• Quality Support Workshops

Archive for July, 2017

New Additions to AACTE Workshop in Minneapolis

Thanks to several brand-new sessions and revamped activities throughout the original program, next month’s regional AACTE Quality Support Workshop will deliver an even more robust program than its popular predecessor. During the event August 10-12 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, participants will choose from two dozen expert-facilitated workshops offered in seven time blocks – with topics such as interpreting candidate assessment data, mapping curricula to competency indicators, preparing evidence for an accreditation visit, recruiting and supporting more diverse candidates, and others.

Many of the sessions from last spring’s southern regional workshop, held in Fort Worth, Texas, will run again in Minneapolis with few changes. Others are bringing in new facilitators or making adjustments to reflect feedback from attendees (the organizers do try to practice what they preach about using data for improvement!).

JTE Authors Propose Inquiry-Oriented Standards to Capture Complexity of Teaching

Have you seen the JTE Insider blog managed by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team? Check out the following interview with authors of a recent article. This blog is available to the public, and AACTE members have free access to the articles themselves in the full JTE archives online – just log in with your AACTE profile here.

This interview features insights from the article “Capturing the Complex, Situated, and Active Nature of Teaching Through Inquiry-Oriented Standards for Teaching” by Claire Sinnema, Frauke Meyer, and Graeme Aitken of the University of Auckland, New Zealand. The article, which appears in the January/February 2017 issue of JTE, is summarized in the following abstract:

Applying for Federal Research Funding? View On-Demand Webinars From IES for FY18

The U.S. Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences (IES) has released a series of on-demand webinars to assist prospective grantees in completing applications for the Fiscal Year 2018 grant cycle.

Some webinars provide viewers with general guidance on the grant application process, while others are more specific to particular grant programs. After viewing a webinar, potential applicants can e-mail IES with any questions they might have that weren’t addressed during the webinar.

In addition to the general-topic webinars, the IES archive currently contains information on five grant opportunities; another five are said to be coming soon. Each webinar’s archive includes a video recording, PowerPoint slides, and a transcript.

Advocacy Group Releases Budget Response Opposing Trump Proposal

Last week, the Committee for Education Funding (CEF) released its annual “Budget Book” analysis of the president’s federal spending proposal and its impact on education programs. This year’s report presents detailed narrative, charts, and tables illustrating concerns about President Donald J. Trump’s proposed cuts to education funding for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. CEF highlighted the findings at a Capitol Hill briefing featuring practitioners from several states and various education sectors.

At the briefing, panelists from Missouri, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and New Jersey all urged for education spending to be increased. Several speakers noted that even “level-funding” a program amounts to a cut when factors such as cost-of-living and other inflation-related expenses are considered, and they advocated for funding increases to permit at least the continuation of current programming.

CEF Deputy Executive Director Sarah Abernathy pointed out that education-related expenses account for only 2% of all federal spending – far short of the 5% called for in CEF’s “Five Cents Makes Sense” campaign. She highlighted components of the report, which called the president’s education cuts “devastating” and noted that the budget is more than $6 billion below FY 2010 education spending levels, proposing cuts that are far deeper than in any of the previous five administrations.

JTE Author Interview: ‘Change Happens Beyond the Comfort Zone’

Have you seen the JTE Insider blog managed by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team? Check out the following interview with authors of a recent article. This blog is available to the public, and AACTE members have free access to the articles themselves in the full JTE archives online – just log in with your AACTE profile here.

This interview features insights from the article “Change Happens Beyond the Comfort Zone: Bringing Undergraduate Teacher Candidates Into Activist Teacher Communities,” from authors Kathleen Riley and Kathryn Solic. The article, featured in the March/April issue of JTE, is summarized in the following abstract:

House Hearing Witnesses Stress Privacy Protections for Student Data While Ensuring Researchers Maintain Access

An education subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives held a hearing June 28 on “Exploring Opportunities to Strengthen Education Research While Protecting Student Privacy.” Throughout the hearing, hosted by the House Education and the Workforce Committee’s Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, witnesses stressed the need to maintain a balance between safeguarding sensitive student data and allowing researchers access to information that evaluates performance and determines best practices.

Anonymizing the data in order to maintain student privacy was a top concern for the panelists, but Nathaniel Schwartz from the Tennessee Education Department noted that guidelines outlining proper procedures for doing so are lacking at the federal level, leaving states and districts to determine how best to handle the data.

Lessons From ECS Forum: Ongoing Engagement Critical as New State Policy Makers Take Office

On behalf of AACTE, I recently attended the annual National Forum on Education Policy of the Education Commission of the States (ECS), a national organization of state education policy leaders. The more than 550 attendees at the forum included governors, state education chiefs, chairs of state legislatures’ education committees, and higher education executives, many of whom were new to their position. In fact, one of my main takeaways from the conference was the high level of recent turnover in states’ positions for education decision makers – and the associated need for educators to maintain outreach efforts to connect with them.

Over the past 2 years, there has been drastic leadership change for state legislators, chief state school officers, and governors. In 2016, elections were held for 86 of the 98 partisan state legislative chambers and for 6 of the 13 elected chief state school officers. Furthermore, the average tenure of a chief state school officer is approximately 2½ years. In 2017, 36 states will hold elections for their governors, at least 16 of which must be new due to term limits.

Federal Task Force Identifies Over 150 Ed. Regulations for Review; Comments Due Aug. 21

The U.S. Department of Education’s Regulatory Reform Task Force has released a progress report identifying more than 150 regulations and 1,700 pieces of guidance for review, and now the public is invited to comment on the items by August 21.

The task force, which originated from an executive order signed in February by President Donald J. Trump to reduce regulatory burdens, will now further review the regulations and guidance and develop recommendations on whether to repeal, modify, or keep them.

Explore Minneapolis (and Book Your Hotel by July 25)

Update: The deadline for hotel reservations and discounted registration has been extended to July 25

AACTE is excited to be hosting the 2017 Midwest regional Quality Support Workshop August 10-12 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The summer is a wonderful and exciting time to be visiting the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, so when you are not indoors working on quality assurance, accreditation, and assessment with our jam-packed schedule, there is plenty more to do right outside the hotel doors!

Our host hotel, the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, is conveniently located on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. Nicollet Mall is lined with shopping, cafes, and an array of other sites – see this map of key attractions. If you venture northeast to the Mississippi River, you can enjoy the waterfront and even take a kayak tour, board a river cruise, or rent a bike from any of the Nice Ride stations around the city.

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