On October 20, a coalition of higher education, PK-12, and state-level organizations released a statement citing concerns about the final teacher preparation program regulations released last week by the U.S. Department of Education. AACTE is one of nearly 30 organizations signing on to the statement.
Among these organizations’ concerns about the new rule are that it will decrease the likelihood of every student having access to a fully prepared teacher, disadvantage programs serving the communities that most need well-prepared teachers, and impede progress toward increasing the diversity of the teaching profession.
On October 12, the U.S. Department of Education released the final version of its teacher preparation regulations. AACTE will offer two webinars next week to discuss the regulations and discuss what implications they are likely to have for the profession.
Join AACTE’s Director of Government Relations, Deborah Koolbeck, at one of two times:
(October 12, 2016, Washington, DC) – Today, the U.S. Department of Education released its final rule on the regulations for each of our nation’s 26,000 teacher preparation programs. The official version will be published in the Federal Register by the end of the month, and the Department is expected to release guidance in the coming weeks as well. AACTE is carefully analyzing the new rule and urges members and stakeholders to do the same to determine its potential impact on the profession.
NOTE: This webinar has been postponed until further notice.
The U.S. Department of Education released guidance (see PDF) for the implementation of Title II of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in late September. I’ll discuss the guidance and its implications in a free webinar for AACTE members October 25 at 4:00 p.m. EDT.
As you might recall, Title II of the new law is focused on recruiting, preparing, and retaining high-quality teachers, principals, and other school leaders. With many allowable uses of funds for both state and local education agencies to engage in, it is vital that educator preparation be at the table with opportunities and options in hand to support the workforce pipeline of the profession.
Congratulations to the four newest recipients of federal Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grants! Coppin State University (MD), North Carolina A&T State University, the University of New Hampshire, and the University of West Alabama will share more than $5 million to improve the preparation of teachers through partnerships with 13 high-need, rural school districts.
The U.S. Department of Education yesterday announced the new 5-year grants, which will be divided among two partnerships with a prebaccalaureate preparation model and two others with residency-based models:
On Friday, September 23, the U.S. Department of Education sent a letter to the presidents of certain institutions that are eligible for TEACH grants, announcing a change in eligibility requirements. If you are at one of these institutions, a response must be filed with the Department within 30 days of the letter – meaning by October 23.
Previously, institutions could offer the grants if their programs held either (a) specialized accreditation awarded through a Department-recognized agency or (b) state approval plus a requirement of at least 10 weeks of full-time preservice clinical experience and pedagogical course work. The letter (see PDF) explains that effective September 22, the Department no longer recognizes any national accreditor for educator preparation programs, eliminating option (a) as a qualifier for eligibility.
As Congress returns from recess, so do the Federal Update webinars offered each month for AACTE members. This month’s update will be held September 20 and 21.
Each month, I’ll update you on what is happening in Washington, DC, related to educator preparation, and discuss how you can engage in advocacy for the profession. To accommodate a variety of schedules, each set of webinars is offered on consecutive days of the week at different times of the day.
Winding its way from D.C. to Louisiana, the U.S. Department of Education’s 2016 “Opportunity Across America” bus tour kicks off today and runs through Friday. If you’ll be nearby any of the tour stops, you might consider taking the opportunity to connect with national and local officials as an education leader in your community.
You frequently hear AACTE champion the virtues of advocacy—of making your voice heard to help land you a place “at the table” rather than “on the menu.” AACTE staff are practiced at this habit, engaging in regular meetings with key officials at the U.S. Department of Education and elsewhere to share the work of the Association and our membership. I am pleased to share that some of these efforts have paid off with an invitation from the Department to collaborate on an upcoming teacher preparation summit.
The Department invited AACTE and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities to be partners on the summit, scheduled for November 3-4 in Washington, DC, as part of the “Teach to Lead” series focused on amplifying teachers’ voice and role in transforming education and related policy. This event will bring teams of educators together to discuss actionable ideas for collaborative, teacher-led improvements to teacher preparation. We are honored to represent you at the table on this critical issue.
Did you know that August and October are great times to meet with your U.S. Representative and Senators? During these months, Congress is in “recess,” meaning members are back home meeting with constituents like you.
Time is running out on the August recess, but it may still be possible to land a meeting with some members of Congress before they return to Washington, DC, after Labor Day weekend. If not, October is coming fast, and now is an excellent time to ask for a meeting—or even work with your institution’s government relations office to invite elected officials to an event you are hosting.