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Debunking Myths

Ready to Teach: Simultaneous Renewal in a Colorado PDS

A new video in AACTE’s Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series focuses on a thriving partnership in Colorado from the perspectives of novice teachers prepared in a professional development school model. This blog highlights one teacher’s experience and offers insights from his assistant principal about the program’s success.

The forward-thinking partnership between Colorado State University (CSU) and the local Poudre School District employs a professional development school (PDS) model to prepare teachers who are ready to teach on Day 1. Their classroom is the classroom: Instead of taking their classes off site at the university, prospective teachers receive their lessons and then put them into practice in the same school building—with real kids and under the tutelage of a real teacher. While the program’s elements are fairly typical, its particular success comes from each course’s clinical component and support from a robust professional community.

Minn. Teacher Says Prep. Program, edTPA Portfolio Helped Make First Year a Success

What a difference a year makes.

Last spring, Phil Munkvold was in his final months of college at Minnesota State University (MSU) Mankato, finishing his clinical experience and preparing his edTPA portfolio.

Thanks to a strong partnership between the MSU Mankato program and the school where Munkvold student taught, he was exposed to the edTPA process as well as the school’s staff and its students shortly after he moved to Minnesota from another state to continue his teacher preparation.

Ohio Ed Prep Providers Converge for Day on the Square

Do you think educator preparation programs are out of touch with today’s PK-12 schools? See what Ohio’s teacher educators are doing to engage with their partners in this video for AACTE’s Debunking Myths campaign. See how you can participate in the campaign here.

In early March, 60 representatives from Ohio public and private higher education institutions converged for Day on the Square to meet with state legislators, including Senate Education Committee Chair Peggy Lehner and House Education Committee Chair Bill Hayes. Conversations centered on current policies, legislation, and the direction of teacher education in Ohio, focused specifically on the theme “Merging Voice and Vision Through P-16 Partnerships.”

Strategic Deployment of Teacher Experience: Getting It Right for Students

News Flash! The interest of students and their opportunity to learn is not better or even well served by a strategy of constant and high demand of inexperienced teachers. Retention matters, not just to teachers but, most critically, to students.

Recent studies showing that teacher effectiveness continues to develop over time reinforce this imperative to do right by our students. First, in a working paper completed last year for the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research, researchers at Duke University found that middle school teachers’ effect on student test scores as well as attendance rates improves over at least several years. A subsequent study out of Brown University found improvement in teacher effectiveness is indeed steepest in the early years in the classroom but continues for many more years, challenging the common perception that teacher quality is a fixed characteristic after just a couple of years of experience.

Apples to Oranges: Comparing Student Performance Across Countries With Varied Socioeconomic Conditions

In the three decades since A Nation at Risk was released, the state of America’s education system relative to other countries’ has been a matter of heated debate. Along the way, public opinion has placed the onus for our schools’ perceived failure on teachers and their preparation, and education policy has echoed this assumption through an array of accountability measures for teachers and preparation programs.

One driver of the continued misconception about U.S. teacher quality is the highly publicized results of international large-scale education assessments (ILSAs) that suggest America’s students are performing far below other nations. At January’s press briefing for the report The Iceberg Effect, lead researcher and report author James Harvey explained that ILSAs have been misused and that the science behind them is highly questionable, akin to comparing apples to oranges.

Member Voices: Bring It On: Teacher Education Ready for Sensible Evaluation

This post originally appeared in Dean Feuer’s blog, “Feuer Consideration,” and is reposted with permission. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

The dean of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia recently wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post that was well meaning but misleading. It was surprising and disappointing to see a distinguished educator miss an opportunity to dispel conventional myths and clarify for the general public what is really going on in the world of teacher preparation and its evaluation.

For those who may have missed Robert Pianta’s short article, here is a summary and rebuttal.

Research Fellows: Data-Collection Challenges Hold Implications for Accountability Measures

Editor’s Note: AACTE’s two Research Fellowship teams will present a joint session at the Association’s Annual Meeting, Saturday, February 28, at 1:30 p.m. in Room A704 of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. This post provides background on the fellowship at the University of Southern Maine.

The recent release of proposed federal reporting requirements for educator preparation programs stirred up intense interest in the methods and metrics used to evaluate programs. As many people noted in their letters of comment to the U.S. Department of Education earlier this month, several of the proposed new measures are unprecedented and would require investment of significant time and money to collect, analyze, and report data on an annual basis.

Let’s Dispel Pervasive Teacher-Quality Myths

This post also appears in the Public School Insights blog of the Learning First Alliance.

It’s an insidious message embedded in the American psyche: Those who can’t, teach. For years, report after report has banged the drum for raising admission standards into teacher preparation programs, citing international comparisons and championing cost-prohibitive recruitment policies.

In reality, the talent pool now entering teacher preparation programs is rich. Our programs are, in fact, attracting their share of high achievers—defined by any number of criteria.

‘The Iceberg Effect’—Not Just About Asking Questions

Upon arriving at AACTE last month to begin our semester-long internship, we were whisked off to the National Press Club for a press briefing on The Iceberg Effect, based on the new studySchool Performance in Context: Indicators of School Inputs and Outputs in Nine Similar Nations. For three doctoral students who are dedicated to promoting social justice in and out of the classroom, this could not have been a more fitting introduction to our work at AACTE.

The report, released by the National Superintendents Roundtable and the Horace Mann Foundation, casts new light on U.S. students’ performance on international assessments, controlling for social and economic factors that have not been previously studied alongside student achievement on this scale. The results highlight the relatively strong academic achievement of America’s students in spite of our nation’s poor performance in providing supports to help offset the widespread social and economic effects of poverty.

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