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Julie Underwood

Chair, AACTE Board of Directors, and Dean, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison

AACTE Board of Directors Resolution on CAEP

On February 26, the AACTE Board of Directors unanimously passed the following resolution regarding the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP):

“The Board of Directors of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) reiterates its support for a single, unified professional accreditation system for educator preparation programs.  Further, AACTE is committed to the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). However, the AACTE Board also reiterates its ongoing, significant concern about the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and asserts that there is a ‘crisis of confidence’ with respect to CAEP. Specific concerns are related to the accreditation standards, process for accreditation, costs associated with accreditation, the capacity of CAEP to implement the accreditation system and the representativeness of the CAEP governance structure.”

A Powerful Voice That Will Live On

Public education lost one of its most powerful voices on Saturday, November 29, when John Goodlad passed away.

He had worked in educational institutions at all levels, teaching in a one-room school in Canada, as dean of the Graduate school of Education at UCLA, and as founder of the Center for Education Renewal (http://www.ieiseattle.org/CER.htm ) and the Institute for Educational Inquiry (http://www.ieiseattle.org ).

AACTE’s Diverse Membership

As a board member and officer of AACTE, I have grown to appreciate the complexity of the organization. A remarkable variety of institutions opt to unite around common interests under this “big tent” association.

Of course, you may think about AACTE membership from your own institutional perspective. Members of the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education (AILACTE) may view AACTE as their organization, just as members of the Council of Academic Deans from Research Education Institutions (CADREI) may view us from their perspective. Certainly, members of the Teacher Education Council of State Colleges and Universities (TECSCU), where the largest number of new educators are taught, think of AACTE from their perspective. In fact, the Board of Directors is designed to reflect the various institutional types within AACTE, with designated seats for AILACTE, CADREI, and TECSCU representatives as well as for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and historically Black institutions. In reality, AACTE represents the entire array of U.S. teacher preparation institutions.

Accountability for Programs and Institutions: A Core Value

Accountability is a core value of AACTE and its membership. Although the current trend toward measuring teacher preparation programs’ outcomes rather than inputs is a clear step in the right direction, it is often difficult to produce meaningful evidence of program impact amid the wide-ranging ideas of what such evidence might be. Still, our profession is ahead of the game in dealing with the performance expectations and reporting demands that now face higher education in general.

Teaching: More Complex Than Rocket Science

American teachers touch the American future every day. They do so by producing good citizens, good employers, good workers, and good people. As teacher educators, we prepare these leaders.

In today’s political climate, too many people take a simplistic approach to teaching and learning. It’s not hard to find someone who will argue that to teach, all you need are good intentions. Nearly everyone has been in school, so many people believe this makes them expert on how to teach and even on how to train teachers. Similar logic would lead us to conclude that since everyone has been born, we could all be obstetricians and medical educators. Teaching and teacher training are not simple tasks.

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