U.S. Department of Education to Help with TEACH Grant Conversions

The U.S. Department of Education (Department) announced that it will allow TEACH grant recipients who met or are meeting their TEACH grant service requirements and had their grant converted to a loan to have this conversion reconsidered.  While there are no details yet, the TEACH Grant webpage states that the Department will share its process for reconsideration by January 31, 2019. This is available only for those recipients who were meeting the requirements and had their loans converted due to noncompliance with the certification requirements.

During the course of the year, stories have arisen of TEACH grants being erroneously converted by the servicer, FedLoan. While the Department is moving into negotiated rulemaking on the TEACH grants starting in January, it is taking action in the meantime to change processes to protect recipients. In addition to reconsideration, the Department is also making a universal annual certification deadline of October 31, starting in 2019.

Beliefs About Preparing Candidates to Navigate Complexities of Professional Decision-making: A Survey

The profession of education is highly complex, with educators having to make multiple decisions in their daily work. Competing tensions and multiple, greatly nuanced variables that are inherent in this field can add to the vulnerabilities and risks that educators must navigate, especially when it comes to professional decision making.

To gauge attitudes regarding teacher educators’ beliefs about the role of preparing candidates to navigate these complexities through preparation in educator ethics, current practices, and what resources might be most useful for enhancing professional ethics preparation, AACTE is collaborating with the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC), and the National Council for the Advancement of Educator Ethics (NCAEE) to conduct a brief survey.

New Webinar Helps Principals Prepare for the Complexity of the Work

Strong leadership is a necessary catalyst for student learning, yet the complexity of the work makes it sometimes hard to focus on the role of instructional leader. AACTE will host a free webinar, Supporting Novice Principals on the Job: Principal Preparation for the Complexity of the Work on Wednesday, December 12, from 3:00-4:00 p.m. EST. Please tune in to attend the webinar, part of a series on principal leadership sponsored by The Wallace Foundation.

Topics will include

Join a National Conversation on University Principal Preparation Redesign

AACTE invites you to view a livestreamed panel discussion on preliminary findings from The Wallace Foundation’s University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI) at 10:30-11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, December 12, 2018. Register here.

Many district and university leaders agree that most university-based programs do not prepare principals to reflect the real-world demands of the job according to a 2016 survey. Consequently, seven universities participating in the Wallace initiative set out to redesign their programs to be more effective. A 2018 independent study by the RAND Corporation, Launching a Redesign of University Principal Preparation Programs, now suggests that the universities’ complex redesign efforts are beginning to pay off—through comprehensive, interdependent partnerships with local districts and the state.

New Webinar Focuses on Mentoring Novice Principals in Difficult Situations

AACTE will host a free webinar on principal leadership on Wednesday, November 28, from 3:00-4:00 p.m. EST. Please tune in to attend the Supporting Novice Principals on the Job: Mentoring Support in Difficult Situations webinar, part of a series on principal leadership sponsored by The Wallace Foundation.

Topics will include

  • When to seek outside support
  • Trust building in the mentoring role
  • Questioning strategies for mentors and mentees
  • Structures for principal mentorship

Northwest Missouri State University Receives National Award for Excellence and Innovation

Photo courtesy of AASCU

Northwest Missouri State University was presented with the Christa McAuliffe Excellence in Teacher Education Award by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) at the opening session of its Annual Meeting last month in Washington, D.C. The award is named in honor of Christa McAuliffe, a teacher who was killed in the 1986 space shuttle Challenger disaster, and honors institutions for excellence and innovation.

Recipients of the award have shown evidence of top-level administrative support, alignment with its institutional mission and strategic agenda, contributions to significant institutional improvements or programming, research, and incorporated best practices.

Rich Milner Delivers Brown Lecture Centered on Disrupting Punitive Practices and Policies

AACTE member H. Richard (Rich) Milner, IV, a leading scholar of urban education and teacher education, recently delivered the 15th Annual Brown Lecture in Education Research sponsored by the American Educational Research Association. The Annual Brown Lecture in Education Research is designed to feature the important role of research in advancing understanding of equality and equity in education. Each year, a distinguished scholar notable for producing significant research related to equality in education is invited to give a public lecture in Washington, D.C.

Milner is currently the Cornelius Vanderbilt Endowed Chair of Education and professor of education in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Vanderbilt University. His lecture, “Disrupting Punitive Practices and Policies: Rac(e)ing Back to Teaching, Teacher Preparation, and Brown,” focused on research on the practices and policies that implicitly or overtly punish rather than support the development of students of color.

Colorado Gives Grants to AACTE Member Institutions to Combat Teacher Shortage

The Colorado Department of Higher Education announced this month that it has awarded nearly $2 million to 17 collaborative projects designed to recruit and retain more educators as part of the Plan Into Action grant established in partnership with the Colorado Center for Rural Education. Of the recipients, nine are AACTE member institutions, which have developed initiatives to combat teacher shortages. The other grantees include school districts, boards of cooperative educational services, and traditional and alternative educator training programs from across the state. The projects will establish teacher residency programs, leverage technology for improved professional support, and encourage more teacher candidates to specialize in high-need content areas.

“Teachers are the backbone of our education system and critical to our state’s long-term success,” CDHE executive director Dan Baer said. “These funds will strengthen the relationships among our institutions, alternative programs and the schools in their backyard, helping communities cultivate their own teacher corps and better support those already in the classroom.”

Radio Interview Highlights Emerging Technologies in Educator Preparation

AACTE members Vanessa Anton and Barbara Fuller of Northeastern State University’s (NSU) College of Education were recently featured on the EduTalk radio show to highlight their Robotics Academy of Critical Engagement (R.A.C.E.) program, which won the 2018 AACTE Best Practice Award for the Innovative Use of Technology. During the interview, Anton and Fuller shared that NSU’s R.A.C.E. program is the only one of its kind housed in a college of education in the U.S. and around the world.

After a successful pilot of the program, NSU opened its first robotics lab in 2012 on its Tahlequah campus, followed by a second lab on its Broken Arrow campus—which both have educator preparation programs. Every pre-service teacher at NSU is required to take an emerging technologies course that includes the robotics unit where the candidates build and program their own robot. The course prepares teacher candidates of every subject to enter the classroom ready to use robotics as part of their curriculum if they choose to do so. Most importantly, the process of learning how to work together well and improve critical thinking provides a gateway for the candidates to teach those same skills to their students.

New Webinar Focuses on Helping Principals Balance Work Home Life

Meeting the demands of a career and home life can be challenging, especially when the job is school administration. Join us as we discuss how demanding responsibilities test new leaders’ ability to unplug from the school world. AACTE will host a free webinar on principal leadership on Wednesday, October 24, from 3:00-4:00 p.m. EDT. Please tune in to attend the Supporting Novice Principals on the Job: Balancing Work Home Life webinar, part of a series on principal leadership sponsored by The Wallace Foundation.

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