• AACTE 70th Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD

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Zachary VanHouten

Manager of Programs and Advocacy, AACTE

NCTQ Translates Review Into ‘Consumer Guide’ for Prospective Teachers

In an apparent attempt to expand its reach beyond that provided by the partnership with U.S. News & World Report, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) today unveiled a new interactive web site aimed at helping prospective teachers select a preparation program based on the ratings developed in NCTQ’s Teacher Prep Review.

The new web site, Path to Teach, translates the standards used in NCTQ’s Review into an at-a-glance scorecard for programs throughout the country.

NCTQ Solicits School Districts to Partner on Student Teaching Agreements

In its latest effort to debase educator preparation programs, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) is reaching out to PK-12 school districts to develop an “Honors Student Teaching” program in partnership with NCTQ. The effort seeks to replace existing student teaching commitments the districts may have with their local institutions of higher education (IHEs) over the course of 2-3 years. See this document for the details of the proposal.

A recent NPR story quoted NCTQ President Kate Walsh as saying, “It’s time for school districts to be much more insistent on what the qualifications are of teachers who enter and try to get a new job with them.” The new partnership proposal demonstrates that NCTQ intends to take charge of defining those qualifications. The proposal offers districts a set of complimentary services that include developing the knowledge and skills requirements for teacher candidate selection, as well as identifying local teacher preparation programs that would best meet the needs of the district—presumably using NCTQ’s Teacher Prep Review as a guide.

As Open-Records Requests Continue, NCTQ ‘Thrilled’ With Proposed Changes to State Laws

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) continues its data collection efforts for the planned 2016 edition of its Teacher Prep Review. As part of this pursuit, NCTQ is once again utilizing state open-records requests for information from public institutions that have chosen not to comply with NCTQ’s information requests—and at least one state is considering a change to open-records law.

The subject of lawsuits from NCTQ in Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin, several institutions around the country asserted that course syllabi are the intellectual property of their faculty and therefore covered by copyright law – protecting them from NCTQ’s open-records requests.

Looking Ahead to 2016, NCTQ Continues Data Collection Efforts

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) has re-engaged its data collection efforts in preparation for its 2016 Teacher Prep Review—scheduled for an October 2016 release. In an e-mail message to programs throughout the country, NCTQ has sent both an overview of the changes for the 2016 review and an itemized data request for each program, requesting that institutions notify NCTQ if they plan to comply with the request by April 20.

USED Offers Insight, Guidance on TQP Grants

Attendees of the 67th AACTE Annual Meeting in Atlanta were offered an opportunity to meet with a U.S. Department of Education official to discuss the Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grants and how they may explore applying for them in the future.

In a concurrent session presentation, Mia Howerton of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Innovation and Improvement provided attendees with an overview of the TQP grants and what the profile of a successful grantee applicant typically looks like. With the TQP program now in its third grant cycle, Howerton reviewed the successes and challenges of the program and shared its lessons with audience members.

Panel: Proposed Federal Regulations Could Have Negative Impact on Teacher Diversity

On Tuesday, January 27, the American Federation of Teachers and Howard University (DC) convened a panel at the National Press Club to discuss the potential impact of the proposed federal teacher preparation regulations on minority-serving institutions (MSIs) and their teacher pipelines. AACTE President/CEO Sharon P. Robinson was among the panelists who shared their concerns and urged the U.S. Department of Education to withdraw the regulations.

Third Way Report on TEACH Grants Comes Up Short

A recent report by the think tank Third Way claims that the federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grant program is failing to meet its aims, instead burdening nearly 40% of recipients to date with converted unsubsidized loans after they failed to complete all program requirements.

The report calls for changes to the program, either through “short-term fixes” such as reducing reporting requirements and limiting grant use to “high-performing” programs (as proposed in the new federal regulations for teacher preparation programs) or, preferably, in a thorough overhaul that streamlines all federal assistance for teachers into a simple loan-forgiveness program.

NCTQ Reignites Document-Collection Efforts, Now Through PK-12 Partners

As the National Council on Teaching Quality (NCTQ) steps up its document collection by communicating directly with teacher preparation programs’ PK-12 partners, AACTE encourages programs to reach out to their partner schools to raise awareness and build mutual understanding around the requests, including connecting legal counsel from both parties if appropriate.

Innovation at Rutgers: Preparing Effective Physics Teachers

The Innovations Inventory of AACTE’s Innovation Exchange is an online database highlighting members’ pioneering practices in educator preparation that have shown a positive impact on issues of student learning, preparation program advancement, or educator workforce needs. This blog post is one in a series highlighting entries from the inventory. To request inclusion of your institution’s innovations, contact Zach VanHouten at zvanhouten@aacte.org.  

Rutgers University (NJ) is making a big impact on physics education through an innovative program housed in the Graduate School of Education.

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