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Archive for March, 2017

Best Practices for Teacher Diversity Highlighted at AACTE Institute

On March 1, the AACTE Diversified Teaching Workforce Institute convened more than 150 teacher educators, aspiring teachers, school leaders, and deans from across the nation to address one of the most pressing issues in educator preparation today: increasing the racial/ethnic diversity of the teacher pipeline.

The event was organized by leaders of the Diversified Teaching Workforce (DTW) Topical Action Group (TAG), with assistance from AACTE’s Department of Member Engagement and Support. Members of the DTW TAG were joined at this inaugural institute by participants from the AACTE Holmes Program, the Black & Hispanic/Latino Male Teachers Initiative Networked Improvement Community, and dozens of others from the broader education community. (See the PDF program for the schedule of sessions, panelists, and other information.)

Educational Leadership Preconference Participants Share Promising Practice, Plan Action Steps

In conjunction with the 69th Annual Meeting, AACTE hosted a daylong workshop March 1 titled “Strengthening Leadership Through Communities of Professional Learning Educational Leadership Preconference,” sponsored by The Wallace Foundation. The event was attended by higher education leaders from across the nation, who shared model strategies and identified priorities and actions needed to strengthen principal preparation across local contexts.

The agenda featured two interactive segments, both of which explored ways to renew principal preparation programs through collaborative action.

AASCU Seeks Applications for 2017 Christa McAuliffe Excellence in Teacher Education Award

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) invites applications by April 21 for the 2017 Christa McAuliffe Excellence in Teacher Education Award. Only public colleges and universities that are members of AASCU are eligible to apply for the award, which honors exemplary teacher preparation and professional development programs.

To win this award, teacher education and professional development programs must –

Preparing Teachers to ‘Reach and Teach’ All Students

The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

Classrooms today are more diverse than ever. Students come with a wide array of learning modalities, interests, and life experiences and represent increasingly varied socioeconomic, religious, and cultural backgrounds. As of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, “minorities” now constitute the majority of PK-12 students in U.S. public schools, and more than 10% of students are considered English language learners (ELLs). How can we better prepare our candidates to “reach and teach” all children in today’s schools?

Learn How Tomorrow’s Teachers (Including Your Students) Want to Use Technology

AACTE is collaborating with Project Tomorrow to support that organization’s survey of preservice teachers, “Tomorrow’s Teachers Speak Up.” The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

Tomorrow’s Teachers Speak Up is a unique opportunity for America’s next generation of teachers to share their ideas about how to leverage technology within learning, how they are being trained, and what they expect when they enter the classroom. The national data findings will be used to inform national policies on technology use in education, and to inform K-12 school and district leaders on the aspirations of tomorrow’s teachers.

Colleges, universities, and programs that register and promote the surveys to their students will receive the national data findings as well as their own institution’s results in June – for free.

President’s FY18 Budget Blueprint Includes Deep Cuts to Education

Today, President Trump issued a blueprint of his budget request for Fiscal Year 2018 that includes a 13% cut to education spending, eliminating or dramatically reducing funding for several programs of importance to educator preparation.

As with any new presidential administration, this request was issued late in the typical fiscal cycle and is more of a blueprint than a full budget request. This overview articulates priorities, but we will have to wait for details in the full request expected later this year. The blueprint conveys a clear focus on cutting programs, deregulating, and streamlining the federal government.

Holmes Students, Alumni Share in Rich Annual Meeting

This month, more than 80 participants in the AACTE Holmes Program convened with coordinators and alumni for our annual preconference event at the AACTE Annual Meeting. The 2-day program (see the agenda) led by members of the 2016-2017 Holmes Scholars Council, the National Association of Holmes Scholars Alumni (NAHSA), and AACTE provided a rich variety of integrative and thought-provoking sessions and interactions.

Preconference Workshop Hones Educators’ Skills, Understanding of Rubrics

On March 1, approximately 45 educators participated in an AACTE preconference workshop (in advance of the 69th Annual Meeting in Tampa) designed to help them gain knowledge and skills related to accountability, continuous improvement, and quality assurance in their educator programs. Back by popular demand from the 2016 Annual Meeting, the session, “Rubrics, and Validity, and Reliability: Oh My!” was organized and led by members of AACTE’s Committee on Professional Preparation and Accountability.

Over the course of 4 hours, participants reflected on how they are meeting expectations regarding the assessment of teacher candidate performance, compared and contrasted their assessment approaches with participants from other institutions, and considered the impact their candidates are having on PK-12 student learning. In small groups, attendees engaged in hands-on activities introducing them to the rationale for using rubrics, developing and implementing strong holistic and analytical rubrics, ensuring that rubrics provide for the collection of reliable and valid information related to targeted tasks, and increasing understanding about the importance of this work in the context of accountability.

Being Accountable for Program Effectiveness

The colleges and universities that prepare our nation’s educators are deeply committed to program quality, innovation, and accountability, and important progress is under way in each of these areas at the institutional, state, and national levels. While our priorities are unchanged by the presence or absence of federal regulations, the regulations that were voted down by Congress last week would have impeded this progress by redirecting already-tight resources to create an onerous new reporting and rating system for teacher preparation programs. Now, thanks to the robust advocacy efforts of the field, our professional commitments can proceed unhampered by burdensome mandates and prescriptive-yet-unproven methods.

Absent these regulations, educator preparation providers (EPPs) participate in numerous public reporting and quality assurance systems. Both EPPs and states are required by Title II of the Higher Education Act to submit annual reports to the U.S. Department of Education, and states must report at-risk and low-performing programs. Programs also must meet state review standards, and several states have developed data dashboards that display information for all providers to help the public compare program quality. A plurality of EPPs also undergo national examination through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation – a professional peer-review process using standards that are developed by the field and based on research.

Resolution to Rescind the Teacher Prep Regs Awaits President’s Signature

Your advocacy and that of your colleagues, partners, and students has paid off: A joint resolution to rescind the U.S. Department of Education’s regulations for teacher preparation programs has passed both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate and now awaits the president’s signature.

Since the initiation of negotiated rule making in 2011, these regulations have been contentious – even negotiated rule making did not reach consensus. In October 2016 when the final rule was released, a coalition of 35 organizations, including AACTE, signed a statement highlighting concerns with the final product. (For highlights of what the regulations entailed, you can read AACTE’s overview of the final rule or watch our webinar overview.)

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