Archive for October, 2017
As members of the AACTE Committee on Membership Development and Capacity Building, we are eager to learn from the results of the AACTE survey currently under way – and we thank all of you who have participated! In the meantime, we would like to highlight some insights from a recent online focus group of 26 teacher educators from colleges and universities that are current, former, or prospective members of AACTE.
This group, convened on behalf of AACTE by Marketing General Incorporated (the same agency managing the current broad-market survey), reported an almost universally positive image of AACTE’s brand and belief in its mission. But what the current members of AACTE say they value most is the organization’s advocacy work, high-quality resources, and networking connections with other professionals in the field.
We are thrilled to announce the launch of a new AACTE task force to study how to improve the preparation of special education teachers through clinical practice. Growing out of the work of the AACTE Clinical Practice Commission (CPC), the AACTE Special Education Task Force held its inaugural meeting October 1-2 in Washington, DC.
The task force is charged with applying the CPC frameworks for clinical educator preparation to the particular needs of developing special education teachers. During this week’s meeting, the group began outlining the scope of its work, which is supported by a grant from the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center. The task force will study areas such as dual licensure and dual preparation models, pipeline strategies around recruitment and retention, interdisciplinary collaboration, and other factors pertinent to this specialized preparation. They ultimately plan to identify models and develop recommendations to amplify promising practices, establish continuous improvement benchmarks, and provide guidance for the field.
The Learning Policy Institute (LPI) is out with a new analysis of teacher turnover and its impact on teacher shortages, showing that the nationwide shortfall of 100,000 teachers predicted in last year’s study A Coming Crisis in Teaching? has largely been realized and issuing recommendations to stem the problem before it grows worse.
In the updated report – Teacher Turnover: Why It Matters and What We Can Do About It – Desiree Carver-Thomas and Linda Darling-Hammond share recent data revealing that in just 31 states, 82,000 positions are filled by underqualified teachers and at least 5,000 are unfilled altogether; extrapolated to all states, the total number is likely around 110,000. If current trends persist, they say, we could face an even higher shortfall next year. The shortages are most acute in the fields of special education and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and are disproportionately present in high-poverty and high-minority schools.
An online Education Talk Radio program last month featured AACTE members in a discussion of how their educator preparation programs contribute to high teacher quality. Host Larry Jacobs interviewed guests Rebecca West Burns, assistant professor at the University of South Florida, and D. Mark Meyers, director of the Educational Administration Program at Xavier University (OH).
The show began with discussion around the continuum of teacher development, from preservice preparation through stages of leadership, both formal and informal. Burns explained that teacher leaders include those who are instructional coaches or mentors as well as those acting less formally as leaders from within their classroom. Teachers can work collaboratively to share knowledge and help each other make progressive changes in their school. Meyers added that leadership principles applied by teacher leaders and administrators are often the same, although they may be implemented differently.
From the earliest days of our republic, we have believed that education was critical to our democracy. Our founders knew that the health of our country, the wellbeing of the citizenry – and particularly the strength of the democracy – would be built on a well-educated population. Though disagreements have been fierce regarding who is to be educated, how much education they need, and whether to measure its value in economic growth, individual growth, or societal growth, fundamentally, we have always agreed that educating our citizens is important.
Today, we are excited to unveil the new AACTE Video Wall as a tool to better showcase members’ impact and amplify their voices. Please check it out at videos.aacte.org!
For several years, AACTE has encouraged members to “tell their stories” so local communities and policy makers can learn more about the positive work educator preparation professionals do every day. Storytelling is indeed essential to getting your message out in a way that creates lasting impressions in people’s minds and hearts. AACTE is now integrating storytelling, video and technology to more broadly disseminate member stories.