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Etta Hollins to Win AACTE Award for Book on Preservice Field Experiences

AACTE has chosen Rethinking Field Experiences in Preservice Teacher Preparation: Meeting New Challenges for Accountability, edited by Etta Hollins of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, to receive the 2016 AACTE Outstanding Book Award. The award will be presented at the 68th AACTE Annual Meeting Welcoming Session, Tuesday, February 23, at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas.

Published by Routledge in 2015, this edited volume offers a robust set of perspectives on critical and challenging elements of teacher preparation—how field experiences are designed to support preservice teachers while they are learning to teach. Chapters are organized into three sections focusing on “approximation and representation of practice,” “learning teaching situated in context,” and performance assessment and program improvement. The book provides a collection of models of field experiences across a variety of teacher preparation contexts and deeply examines how the experiences are theorized, designed, and implemented for preservice teacher learning.

Loyola Marymount Selected for Multicultural Best Practice Award

AACTE has selected the Loyola Marymount University School of Education (CA) to receive the 2016 AACTE Best Practice Award in Support of Multicultural Education and Diversity. The award will be presented at the 68th AACTE Annual Meeting Welcoming Session, Tuesday, February 23, at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas.

All of the education programs at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) are grounded in principles such as the promotion of social justice, cultural responsiveness, inclusion, value and respect for all individuals, and leadership that is moral, intellectual, responsible, and caring. Their effectiveness is evident in the conceptual framework, curriculum, commitment of faculty and staff, and the culturally and linguistically diverse teacher candidates and students throughout the programs.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln to Win AACTE Award for Tech EDGE

AACTE’s Committee on Innovation and Technology has selected the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) to receive the 2016 AACTE Best Practice Award for the Innovative Use of Technology for Tech EDGE, a collaborative partnership between UNL and eight PK-12 partner school districts. The award will be presented during the Speaker Spotlight Session on Thursday, February 25, at the AACTE Annual Meeting in Las Vegas.

Tech EDGE infuses best practices in technology integration centering on the ideas of technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK). The partnership is dedicated to preparing preservice teachers with research and theory in university courses and practical applications in schools. As 21st-century skills are adopted locally and across the nation, it is critical that teacher preparation programs and schools work together to determine how to best teach the skills that are necessary in a diverse, global, and digital world.

Indiana’s ‘Global Gateway for Teachers’ to Be Recognized With AACTE Best Practice Award

AACTE has selected the Global Gateway for Teachers, offered through the School of Education at Indiana University (Bloomington), to receive the 2016 AACTE Best Practice Award in Support of Global and International Perspectives. The award will be presented at the 68th AACTE Annual Meeting Welcoming Session, Tuesday, February 23, at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas.

The Gateway program, in existence in various forms for over 40 years, aims to enhance and engage the professional preparation of future educators by offering them experiences in schools, homes, and communities of culturally and linguistic diverse groups in 18 countries and in domestic placements on Navajo reservations and in urban Chicago. Participants are engaged in 18 weeks of student teaching abroad as well as domestically where they immerse themselves in the language, the culture, and the educational system of that nation or community.

The program is directed by Laura L. Stachowski and enjoys strong support from the School of Education’s administration, including Dean Emeritus Gerardo Gonzalez and Interim Dean Terrence Mason.

ESEA Reauthorization Wins Mixed Praise

On December 10, President Obama signed into law the latest reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act—now titled the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The long-overdue reauthorization is being heralded as the end of the heavy-handed No Child Left Behind era, returning much of the authority to states and local agencies to oversee PK-12 education. But like any law of such great scope, this one has plenty of contentious content, and education organizations are offering decidedly mixed reviews.

In its statement on the passage of ESSA, the Coalition for Teaching Quality (of which AACTE is a founding member) said, “While the Coalition appreciates ESSA’s efforts to strengthen the capacity of states and districts to improve teacher quality, the bill unfortunately reflects a significant step back for many of our nation’s neediest students by eliminating a meaningful minimum entry standard for teachers and the need for states and districts to correct ongoing inequities in access to high-quality teachers.”

Christopher Koch Named CAEP President

AACTE congratulates Christopher A. Koch on his new appointment as president of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), announced today. He will oversee the national effort to implement an evidence-based accreditation system that aims to improve teacher quality and strengthen PK-12 learning.

“Chris is an ideal leader for CAEP,” said AACTE President/CEO Sharon P. Robinson. “He has experience partnering with teacher educators to meet the educational needs of diverse student populations. His dedication to service and the teaching profession is deep and profound, and his commitment to collaboration is evident. He has earned high regard as a trusted collaborator for the essential function of program accreditation.”

PDK/Gallup Poll: U.S. Public Values Teacher Quality, Opposes High-Stakes Testing, Split on Opting Out

AACTE’s more than 800 member institutions are dedicated to high-quality preparation that ensures the effectiveness, diversity, and readiness of professional educators, supporting the priorities of the American public surveyed in the 47th annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. The recently released 2015 poll included questions on teacher quality and evaluation, standards, testing, and more, and a new online polling format captured selected demographic information, allowing for more disaggregated responses than past surveys.

The survey shows that 95% of Americans consider the quality of teachers to be very important and an integral factor for improving public schools. As in past years, an overwhelming majority of the U.S. public also is pleased with the performance of their local schools. Testing is viewed less favorably, though, including for teacher accountability purposes; 55% of Americans and 61% of public school parents oppose using student scores on standardized tests as part of teacher evaluations. Respondents also are skeptical of federal policy influences on public schools and of the Common Core State Standards.

AACTE Holmes Scholars Program to Expand Support of Diverse Students

William Paterson University of New Jersey to Pilot Expansion to Undergraduate, Master’s Students

AACTE is expanding the AACTE Holmes Scholars® doctoral-level program to also support underrepresented students at earlier stages of their education careers. Beginning this fall, William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey, will pilot the new programs for undergraduates and master’s-level students to help diversify the education workforce.

Currently, participation in the Holmes Scholars Program is open to all AACTE member institutions with doctoral programs in education. The newly expanded Holmes Program will reach high school students through the Holmes Cadets Program, undergraduates through the Holmes Honors Program, and master’s-level students through the Holmes Master’s Program. The peer network will continue to feature prominently across all levels, with doctoral Holmes Scholars mentoring Master’s and Honors students just as the scholars benefit from mentoring through the alumni network.

AACTE Issues Statement on GAO Report on Department of Education’s Role in Teacher Preparation Program Accountability

Last week, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report examining the roles of both the states and the U.S. Department of Education in identifying low-performing teacher preparation programs as well as in information sharing amongst stakeholders. AACTE and some of its members participated in this study, which took over a year for GAO to complete. In response to the report, AACTE issued the following statement, which received press coverage by Politico’s subscription service. Please send questions to dkoolbeck@aacte.org.

(July 24, 2015, Washington, DC) — AACTE and its over 820 member institutions stand firmly behind the reforms and innovations that are currently under way in teacher preparation programs across this nation, and we welcome the opportunity to be held accountable for our work. We support identifying low-performing programs, giving them time and resources to improve, and closing those programs that do not accomplish the necessary reforms. Unfortunately, states and the U.S. Department of Education have faced challenges in complying with the law requiring them to identify such programs, according to a report released yesterday by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

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