularly those of limited means, navigate the full-time demands of unpaid student teaching or internships.
The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
At City University of New York’s Lehman College in the Bronx, our early childhood education students are known for their strong work ethic and resilience. Most are working parents, some with long commutes to class on public transit, and approximately 70% are bilingual, having learned English as a second language.
Early on in the edTPA process, we set out to disprove the contention that teachers of very young children – our teachers work with kids as young as 2 years old – would not score well on the assessment. It’s true that it can be challenging to reflect and write about giving feedback to such young students, especially when some of our teachers struggle with written English. But our students led the way in determining developmentally appropriate ways to provide feedback, and they documented their work during writing workshops on the weekends.
As participants in the William Paterson University (WP) Holmes Network–part of the AACTE Holmes Program–we have enjoyed many new and stimulating opportunities. Throughout the past year, we’ve received mentorship and other valuable support as Holmes Honors students (undergraduates in teacher preparation programs) and Holmes Master’s students (in-service teachers in graduate programs), and last month we capped it all off with an inspiring trip to AACTE’s Washington Week.
Join AACTE Director of Government Relations Deborah Koolbeck for a members-only webinar July 19 or 20 to explore the latest developments in federal policy and what to expect in the weeks and months ahead.
With the national party conventions just around the corner, Congress is scrambling to finish up necessary work before departing Washington until the fall. A critical focus for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations is moving its 12 funding bills through the committee before recess—including the “Labor-H” bill, which funds many programs of interest to AACTE members. This month’s webinars will discuss the fate of these bills and other priorities that unfolded in the final days before the congressional recess.
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.
The importance of clinical practice in teacher preparation is well known. Increasingly, preparation programs are getting teacher candidates into PK-12 settings earlier and more often to enhance their readiness to enter the field. At Minnesota’s Winona State University, that means building a clinical practice model supported by a state-of-the-art “Education Village” slated to open in spring 2018, pending final state funding.
Last month, the Supreme Court upheld the consideration of race in admissions in its Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin decision. In our contemporary policy context of expanded civil rights—and their accompanying backlash—this ruling prompts reflection on the fundamental value of cultivating a diverse community, especially in educational settings, that includes but also extends beyond race.
Why is it important to give college students the opportunity to learn with peers from both similar and different backgrounds? For all students, having at least a “critical mass” of peers with shared characteristics boosts self-efficacy and academic success. Meanwhile, being situated in a heterogeneous learning community, particularly one that supports interaction both within and across groups, builds students’ interdependence, empathy, and fluency with “otherness.”