Washington Update: Proposed Rulemaking Changes to Higher Education Accreditation

This blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide update information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

I started last week in NYC visiting a fabulous early childhood program called Beekman House in the south Bronx. They have a partnership with Bank Street College. I was once again rendered speechless (hard to do) by the incredible teaching I saw. It made me want a do-over for pre-k! This is part of EdPrepLab— a new initiative by Learning Policy Institute. Check out the Ed Prep Matters blog article to learn more. Shout out to AACTE for giving me this opportunity!

  1. House Completes Portion of Massive Spending Bill … To Be Continued Next Week

Members of the House hightailed it out of town Thursday leaving a portion of the $982 billion spending bill completed—but more to come next week. The portion of the bill completed is the Labor/HHS/Education part of which includes $75.9 billion for the Department of Education. The House was in session all night Wednesday, finally adjourning at 4:00 a.m. on Thursday only to return again later Thursday morning.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) wins the prize for no sleep, as she was there shepherding her  bill through every minute of the process and the over 100 amendments offered.  She reported getting only an hour of sleep noting “You know, you’re so wired!”

New NCLD Helps Teachers Unlock the Power of Students Who Learn Differently


One in 5 students in the United States have learning and attention issues. This includes those with identified specific learning disabilities, diagnosed attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, or related disorders that impact learning. Despite often having above average or average intelligence, the majority of these students are achieving below grade level. This equates to millions of students across the nation whose strengths and potential are going untapped.

The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) and Understood set out to unpack and address this problem. We partnered with teachers—often the most consistent touchpoint for students after their caregivers—to understand their experiences and insights. We rooted these experiences in rigorous research focused on general education classrooms, where the majority of the “1 in 5” spend most of their time. The culmination of this work is found in “Forward Together,” a new report from Understood and the NCLD.

AACTE is joining several other education organizations to develop Forward Together Toolkits for our teachers and teacher educators. Stay tuned for more information on the dissemination of those toolkits!

New Initiative To Advance Teacher and Principal Preparation Grounded in the Science of Learning

Research shows that teachers are the number one in-school factor affecting student outcomes and principals are the number two factor. One important metric for those outcomes is how well and how equitably our nation’s diverse students are able to navigate our increasingly global and technologically complex world, where skills like critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and being able to apply knowledge in a range of contexts are crucial to success. Today, Learning Policy Institute and Bank Street Graduate School of Education have announced the launch of the Educator Preparation Laboratory (EdPrepLab), a new initiative to help educator preparation programs ensure that new teachers and leaders are able to provide all k-12 students with the kind of deeper learning that helps them develop those skills. 

EdPrepLab brings together 15 of the nation’s leading teacher and principal preparation programs to collaborate on further developing and documenting models for preparation that equip educators to advance  deeper learning and equity, and that can inform  other programs across the nation. The initiative will also support research to improve preparation programs and work with policymakers at federal, state, and local levels to help leverage policies that encourage the use of research-based practices that ensure new teachers and school leaders are well-equipped to provide deeper learning and to build the next generation of equitable schools and instructional education practices.

“Our world has changed significantly since the U.S. education system was first developed, and students today need an education that supports and prepares them for that more diverse, technology-driven, knowledge-based society,” said Learning Policy Institute President Linda Darling-Hammond. “That means we need to prepare teachers and school leaders to provide this kind of education. Fortunately, we have research to guide the way. There is a wealth of new knowledge about the science of learning and development, how social and emotional skills support academic learning, and how to ensure that students really understand what they have learned.”

Call for Chapter Proposals – Rethinking School-University Partnerships: A New Way Forward

As co-editors, we are inviting you to submit a chapter proposal for the upcoming book, Rethinking School-University Partnerships: A New Way Forward, which will be published by Information Age Publishing. This volume will explore innovative ways in which colleges of education and education preparation providers (EPPs) engage with school partners to improve teacher education and educational outcomes for P-12 learners. The main focus of this book project is to extend the literature in this area and to learn from others around the country engaged in this important work. We are particularly interested in partnership work that addresses mutually beneficial outcomes and persistent issues/problems in teacher education.

This book will provide educational leaders in public schools and colleges of education with insight, advice, and direction into the task of creating effective, proactive partnerships. In current times, colleges of education and local school districts need each other like never before. School districts struggle with pipeline-workforce, recruitment, and retention issues. Colleges of education face declining enrollment and a shifting educational landscape that fundamentally changes the way that teachers are trained and what local school districts expect their teachers to be able to do. It is with these overlapping constraints and converging interests that partnerships emerge as a strategy for strengthening the education of our teachers.

The partnerships that we envision are different from the ways in which colleges of education and school districts have traditionally worked with one another. In the past, these loose relationships centered primarily on student teaching and/or field experience placements. We conceptualize “new” partnerships as being proactive, mutually beneficial, pragmatic, and futures oriented. By focusing on people who are leaders in colleges/schools of education and local schools, this book will be well-positioned to help us develop a better understanding of how to initiate and lead change around the concept of partnerships.

UT to Launch Program to Support Diversity in Teaching


This article and photo originally appeared on the University of Tennessee News website and are reprinted with permission. 

A new program aimed at increasing the number of licensed teachers from diverse backgrounds will launch this summer in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences.

The program, Increasing Teacher Equity to Address Community High Needs (I-TEACH), is funded by a Tennessee Higher Education Commission grant recently awarded to the college to support diversity in education and to fill critical teaching shortages across the state. The two-year program supports 12 eligible teacher candidates for 33 hours of coursework and clinical practice. Candidates who complete the program will graduate with a master’s degree in teacher education.

AACTE Participates in Next Educator Workforce: Asking the Right Questions


I recently represented AACTE at the Next Educator Workforce: Asking the right questions conference, joining educators from across the country at the Arizona State University (ASU) Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College (MLFTC).

The ASU conference organizers asked the question: Why convene around the idea of the next education Workforce? The response included the following:

  • Fewer people are entering the profession.
  • More educators are leaving the profession early.
  • Educators need more of the sustaining rewards of adult collaboration and efficacy.

Our challenge, according to ASU, is to build broad-based, multilateral partnerships that include colleges of education, schools, districts, and communities committed to designing and fielding new workforce models that make education work better for both educators and learners.

NAEP Review of 2025 Mathematics Framework is Underway

Greetings from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2025 Mathematics Framework team at WestEd. NAEP, also known as the Nation’s Report Card, measures student achievement in elementary and secondary schools. Public review of the Mathematics Framework draft is underway, and we would like you to be aware of the offerings for stakeholder groups to become informed and, if you haven’t already, provide input on this important document. 

First, the Mathematics Framework draft, along with further information about NAEP, can be accessed at FNAEPFrameworkUpdate.org. By clicking the “Framework Draft” tab, interested parties can receive directions on how to download, comment on, and upload the draft. AACTE has reviewed the draft framework and provided feedback to NAEP. The draft was available for comment through June 7, 2019.

Additional background information on this work can be found on our website. For example, on April 25, 2019, Suzanne Wilson from the University of Connecticut and Mike Shaughnessy from Portland State University discussed their work on the NAEP  Mathematics Assessment Framework on the Math Ed podcast. Also, upcoming opportunities to engage with the draft Framework, such as webinars with members of the Council of Great City Schools, are located on the Outreach Events tab.

Teacher Ed Grows in Many Ways


This article and photo originally appeared on the Central Michigan University website and are reprinted with permission

What can you add to 688 to total 958?

In Central Michigan University’s teacher education programs, the answer is one year: From fall 2017 to fall 2018, admittance and enrollment in teacher ed grew from 688 students to 958, a 39% increase.

To Betty Kirby, acting dean of CMU’s College of Education and Human Services, the explanation is simple.

“CMU is the place to come for excellent teacher preparation,” she said, “and now is a great time to become a teacher.”

A National Overview of Safety on College Campuses

The Education Commission of the States (ECS) recently released a report regarding college campus safety policies, based on its research gathered from statutes in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Though it does not include postsecondary board or institutional policies, the  50-State Comparison: Postsecondary Campus Safety report provides an overview of relevant laws in each state. However, this resource does not reflect on how these laws may interact with other state or federal policies.

Key takeaways from the report include the news that 22 states have codified a campus sexual assault policy; five states have defined affirmative consent; and 22 states have written into statute a prohibition for individuals to carry firearms on public college or university campuses.

This resource reviews state statutes that explicitly address sexual misconduct on college campuses or off-campus incidents that involve at least one student. It also examines state statutes that explicitly allow or prohibit guns on college campuses and those states in which statute allows guns in locked vehicles on college campuses. Follow this link to download and review this important report.

For questions about this announcement or other offerings by ECS, please email me at wcummings@aacte.org

North Carolina State Addresses Principal Preparation Themes

“Wait, what happened?!?”
“I had to help deliver a baby today.”
“You what!?!”

In the first day of her full-time residency, Jennifer Wilker had to help one of her teachers deliver her baby. Jennifer was in Warren New Tech High School, which is located near Norlina—a  small, rural town in northeastern North Carolina that is over 30 miles from the Halifax Regional Hospital.

Though this seems like an extreme example, principals all over the country will no doubt smile, knowing that Jennifer’s experience isn’t too atypical.

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