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Kristin McCabe

Editor, AACTE

‘What Matters Now’: Empower Teachers, Reorganize Schools for Success

In a new report issued August 10, the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) calls for reorganizing schools to better cultivate deep learning for all students. The report, What Matters Now: A New Compact for Teaching and Learning, lays out an ambitious vision for educator-driven improvements buttressed by a coordinated system of policy and community supports.

Last Call for AACTE Dissertation Award Applications

Time is running out to apply for AACTE’s 2017 Outstanding Dissertation Award! Entries must be made online by Tuesday, August 16. Help AACTE showcase outstanding doctoral research at your institution by encouraging your top recent graduates (or recent hires!) to apply for this prestigious award, which includes a $1,000 cash prize.

The Committee on Research and Dissemination will review submissions this fall, and applicants will learn of their status in November (although the announcement of the winner is embargoed until February). The winner then will join other award recipients for special recognition at AACTE’s 69th Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida, March 2-4, 2017.

International Lessons for Developing Elementary Teachers

The latest report from the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) Center for International Education Benchmarking analyzes how four high-performing systems around the world develop elementary teachers with deep content and pedagogical understanding. An accompanying policy brief makes a case for employing these practices in order to strengthen primary education, setting students up for success in high school and beyond.

Sharon Robinson to Join NCEE Webcast for New Elementary Education Report

A new report on international approaches to developing elementary teachers will be released next week at a webcast event featuring AACTE President/CEO Sharon P. Robinson. Register at this link to tune in for the event, which will be held Tuesday, July 19, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. EDT.

The report, Not So Elementary: Primary School Teacher Quality in Top-Performing Education Systems, is authored by Australian researcher Ben Jensen on behalf of the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE). It looks at international practices in elementary teacher preparation and their effects on student achievement. Recommendations for U.S. policy and practice are included.

Register by August 15 for JUSTEC Seminar

Online registration is now open for the 28th annual seminar of the Japan-U.S. Teacher Education Consortium (JUSTEC), to be held November 4-7, 2016, at Japan’s Ehime University. An early-bird discount is in effect through August 15.

This year’s theme is “Collaborative Teacher Education With Local Communities,” with sessions that aim to explore regional rather than national solutions to local needs for educator preparation. The conference schedule includes an optional site visit to two local schools, a city tour, keynotes and seminar presentations from both U.S. and Japanese educators, networking and meal events, and more.

Study Tests Using Teacher Observation Data for Evaluation of EPPs

A new study finds that using observational ratings of beginning teachers may be a viable alternative—or a useful complement—to relying solely on controversial “value-added” modeling (VAM) in evaluation of educator preparation providers (EPPs).

An article about the study by Matthew Ronfeldt and Shanyce Campbell of the University of Michigan School of Education, published in the journal Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, is now available online.

In what the authors describe as the first study to investigate the use of teachers’ observational ratings to evaluate their preparation programs and institutions, the results are compelling.

“The demands for teacher preparation accountability continue to grow, from the proposed federal regulations to new accreditation standards,” said Ronfeldt, who was also the 2016 recipient of AACTE’s Outstanding Journal of Teacher Education Article Award. “We sorely need better ways to assess program quality. Although VAM makes an important contribution to our understanding of program outcomes, we likely need multiple measures to capture something as complex as preparation quality. We are excited to find that teacher observational ratings could be a viable supplement.”

Apply Now for 2017 AACTE Awards

UPDATE: Submission deadline for Best Practice and Professional Achievement Awards has been extended to October 26

Nominations for all of the 2017 AACTE awards are now open on AACTE’s online submission site. To read detailed submission information, please refer to the official Call for Entries.

Now in its 21st year, AACTE’s awards program recognizes member institutions’ exemplary programs as well as individuals who have made noteworthy contributions to education preparation. For an overview of last year’s winners, see this press release.

Call for Entries: 2017 AACTE Outstanding Book Award

AACTE is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Outstanding Book Award. Nominations must be made through our online submission system by June 14.

The Outstanding Book Award recognizes books that make a significant contribution to the knowledge base of educator preparation or of teaching and learning with implications for educator preparation. Last year’s winner was Etta Hollins’ Rethinking Field Experiences in Preservice Teacher Preparation: Meeting New Challenges for Accountability (Routledge), and the 2015 winner was Nel Noddings’ Education and Democracy in the 21st Century (Teachers College Press); check our online honor roll for other great recommendations for your summer reading list!

Last Call for AACTE Volunteer Leaders

Time is running out to apply for service on one of AACTE’s standing committees or run for a seat on the Board of Directors! Submit your application (or nominate a colleague) for a 3-year term by Monday, May 9.

Board of Directors

As noted by current Board Chair Jane Bray (Old Dominion University, VA), now is an exciting time to lead AACTE. “Our profession is truly at a tipping point, and the Board of Directors at AACTE is at the forefront of our profession,” she said. The Board’s agenda includes deliberations on the Association’s overall direction, its role in the changing accreditation system, strategic leveraging of resources, and much more. The current roster can be found here.

‘Forward-Looking Focus’ Inspires New Leaders at AACTE Academy

For new or prospective deans and department chairs, there’s no better place to get up to speed than AACTE’s Leadership Academy, June 26-30 in Portland, Oregon.

Have you ever puzzled over the relationship between a dean and a department chair? Struggled to organize an effective meeting or to get your message across to higher administration? Wondered how to approach persistent dilemmas or deal with difficult people? These are just some of the topics that past attendees say provided valuable lessons during the Leadership Academy.

“It was very beneficial to listen to others’ experiences and solutions to our similar challenges,” one participant wrote. “These ideas will help me be more efficient and celebrate faculty more.”

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