Archive for February, 2019

New paper addresses professionalization of teacher education


Jacob Easley II, dean of the Graduate School of Education at Touro College, recently authored A Way Forward Toward Professionalizing Teacher Education: A Response to the AASCU Teacher Education Task Force Survey, a commentary published in the Educational Renaissance journal. In the paper, Easley reviews the recommendations resulting from the 2016 American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Teacher Education Task Force survey. The survey was completed by member presidents, provosts, and their deans of education at public institutions of higher learning to better understand the state of the profession.

The results from the national AASCU survey yielded six recommendations for quality teacher education programs. Of the six, Easley categorizes the first four are as similar to the standards that inform national accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP):

  1. Bolster clinical experiences
  2. Ensure strong university-school partnerships
  3. Step up recruitment into preparation programs
  4. Build agreements with community colleges

2019 National Superintendent of the Year Is Alumnus of AACTE Member Institutions


AACTE Congratulates 2019 National Superintendent of the Curtis Jones Jr., superintendent of Bibb County School District in Macon, GA.

Jones, was Georgia’s finalist for the honor given by AASA, the School Superintendents Association. He is also an alumnus of AACTE member institutions, Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee, where he received his Ed.S. from the Carter & Moyers School of Education and NOVA Southeastern in Florida, where he received his Ed.D. from the Abraham S. Fischler College of Education.

Jones joined the Bibb County School District in April 2015. Using his classroom and administrative experiences, he developed the district’s strategic plan, “Victory in Our Schools.” The plan has five goal areas: increasing student achievement; increasing student and stakeholder engagement; increasing teacher and leader effectiveness; being a reliable organization; and learning and growth. This plan drives the district’s continuous improvement efforts through shared accountability for all stakeholders and resource alignment.

In Memoriam: Robert H. Koff

Robert H. Koff, a former dean of the College of Education at the State of University of New York (SUNY) at Albany, died December 10 in St. Louis. He was 80. Dr. Koff began his career as a faculty member at Stanford University before moving to Chicago in 1972 to become the first dean of education at Roosevelt University. In 1980, he became dean of the College of Education at SUNY. He moved to St. Louis to join the Danforth Foundation in 1988, where he served as senior vice president. In 2003, Dr. Koff returned to higher education and joined Washington University in St. Louis, from which he retired.

Dr. Koff founded the National Superintendents Roundtable and its predecessor, the Danforth Forum for the American School Superintendent. He authored or co-authored many scholarly articles and books, including The Superintendent’s Fieldbook. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1961 and his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Chicago in 1966.

He is survived by his wife, Linda Riekes, his brother, his brother-in-law, four children, eight grandchildren, and a host of colleagues, friends, and admirers. 

AACTE to form Special Education Networked Improvement Community (NIC)

AACTE will launch a Networked Improvement Community focused on Special Education Teacher Recruitment and Retention in May of 2019. The NIC will investigate strategies to address the persistent shortages in the field of special education.

The shortage of special education teachers and the lack of diversity among all teachers have been well documented. Half of all schools and 90% of high-poverty schools struggle to find qualified special education teachers. Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia report special education teacher shortages. However, special education teacher shortages are not evenly distributed across the country. Generally, high poverty areas—both urban and rural—are most likely to experience the most severe teacher shortages, including those in special education. States vary in the degree of shortage they experience.

Join AACTE in Louisville This Month

Are you within driving distance to Louisville, KY? Then join AACTE for the 2019 Annual Meeting, February 22-24!

AACTE’s Annual Meeting is your chance to experience the most informative, innovative, and collaborative conference for the educator preparation profession. Connect with approximately 2,000 educators and colleagues from across the country to discuss common challenges and explore new practices and strategies.

You won’t want to miss the full lineup of conference activities – from the preconference programming to a variety of Annual Meeting offerings, including learning labs, general and deeper dive sessions, the Conference Community Center, and the AACTE Gallery.

New to the Website: State Policy Resources

In our ongoing quest to provide the most timely and useful informational resources to our members, AACTE has added two important new features to the State Policy Tracker page of the website.  The State Legislatures Session Chart and StateNet Capitol Journal will help you stay informed about the latest developments in your state and around the country regarding education and education policy.

The Session Chart is an easy to read graphic guide to the legislative calendars of every state. The start and end dates of each legislature, the length of session and the amount of legislative activity in each state will help you maximize the timeliness and effectiveness of your political engagement. 

The StateNet Capitol Journal is a 50-state roundup of a wide range of policy matters designed for every type of user.  Whether you are interested in a bird’s eye view of education or other policy matter or a deep dive, the Capitol Journal can help you stay up-to-date on the latest state and national legislative and regulatory news. 

Coming Soon! Issue Brief supplement to National Portrait paints rich picture of student diversity


One of the most striking findings of AACTE’s signature report, Colleges of Education: A National Portrait, is the lack of diversity among education students, particularly at the bachelor’s and master’s degree levels. Education Students and Diversity:  A Review of New Evidence draws from a recently released U.S. Department of Education survey to examine the characteristics of students working toward bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education, to compare these students to the general student population, and to identify key differences by race/ethnicity.

The issue brief, which will be available for free download as an exclusive AACTE member benefit later this month, presents newly available data on the following topics for education students in bachelor’s and master’s degree programs:

  • Personal characteristics
  • Family circumstances
  • Parental education
  • Financial status
  • Employment
  • Attendance patterns

HBCU Topical Action Group will Convene at #AACTE19 in Louisville

The AACTE HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Teacher Education topical action group (TAG) will convene a business meeting on February 21 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. a day before the 2019 Annual Meeting in Louisville, KY. The convening, which will take place in the Louisville Marriott Downtown Hotel, will also include a special award ceremony to honor an exceptional educator who has advanced HBCU issues in teacher education.

The purpose of the TAG is to promote dialogue, collaboration, research, and the advancement of the HBCU voice in the teacher education discussion. Since its inception in 2016, more than 20 teacher educators have joined the TAG. This special group will develop plans and a research agenda during the HBCU TAG business meeting in Louisville.

As the administrator of the HBCU Teacher Education TAG, I envision a robust discussion at this year’s annual meeting as we work to build a presence within the AACTE community. HBCUs are responsible for the production of half of the nation’s African American teachers, and I believe that a forum to promote the unique perspective of those who teach or were trained in these institutions is extremely valuable.  

Visit #AACTE19 Gallery to Learn What’s Happening Around the Association


The AACTE Gallery will be offered again this year at the 2019 Annual Meeting in Louisville. It will feature mini presentations and a dedicated coffee and conversation space where Annual Meeting participants can chat with representatives from AACTE member and partner initiatives, as well as AACTE staff, to learn more about programs and opportunities of interest. The AACTE membership booth will also be located nearby, and staff will be on hand to share information and answer questions.

Come learn more about what’s been happening at AACTE this year! You can receive the latest updates on the AACTE Strategic Planning initiative, gain access to AACTE’s new research publication, Education Students and Diversity: A Review of New Evidence, and connect with AACTE members and partners for information about their innovative projects. For all of this and more, be sure to add the AACTE Gallery time blocks to your personalized 2019 Annual Meeting Online Event Planner schedule. The Gallery will offer opportunities to network while learning about promising innovations in educator preparation.

Public Schools Week Honors Achievements of Schools, Students and Educators

The members of the Learning First Alliance (LFA) will host Public Schools Week, March 25-29, 2019, to show the great things happening every day in public schools–and show the potential for greater things.

This second annual event encourages school leaders to invite community members, lawmakers, parents and others to visit and see the wide array of programs and high-quality opportunities offered, honor students’ accomplishments and see the joys and challenges of teaching and learning in public schools.

“Public education is the foundation for students’ success, the growth of communities, and our nation’s future,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, executive director of the National PTA and 2018-19 chair of the Learning First Alliance, a coalition of 12 national education organizations representing more than 10 million parents, teachers, administrators, specialists, school board members and teacher educators. “Public schools educate 90 percent of our nation’s students and are providing talented professionals for jobs in the corporate and public sectors as well as the military. It’s vitally important that we have a strong system of public schools across the United States.”

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