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    AACTE Statement on Federal Award of 2014 Teacher Quality Partnership Grants

    AACTE is thrilled that the U.S. Department of Education last week announced the awarding of a new round of Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grants, the federal government’s only investment in reforming teacher preparation. With grants totaling more than $35 million to 24 partnerships in the first year alone, these awards will assist to recruit, train, and support more than 11,000 educators in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.

    AACTE is pleased by the administration’s recognition of the value of continued federal investment in higher education-based teacher preparation programs. Many AACTE member institutions have benefited from TQP funding since the program’s inception in 2009, and the new round of grants expands the reach to more institutions and their partner schools.

    PDK/Gallup Poll Shows Public Support for Quality Teacher Preparation

    AACTE Members Addressing Key Concerns Through Rigorous Programs, Partnerships, and Policy Initiatives

    AACTE member institutions across the country are leading rigorous and effective teacher preparation programs that echo the priorities of those surveyed in the 46th annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. The 2014 poll includes a special section released today on teacher preparation and evaluation.

    The first report on the 2014 poll, released last month, showed that Americans are skeptical of federal policy influences on public schools and of the Common Core State Standards and standardized tests. The newly released second report delves into specific ways respondents think teacher quality and schools should be improved.

    CAEP’s LaCelle-Peterson to Join AACTE’s Leadership Team July 1

    AACTE President/CEO Sharon P. Robinson announced Friday that Mark LaCelle-Peterson, senior vice president of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), will join AACTE’s staff as vice president for policy and programs July 1.

    “We are delighted to welcome Mark to AACTE,” Robinson said. “He knows the work of our membership very well, and we are eager to bring his expertise to the Association’s programs.”

    LaCelle-Peterson will provide strategic and operational leadership for AACTE’s Policy and Programs Department. The position is a member of the senior management team that is instrumental in developing and executing the overall strategic goals of the Association. Managing a team consisting of staff and consultants, LaCelle-Peterson will provide program and policy leadership and will develop high-level activities to showcase and support the work of the Association.

    Statement on NCTQ Teacher Prep Review

    Yesterday, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released its second annual Teacher Prep Review: A Review of the Nation’s Teacher Preparation Programs. Although parts of this report venture a conciliatory tone, as might be expected from NCTQ’s past reports, this review offers largely unhelpful recommendations that are based on questionable methodology.

    Public Shaming—Over a Document Review

    In an attempt to provide a consumer-friendly guide to teacher preparation programs, NCTQ has moved from rating institutions on a 4-star scale to ranking them numerically—a divisive tactic that mostly serves to pit institutions against one another. Notably, these rankings have as little to do with graduates’ readiness to teach as did last year’s star system.

    Nation’s Top Educators Prepared by Colleges of Education

    AACTE applauds the Council of Chief State School Officers’ 2014 National Teacher of the Year Sean McComb, the three additional finalists, and the colleges of education that helped prepare all of them for their highly successful careers.

    McComb, who is also the 2014 Maryland Teacher of the Year, teaches English at Patapsco High School & Center for the Arts in Baltimore. Additionally, he oversees the school’s Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) program. He completed his undergraduate and graduate preparation at the University of Pittsburgh, earning a bachelor’s degree English literature and master’s degree in English education.

    AACTE Launches ‘Innovation Exchange’ to Speed Pace of Change in Educator Preparation

    AACTE today announced the official launch of an initiative to support innovation in the professional community and speed the pace of change in university-based educator preparation. The Innovation Exchange will serve as a forum for AACTE members, partners, and other constituents to share experiences and findings as they work together to address the most urgent issues of student achievement, curriculum reform, and educator preparation program advancement.

    Through this national initiative, AACTE will seek to strengthen educator preparation, demonstrate the necessity and effectiveness of educator preparation, and enhance members’ opportunities to collaborate on key issues.

    New Partnership to Broaden Inclusion of LGBT Awareness in Teacher Preparation

    AACTE, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) have announced a partnership to support teacher preparation programs in including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues in their curriculum.

    Research suggests that positive, supportive, and inclusive classroom environments lead to better academic and psychosocial outcomes for students. While some teacher preparation programs incorporate LGBT-inclusive content and awareness into their curriculum, there has been no deliberate, comprehensive effort to expand the practice throughout the profession.

    Announcing AACTE’s 2014 Award Winners

    AACTE Awards, Recognizing ExcellenceAACTE is delighted to announce the winners of our 2014 awards!

    The following awards will be presented during the Welcoming Session (March 1) and the Speaker Spotlight Session (March 3) at AACTE’s Annual Meeting in Indianapolis:

    • Outstanding Dissertation Award: Empathic Interaction: White Female Teachers and Their Black Male Students, by Chezare A. Warren (University of Illinois at Chicago; Steven E. Tozer, adviser)

    AACTE Issues Statement on New NCTQ Classroom Management Report

    As AACTE’s Mary Harrill-McClellan alerted members last week, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released its latest critique of university-based teacher preparation today, Training Our Future Teachers: Classroom Management.

    The report follows the standard NCTQ model of using a review of course materials from a small sample of programs to support the broad claim that the teacher preparation profession is not getting the job done.

    AACTE issued a statement citing specific concerns with the report, including mainly that the report does not actually tell us whether programs are adequately preparing teacher candidates to manage classrooms. Other concerns noted in the statement are that the report contains no evidence to support the sweeping claims about “the field” of teacher preparation and that the assertions that edTPA does not focus on classroom management skills are incorrect.

    2012 PISA Results Highlight Inequities, International Lessons

    PISA 2012 ResultsToday, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released results from the 2012 administration of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), a worldwide study of 15-year-old students’ performance on mathematics, science, and reading. American students’ performance remained largely unchanged from the previous PISA administration in 2009, although the U.S. ranking declined relative to other countries that improved over the past 3 years.

    AACTE signed on to a statement of the Learning First Alliance about the results and also issued its own call for policy makers to look closely at the test’s lessons, along with the recommendations made by the OECD in its report Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education: Lessons From PISA 2012 for the United States as well as in the 2011 edition of the report, which focuses more on teacher preparation.

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