• AACTE 70th Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD

Author Archive

Rodrick Lucero

Vice President for Member Engagement and Support

Webinar Explores Effective Global Practices in Teacher Recruitment, Preparation

Last week, I was honored to participate in a webinar discussing Empowered Educators, an international comparative study of teacher and teaching quality in the world’s top-performing education systems. Hosted by the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE), whose Center on International Education Benchmarking sponsored the study, this event featured members of the research team discussing specific lessons for the recruitment and preparation of profession-ready teachers.

Lead researcher Linda Darling-Hammond (of the Learning Policy Institute and Stanford University) was joined by NCEE President and CEO Marc Tucker for an introduction of the study. Other researchers on this webinar were Finnish researcher Pasi Sahlberg, who helped lead the Empowered Educators case study on Finland, and A. Lin Goodwin of Teachers College, Columbia University (NY), who worked on the Singapore branch of the study. I served as a discussant, as did Mary Sandy, executive director of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Teaching Workforce Still Mostly White and Female; More Diversity Supports Needed

Last week, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released initial data from the 2015-2016 National Teacher and Principal Survey, providing the latest nationwide snapshot of the characteristics of public school teachers. (Results of the school-level survey are being released today, and principal-level data are available here.) The “First Look” report on the teacher survey (download PDF here) shows the education workforce has grown slightly more female (77% compared to 76%) and slightly less White (80% compared to 82%) than it was 4 years ago – although NCES cautions that comparisons are somewhat imprecise because some of the questions were worded differently or drew on different sources than in the former Schools and Staffing Survey, on which the new survey is based.

A recent article in Education Week highlights key data and comparisons between this survey and the last, noting that the education profession has made some advancements in diversifying the teaching workforce. However, these modest gains may be more conditional than intentional, and the survey spotlights continued trouble spots such as low pay and uneven assignment of teacher expertise. What this article says to me is that we must continue to work every day to make teaching a worthy career option, valued for its contributions to the democratic fabric of our society – especially among the most underrepresented demographics. As a profession, we have an ongoing imperative to attract highly motivated, diverse, innovative, smart educators into the profession and support them with programs rich in the pedagogy and content that will serve the nation’s young people well into the future.

AACTE Self-Study to Drive Improvements for Members

The AACTE team has embarked on a new adventure and we can’t wait to share it with you!

This undertaking is engaging all of us in a significant self-study – not unlike what you do on your campuses for quality assurance and continuous improvement – using an improvement science model. Over the next few months, the team will conduct a deep audit of our operations, looking at internal protocols and processes along with membership structures, programs and services, and resources. AACTE is working with the rpk GROUP consulting firm to assist us with this project. This internal work is simultaneous with a comprehensive member survey that is being released next month. These concurrent efforts will empower AACTE as it anticipates its 70th anniversary in 2018.

Research-to-Practice Spotlight Turns to RISE at St. John’s University

I am thrilled to introduce the St. John’s University (NY) School of Education as the next featured institution in the AACTE Research-to-Practice Spotlight series. In this latest focus on exemplary models of clinical practice, we highlight the work of the Residential Internship for St. John’s Educators (RISE) program in Queens, New York. This partnership with surrounding school districts aims to develop the very best teachers for local classrooms, a mission to which both the university and the school district are committed.

The first video in the series is now posted in the Innovation Exchange, introducing the RISE program’s yearlong internships and focusing on the importance of relationship-building and a shared professional community. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing additional videos and blog summaries to highlight what AACTE staff learned during our visit to the St. John’s campus and partner sites.

Clinical Practice Commission Shares Proclamations, Tenets at AACTE Forum

On the last day of the 69th AACTE Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida, the AACTE Clinical Practice Commission (CPC) held a major forum to unveil and discuss the 10 “Essential Proclamations and Tenets for Highly Effective Clinical Educator Preparation” identified in the CPC’s work. These proclamations and tenets, which undergird a forthcoming white paper, were released during the forum as part of a draft executive summary of the paper.

The event started with a panel presentation and discussion moderated by CPC member Jennifer Robinson, executive director of the Center of Pedagogy and associate professor at Montclair State University (NJ). Panelists included Michael Alfano, Central Connecticut State University; Diane Fogarty, Loyola Marymount University (CA); John Henning, Monmouth University (NJ); Rene Roselle, University of Connecticut; Jennifer Roth, Poudre School District (Fort Collins, CO); and Christine Smith, University at Albany, State University of New York.

Free Mentoring Support Available Through U.S. Dept. of Ed.

The U.S. Department of Education Office of Innovation and Improvement is offering free mentoring services for educator preparation programs to help design, implement, and improve teacher and principal development initiatives. State education agencies, school districts, and other organizations that are actively working to improve teacher and principal preparation or development are also encouraged to participate.

The services will be provided by nonprofit organizations that have received federal Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grants and that are experienced in implementing educator preparation and professional development initiatives.

New Research-to-Practice Spotlight Features PDS Model at George Mason University

It is my pleasure to introduce the George Mason University (VA) College of Education and Human Development as the next featured institution in the AACTE Research-to-Practice Spotlight series. Continuing our focus on exemplary models of clinical practice, this series highlights the long-standing professional development school (PDS) partnership cultivated by George Mason and schools in Fairfax County, Virginia. Mason is the state’s largest producer of PK-12 teachers and largest comprehensive research university.

Expanding AACTE’s Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series

innovations exchange logo

It’s been a busy fall of traveling for the AACTE Member Engagement and Support team as we’ve been visiting campuses to document exemplary clinical partnerships and practices for our online Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series, part of the AACTE Innovation Exchange.

This fall, we’ve been filming at St. John’s University (NY); the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; and California State University, Long Beach. We are also busy scheduling visits with State University of New York at Oswego and Butler University (IN) for spring 2017. At each location, we’ve met with deans, professors, teacher candidates, school district principals, teachers, and PK-12 students to see firsthand how a variety of programs are developing and sustaining successful clinical partnerships. The video production company “Ideas That Breathe” has been a valuable partner for filming, editing, and producing a compelling series from each site we visit. Each series is then segmented into episodes for posting on the Innovation Exchange and highlighting in the Ed Prep Matters blog.

Dec. 8 Webinar to Highlight Financial Challenges, Solutions for New Educators

Is your educator preparation program doing enough to equip students to manage their finances when they enter the workforce? Money concerns often influence students’ career choices as well as whether a new employee will stay in the profession. As the country grapples with ongoing teacher shortages and declining teacher preparation enrollments, an important part of the solution is helping prospective educators address the particular financial challenges they’ll face.

To assist programs in meeting this goal, AACTE is partnering with The Horace Mann Companies on a series of webinars for teacher educators. The first webinar, “New Educator Financial Wellness: Challenges and Solutions,” will be held Thursday, December 8, at 11:00 a.m. EST.

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