Author Archive

    Zachary VanHouten

    Manager of Programs and Advocacy, AACTE

    Learn About AACTE’s New Advocacy Center, Action Alerts

    This month, AACTE launched our new Advocacy Center – designed to provide users with the resources and timely information needed to be effective advocates at a state and federal level. Featuring a comprehensive set of new digital resources (with more on the way!), as well as a new AACTE Action Alert system, there is plenty to get engaged with now.

    Please join us for a webinar Thursday, November 17, at 3:00 p.m. EST as we walk you through the Advocacy Center’s resources and the simple sign-up process for the new Action Alerts. The webinar will feature ample time for Q&A, and a recording will be made available in AACTE’s Resource Library for later viewing.

    Sign up for the webinar here.

    4 Institutions Win New TQP Grants for Serving Rural Communities

    Congratulations to the four newest recipients of federal Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grants! Coppin State University (MD), North Carolina A&T State University, the University of New Hampshire, and the University of West Alabama will share more than $5 million to improve the preparation of teachers through partnerships with 13 high-need, rural school districts.

    The U.S. Department of Education yesterday announced the new 5-year grants, which will be divided among two partnerships with a prebaccalaureate preparation model and two others with residency-based models:

    NCTQ–Brookings Report Offers Gloomy Outlook on Teacher Diversity

    A new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) and the Brookings Institution explores the teacher diversity shortages that persist throughout the United States. To illustrate the current imbalance between teacher and student demographics, the report notes that in order to reach uniformity between the two populations, some 1 million White teachers currently in the profession would need to be replaced with approximately 300,000 African American teachers and over 600,000 Hispanic teachers.

    Pointing to problems that exist throughout the teacher pipeline, the authors predict that resolving the imbalance in teacher demographics will continue to be challenging. As the nation’s diversity continues to grow, so too will the pressure and struggle to address teacher workforce diversity, they say, requiring a long-term approach to improving it.

    July Webinars to Offer Updates, Forecast of Federal Activity

    Join AACTE Director of Government Relations Deborah Koolbeck for a members-only webinar July 19 or 20 to explore the latest developments in federal policy and what to expect in the weeks and months ahead.

    With the national party conventions just around the corner, Congress is scrambling to finish up necessary work before departing Washington until the fall. A critical focus for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations is moving its 12 funding bills through the committee before recess—including the “Labor-H” bill, which funds many programs of interest to AACTE members. This month’s webinars will discuss the fate of these bills and other priorities that unfolded in the final days before the congressional recess.

    NCTQ Criticizes Preschool Teacher Prep in New Report

    Last week the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released a new report offering the council’s assessment of how well teacher preparation programs are preparing preschool educators. Again relying on course descriptions and syllabi for its evidence, NCTQ paints a predictably bleak picture, saying the “review of these programs shows little evidence of quality training focused on the needs of the preschool classroom.”

    For this report, NCTQ reviewed 100 programs in 29 states and chose not to identify which programs were included in the review. Accompanying the report is a set of resources that include policy recommendations for states and school districts, outlining what NCTQ calls “essentials for a great preschool teacher prep program,” and a guide for would-be teachers, outlining what NCTQ believes they should look for in a teacher prep program.

    Coalition for Teaching Quality Releases Papers on Educator Pipeline; Features TQP Residency Graduate

    Last week the Coalition for Teaching Quality (CTQ) held a congressional briefing, “Strengthening Educator Recruitment, Development, and Support Through ESSA Implementation,” hosted by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Glenn Thompson (R-PA). At the briefing, CTQ released a series of new policy papers for supporting the educator pipeline and held a panel discussion that examined ways that the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) can support states and districts in improving the pipeline.

    The briefing featured a former teacher residency student, Alexander Diaz from the Newark Montclair Urban Teacher Residency (NMUTR) Program, a federal Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grantee. Stressing the importance of the residency experience in the NMUTR program, Diaz said the program prepared him thoroughly, requiring students to apply their learning under the supervision of a master teacher.

    New Standards Released to Guide High School Students on Path to Teaching

    New standards developed by Educators Rising to “define what high school students exploring teaching need to know and be able to do to take their first steps on the path to accomplished teaching” were released last week during a launch event at the National Education Association headquarters in Washington, DC.

    Educators Rising, launched in August 2015 and powered by PDK International, sought feedback from a variety of community stakeholders before releasing the final standards that aim to embolden the “grow-your-own-teacher” movement emerging in communities and states throughout the country. The standards address understanding the profession, developing strategic relationships and content for students, planning and implementing instruction to meet students’ needs, and using assessments and reflection constructively.

    AACTE Day on the Hill to Offer Expanded Orientation, Ample Opportunities for Advocacy

    AACTE’s Day on the Hill is just around the corner, offering plenty of opportunities for members to improve and apply their advocacy skills during our 2016 Washington Week. Please join us June 7-8 in the nation’s capital!

    For the first time ever, the Day on the Hill orientation will feature a full day of activities designed to increase your advocacy capacity both in Washington, DC, and at home. Together with other AACTE members from around the country, you will learn how the Association collaborates with colleague organizations in Washington to drive the narrative on teacher preparation, hear from reporters with national news outlets about how to cultivate your relationship with the media, and develop strategies to build and grow relationships back home with district office congressional staff.

    Members-Only Federal Update Webinars May 24, 25

    Join AACTE Government Relations Director Deborah Koolbeck for an update on the latest developments in Washington, DC, at one of two free webinars this month exclusively for AACTE members.

    Learn about the state of the appropriations process, action on the proposed regulations on teacher preparation programs, ESSA implementation, and movement on other important legislation.

    The webinars will be offered on separate dates and at two times of day to accommodate different time zones. A recording will be made available after the events on AACTE’s Resource Library in case you’re unable to attend either session. Click on your preferred session below to register:

    Tuesday, May 24, 5:00 – 6:00 PM EDT
    Wednesday, May 25, 10:00 – 11:00 AM EDT

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