(October 12, 2016, Washington, DC) – Today, the U.S. Department of Education released its final rule on the regulations for each of our nation’s 26,000 teacher preparation programs. The official version will be published in the Federal Register by the end of the month, and the Department is expected to release guidance in the coming weeks as well. AACTE is carefully analyzing the new rule and urges members and stakeholders to do the same to determine its potential impact on the profession.
Today, the Learning Policy Institute released a set of reports that present the latest data on U.S. teacher supply and demand and promote comprehensive recruitment and retention strategies to alleviate persistent shortages. AACTE commends the reports’ attention to the steep cost to students of understaffed schools, particularly in low–income communities, as well as the proposed solutions centered on high-quality clinical preparation of new teachers and reducing the attrition rate among practicing teachers.
School districts across the nation are struggling to staff classrooms with adequate numbers of skilled teachers, forcing them to make tough choices that shortchange students. Many educator preparation programs have stepped up recruitment and developed innovative partnerships with districts to meet local needs. Although these efforts are seeing some success, adjustments to the production end of the educator pipeline cannot compensate for the “leaky bucket” of practicing teachers who, according to the Learning Policy Institute, leave at a rate of nearly 8% per year.
A set of principles released this month gives educators and policy makers new guidance on the secure and ethical use of video and other classroom materials gathered as part of preservice teacher preparation. A task force of educators led by AACTE created the principles to ensure the privacy of those whose images and work are captured in the performance assessment of aspiring teachers.
The 27-member task force began convening last fall, meeting several times to develop the principles and supporting documents. Their brief brochure, “Securing Personal Information in Performance Assessment of Teacher Candidates,” explains the importance of videos and other artifacts in teacher performance assessment and introduces nine principles to guide those involved in creating or reviewing materials that include student images or identifying information.
AACTE applauds the leadership of U.S. Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) on the unanimous, bipartisan passage of the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 (ECA). AACTE is pleased with the committee’s progress on the long overdue reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
The bill moves away from the "test and punish" strategy that evolved from the implementation of the current version of ESEA, known as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. While the bill retains the requirement for annual assessments disaggregated by subgroups, it leaves states, schools, teachers, and parents to determine what to do about the results of those assessments. AACTE believes students would benefit from stronger accountability for subgroup results, but overall, the bill makes important bipartisan progress toward fixing a broken law.
AACTE is pleased to announce Michigan State University’s College of Education as the next editorial host of the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE). The editors were selected through a competitive proposal process and approved by the Association’s Board of Directors for a 3-year term.
The current editorial team at Pennsylvania State University, which has served the JTE since August 2010, will continue work on the journal through June 2015 to complete Volume 66; however, the Michigan State team will receive all new manuscript submissions effective March 1.
Today, AACTE submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Education on the proposed teacher education program regulations. AACTE President/CEO Sharon P. Robinson released the following statement on the organization’s submission:
“The members of AACTE embrace accountability for their work. They are eager to understand the effectiveness of their graduates and seek continual program improvement to ensure graduates’ profession-readiness on Day 1 in the classroom.
“The regulatory proposal put forward by the Department, however, is not the appropriate way to hold programs accountable. It would draw energy, funding, and attention away from innovative reforms, proven accountability initiatives, and overall program improvement currently under way in teacher preparation programs across the country.
AACTE Members Leading Efforts to Develop and Rigorously Assess Teacher Candidates
In its latest effort to cast the nation’s schools of education in a negative light, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) today released a report claiming that vague, “criterion-deficient” assignments in educator preparation programs result in too many high grades among teacher candidates, compared with students in other majors at the same institutions. The report, Training Our Future Teachers: Easy A’s and What’s Behind Them, rests on the same meager evidence—mere document reviews—as NCTQ has used in past reports. One of its underlying tenets, however, is important, if not new: that teacher candidates and their readiness to practice must be developed and assessed fully and accurately, an area that is already the subject of intense focus and innovation led by the educator preparation community.
AACTE President/CEO Sharon P. Robinson announced Friday that Mark LaCelle-Peterson, senior vice president of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), will join AACTE’s staff as vice president for policy and programs July 1.
“We are delighted to welcome Mark to AACTE,” Robinson said. “He knows the work of our membership very well, and we are eager to bring his expertise to the Association’s programs.”
LaCelle-Peterson will provide strategic and operational leadership for AACTE’s Policy and Programs Department. The position is a member of the senior management team that is instrumental in developing and executing the overall strategic goals of the Association. Managing a team consisting of staff and consultants, LaCelle-Peterson will provide program and policy leadership and will develop high-level activities to showcase and support the work of the Association.
AACTE is excited to announce its new blog: Ed Prep Matters.
Ed Prep Matters offers news and insights on educator preparation from AACTE and guest bloggers in the field. Combining the best elements of AACTE’s former weekly NewsStream service and monthly Advisor newsletter in one convenient, up-to-date site, Ed Prep Matters is your new trusted source for professional information—without the wait!
- Instant access to the latest information by visiting EdPrepMatters.net (no login required!) or by adding Ed Prep Matters to your RSS feed.
- Weekly e-mails every Tuesday that highlight the past week’s posts, in case you missed anything.
- Faster delivery of outside news articles and commentary through the AACTE Twitter feed, which is featured in the blog’s sidebar.
- A dedicated Member News section to share your and fellow AACTE members’ updates and achievements.
We invite you to read and interact with us through this exciting new AACTE resource—and please let us know how we’re doing!
On October 23, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) announced the creation of the Network for Transforming Educator Preparation (NTEP) to implement recommendations from Our Responsibility, Our Promise: CCSSO Task Force Report on Transforming Educator Preparation and Entry into the Profession. AACTE is pleased to be one of 17 partner organizations that will support this important work alongside CCSSO and the seven states participating in NTEP.