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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).

AACTE Applauds Committee Passage of Every Child Achieves Act

AACTE applauds the leadership of U.S. Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) on the unanimous, bipartisan passage of the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 (ECA). AACTE is pleased with the committee’s progress on the long overdue reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

The bill moves away from the "test and punish" strategy that evolved from the implementation of the current version of ESEA, known as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. While the bill retains the requirement for annual assessments disaggregated by subgroups, it leaves states, schools, teachers, and parents to determine what to do about the results of those assessments. AACTE believes students would benefit from stronger accountability for subgroup results, but overall, the bill makes important bipartisan progress toward fixing a broken law.

AACTE Board of Directors Resolution on CAEP

On February 26, the AACTE Board of Directors unanimously passed the following resolution regarding the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP):

“The Board of Directors of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) reiterates its support for a single, unified professional accreditation system for educator preparation programs.  Further, AACTE is committed to the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). However, the AACTE Board also reiterates its ongoing, significant concern about the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and asserts that there is a ‘crisis of confidence’ with respect to CAEP. Specific concerns are related to the accreditation standards, process for accreditation, costs associated with accreditation, the capacity of CAEP to implement the accreditation system and the representativeness of the CAEP governance structure.”

Pamela Grossman Picked for 2015 Pomeroy Award

AACTE has selected Pamela Grossman, dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania, to receive the 2015 AACTE Edward C. Pomeroy Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education. The award will be presented at the 67th AACTE Annual Meeting Welcoming Session, Friday, February 27, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

The Pomeroy Award, named for longtime AACTE Executive Director Edward C. Pomeroy, recognizes distinguished service either to the educator preparation community or to the development and promotion of outstanding practices in educator preparation at the collegiate, state, or national level.

2015 Imig Award to Honor CEEDAR Founders

AACTE has selected special education scholars Mary Brownell and Paul Sindelar of the University of Florida to receive the 2015 AACTE David G. Imig Award for Distinguished Achievement in Teacher Education. The award will be presented at the 67th AACTE Annual Meeting Speaker Spotlight Session, Sunday, March 1, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

The Imig Award, named for AACTE President Emeritus David G. Imig, recognizes distinguished achievement in the formulation, implementation, or analysis of teacher education policy, or in the performance of distinguished scholarship in educator preparation.

Kansas State Chosen for AACTE Global Award

AACTE has selected Kansas State University’s College of Education to receive the 2015 AACTE Best Practice Award in Support of Global and International Teacher Education. The award will be presented at the 67th AACTE Annual Meeting Welcoming Session, Friday, February 27, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

A model for global diversity education throughout the institution, K-State will be honored in particular for its Teaching English as a Second Language “Go Teacher” program, an award-winning, multifaceted program of professional education for practicing Ecuadorian teachers.

TCU to Win Multicultural Best Practice Award

AACTE’s Committee on Global Diversity has selected Texas Christian University’s College of Education to receive the 2015 AACTE Best Practice Award in Support of Multicultural Education and Diversity. The award will be presented at the 67th AACTE Annual Meeting Speaker Spotlight Session, Sunday, March 1, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

The university’s robust Early Childhood Through Grade 6 Program (EC-6) is the particular target of AACTE’s award, with a focus on diversity broadly conceived. Students in this program–who predominantly come from middle-high socioeconomic, monolingual backgrounds and initially expect to teach in schools with similar demographics–develop knowledge, skills, and values to effectively work in high-need settings by serving as a bridge between home and school while academically challenging all children for success.

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