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ESEA Reauthorization Bill Released

Today, the Conference Report for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was released, manifesting a compromise recently struck between members of the education committees of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. The bill, now known as the “Every Student Succeeds Act,” is expected to be voted on by the House this week, followed by the Senate next week. Should both bodies pass this measure, it will be sent to President Obama for his signature.

Of particular interest for AACTE members is Title II: Preparing, Training, and Recruiting High-Quality Teachers, Principals, or other School Leaders, which spans about 100 of the 1,061-page bill (pp. 298-408). One change is to the formula grants to states, which would phase in the following allotment: 80% based on the population of students in poverty in the state and 20% based on the overall student population.

Conference Committee Advances ESEA Reauthorization

On Thursday, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization process advanced a step as members of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce and the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions reached agreement on a conference report. This report represents a compromise between the House-passed Student Success Act (H.R. 5) and the Senate-passed Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 (S. 1177).

Need Support for Congressional Meetings on Teacher Prep Regs? We’ve Got You Covered

Last month, AACTE Director of Government Relations Deborah Koolbeck offered an update webinar on the proposed teacher preparation regulations, complete with tips and strategies for how best to discuss your concerns with congressional offices. As noted in the webinar, it is vital that the voice of teacher preparation—and most importantly, of your own programs—remain at the forefront of policy conversations on the proposed regulations.

As you continue meeting with your congressional offices, please feel free to consult the related resources AACTE has developed, all available in AACTE’s Resource Library (please note they are for members only, requiring login):

PK-12 Student Overtesting Acknowledged by U.S. Department of Education: Big Changes for Teacher Preparation Program Regulations?

On Saturday, October 24, the U.S. Department of Education released a fact sheet on the Department’s Testing Action Plan in recognition of the vast amount of testing our nation’s PK-12 students undergo. This plan was released concurrently with a report from the Council of Great City Schools that examines student testing via an inventory and preliminary analysis.

The proposed teacher preparation program regulations, still expected to be finalized in December, are included in the Department’s plan:

Update on Proposed Federal Regulations

Please join me for a free webinar next week for AACTE members to discuss these issues: Monday, October 26, at 11:00 a.m. EDT or Tuesday, October 27, at 5:00 p.m. EDT.

On September 16, the U.S. Department of Education transmitted its draft of its final rule (which is not publicly available) for the teacher preparation program regulations to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The next step in this process is that OMB will review the draft and work with the Department to craft the final rule. The final rule then will be released by OMB.

At this point in time, OMB will take meetings with stakeholders only on the proposal as drafted in December 2014. AACTE organized a group of 10-12 higher education and PK-12 national associations and met with OMB on October 7, 2015, to express our concerns as a profession with the proposed regulations, in particular focusing on the cost and burden of implementation.

Shifting Political Landscapes: Retirements & Resignations – What Do They Mean for Teacher Preparation?

The fall is ushering in more than a change in the weather in Washington this year. Multiple unpredicted changes in leadership have D.C. buzzing about what it all means.

  • U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) resigned from Congress as of October 30, 2015.
  • U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan resigned as of December 2015.
  • Chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce Rep. John Kline (R-MN) will not seek re-election next year.

Here They Come: Proposed Federal Regulations for Teacher Preparation Programs

The U.S. Department of Education is moving on finalizing the proposed federal regulations for all 25,000 teacher preparation programs across the country. Given some questions and misinformation I have received since the comment period closed, I want to clarify a key piece of information:

As drafted and released in December 2014, these proposed regulations would apply to each individual teacher preparation program at your institution regardless of whether you offer TEACH grants.

Recording, Slides Available From Webinar on Proposed Federal Regulations, Advocacy Roles

Did you miss AACTE’s recent webinar on the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed regulations for teacher preparation programs? Don’t worry: Members can find a recording of the webinar here along with the PowerPoint slides (updated based on questions from participants!).

If you have any questions about how you can engage in advocacy around the regulations or other matters, please contact me at dkoolbeck@aacte.org.

Webinars to Update Members on Proposed Federal Regulations, Advocacy Roles

The U.S. Department of Education has stated that the final regulations for teacher preparation programs will be released this fall. Please join me for an update at a free webinar at 11:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, August 12, or 4:30 p.m. EDT on Thursday, August 13. These webinars are for AACTE members only and are free of charge.

During the webinars, I will update you on the interplay of the proposed regulations with the recent work of Congress to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as well as the pending work to reauthorize the Higher Education Act.

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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