NPBEA Approves Revised Standards for School Leaders

Last week, the National Policy Board for Educational Administration (NPBEA) voted unanimously to approve revised standards for education leaders. The 2015 Professional Standards for Educational Leaders, formerly known as the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) standards, are currently available in summary form and will be published officially next month.

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), which owns the standards’ copyright, worked closely with other members of NPBEA to refresh the ISLLC standards, which were first published in 1996 and last updated in 2008. The revision was supported by a grant from the Wallace Foundation and informed by multiple public comment periods and focus groups, culminating in an NPBEA working group charged with finalizing the standards based on feedback from more than 1,000 principals, superintendents, and others in the field.

October Is National Principals Month

Did you know October is National Principals Month? While we appreciate our school leaders year round, this month is a special time to honor principals for their leadership and vital work in schools.

National Principals Month is a broad celebration of the principalship, marked by national and state resolutions, formal awards and recognitions, and acknowledgments from U.S. senators and representatives and other top government officials. It is an opportunity to say “thank you” to principals across the nation and to share with the community all the great things that principals do.

NCTQ Translates Review Into ‘Consumer Guide’ for Prospective Teachers

In an apparent attempt to expand its reach beyond that provided by the partnership with U.S. News & World Report, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) today unveiled a new interactive web site aimed at helping prospective teachers select a preparation program based on the ratings developed in NCTQ’s Teacher Prep Review.

The new web site, Path to Teach, translates the standards used in NCTQ’s Review into an at-a-glance scorecard for programs throughout the country.

AILACTE Seeks Conference Proposals on Collaboration Theme

Now through October 15, the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education (AILACTE) is accepting session proposals for the 2016 AILACTE Annual Meeting and Conference to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, February 22-23, 2016.

The conference theme is “Collaboration as a Cornerstone of Teacher Education.” We seek proposals—60-minute workshops and 30-minute presentations (to be coupled with similar themed presentations)—that help us deliberate on collaboration—big and small—in teacher education.

New Think Tank Seeks to Inform Education Policy With Timely Research

A new nonprofit think tank led by Linda Darling-Hammond launched last week, aiming to inform education-related policies by sponsoring high-quality research on timely topics and making the findings easy to access and interpret. This Learning Policy Institute will target PK-12 policies at the federal, state, and local level and will both examine existing studies and conduct or sponsor new research to meet pressing needs for student learning.

In her Huffington Post article announcing the initiative, Darling-Hammond pledges to prioritize whatever works best for students over any partisan agenda. “We will follow the evidence wherever it leads, and will work with those of any political affiliation or point of view who share that commitment,” she writes.

NCTQ Solicits School Districts to Partner on Student Teaching Agreements

In its latest effort to debase educator preparation programs, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) is reaching out to PK-12 school districts to develop an “Honors Student Teaching” program in partnership with NCTQ. The effort seeks to replace existing student teaching commitments the districts may have with their local institutions of higher education (IHEs) over the course of 2-3 years. See this document for the details of the proposal.

A recent NPR story quoted NCTQ President Kate Walsh as saying, “It’s time for school districts to be much more insistent on what the qualifications are of teachers who enter and try to get a new job with them.” The new partnership proposal demonstrates that NCTQ intends to take charge of defining those qualifications. The proposal offers districts a set of complimentary services that include developing the knowledge and skills requirements for teacher candidate selection, as well as identifying local teacher preparation programs that would best meet the needs of the district—presumably using NCTQ’s Teacher Prep Review as a guide.

Superintendents Share Advice for Improving Principal Pipeline

In a new series of short videos, superintendents of six large, urban school districts around the country share lessons for improving development of leaders for their districts’ schools. AACTE members working to prepare leaders for schools and districts may find the videos to be a useful resource for their candidates.

The series features the superintendents in Charlotte-Mecklenburg (NC), Denver (CO), Gwinnett County (GA), Hillsborough County (FL), New York (NY), and Prince George’s County (MD), which have been participating in the Wallace Foundation’s Principal Pipeline Initiative for several years. (AACTE is a communications partner for the initiative and, along with its members, is devoting new attention to principal preparation, beginning with a survey this fall.)

Jessica Henry Named August’s Holmes Scholar of the Month

Jessica Henry
Jessica Henry, Ohio University Holmes Scholar

Congratulations to August Holmes Scholar of the Month Jessica Henry!

Henry is a doctoral candidate at Ohio University. Her research interests are mental health and rehabilitation.

Henry’s nominator had this to say about her: “A rehabilitation counselor by trade, it is Jessica’s life goal to improve the quality of life for everyone that she comes into contact with. Jessica epitomizes strength and resilience and leads by example.”

CEEDAR, CCSSO Want States to Ensure Teachers Are Prepared for Learners With Diverse Needs

A new report calls on states to ensure more intentional preparation of educators to work with struggling learners, including students with disabilities, English language learners, and students with unidentified learning and behavior needs, to address persistent achievement gaps. The report, issued by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the University of Florida’s Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center, builds on a 2012 paper from CCSSO about policies to transform educator preparation generally—whose recommendations were supported by AACTE—and echoes messages of a recent policy brief developed by AACTE and the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

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