Editor’s Note: Former AACTE Board member and education dean Nancy Zimpher reminds readers of the important purpose of standardized testing, which has been overshadowed by recent political battles and opt-out campaigns. This essay originally appeared on the State University of New York’s Big Ideas blog and is reposted with permission. The opinions expressed in this essay do not necessarily reflect the position of AACTE.
When it comes to whether students should opt out of standardized testing, no one is actually talking about what’s best for our kids. Standardized tests have become a pawn in political debates about teacher evaluations and we have lost sight of what they are: a way to measure what students know so we can help them improve.
The following letter to the editor was published today in Education Week.
There are kids entering urban classrooms every day hungry, sad, tired, and angry. Name an obstacle to learning, and most urban teachers have seen it play out firsthand among their students.
In January, the Horace Mann League of the United States released School Performance in Context: The Iceberg Effect, a report on the “unparalleled levels” of poverty, inequity, and violence faced by U.S. students. Though outside factors such as these are not the reason for increasing gaps in achievement, they’re barriers teachers must understand and address to have an impact on student learning.
Editor’s Note: Professor Hollins inspired attendees of AACTE’s recent Annual Meeting in Atlanta during the Speaker Spotlight Session. (View a video recording of her speech here, and read another version in this Hechinger Report piece, which includes the video she played during her address.) To follow up on her presentation, we invited Hollins to explore her topic in a series of blogs for Ed Prep Matters. This is the final post in the series.
Most teachers in urban schools, as elsewhere, are dedicated professionals who put much effort into their practice and care deeply about the students they teach. Teachers understandably feel frustrated when their students fail to meet expectations for learning outcomes. How they address this frustration, however, makes all the difference for student outcomes—and it is influenced heavily by the ideology developed in their school’s professional community.
More than 60 AACTE Holmes Scholars® participated in the Annual Meeting in Atlanta last month. The commitment of their 15 host institutions, as well as of AACTE, to building a more diverse professional community was on full display in the lively atmosphere and collegial environment at the conference, which offered a platform of reinvigoration for some and the start of an exciting journey for others. One attendee commented that she had not experienced that much energy in quite a while.
At the kick-off session February 27, AACTE’s Rodrick Lucero, vice president for member engagement and support, described the Association’s renewed commitment to the Holmes Scholars Program and emphasized its value and necessity in the field. He highlighted goals for the coming year, which touched on not only recruiting and retaining scholars in academia, but looking closely at the entire continuum of PK-24. Lucero praised the National Association of Holmes Scholars Alumni (NASHA) for its continued support in providing highly sought-after mentoring services for 1st-year and midlevel doctoral students.
Editor’s Note: Professor Hollins inspired attendees of AACTE’s recent Annual Meeting in Atlanta during the Speaker Spotlight Session. (View a video recording of her speech here, and read another version in this Hechinger Report piece, which includes the video she played during her address.) To follow up on her presentation, we invited Hollins to explore her topic in a series of blogs for Ed Prep Matters. This is the second post in the series.
Teaching is an interpretive practice that requires knowledge of the community where students grow and develop, and where they are socialized. Students’ initial and ongoing learning happens within a particular community; is framed by the ideologies and practices of the community; is influenced by the experiences, interests, and values shared among members of the community; and is appropriated through the learner’s perception, which is developed within the particular community. The initial learning that happens within a community constitutes the intellectual, psychological, social, and emotional development of the individual person.
A Conversation With Harriet “Niki” Fayne, Dean of Education at Lehman College
Harriet “Niki” Fayne, dean of education at Lehman College (City University of New York) in the Bronx, isn’t about to say that edTPA was easy for her faculty and students, or that it is the final answer for teacher preparation. But she does say this: edTPA moves the profession in the direction of strengthening the skills of beginning teachers.
This post originally appeared in Dean Feuer’s blog, “Feuer Consideration,” and is reposted with permission. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
The dean of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia recently wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post that was well meaning but misleading. It was surprising and disappointing to see a distinguished educator miss an opportunity to dispel conventional myths and clarify for the general public what is really going on in the world of teacher preparation and its evaluation.
For those who may have missed Robert Pianta’s short article, here is a summary and rebuttal.
Editor’s Note: Professor Hollins inspired attendees of AACTE’s recent Annual Meeting in Atlanta during the Speaker Spotlight Session. (View a video recording of her speech here, and read another version in this Hechinger Report piece, which includes the video she played during her address.) To follow up on her presentation, we invited Hollins to explore her topic in a series of blogs for Ed Prep Matters. This is the first post in the series.
The way teaching and learning teaching are conceptualized influences approaches and practices in both. For example, where teaching is viewed as an interpretive process, learning teaching also requires an interpretive process for constructing the habits of mind and deep knowledge of approaches and practices necessary for facilitating meaningful, purposeful, and productive learning experiences for students in different contexts, from different cultural and experiential backgrounds, and with different developmental needs.
The state of Florida recently passed a new rule governing the implementation and evaluation of teacher preparation programs. The Florida Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (FACTE) was very active during the development and public comment periods for this new rule, and while we did not secure all the changes we’d hoped, we did make a difference in the process and in the outcomes.
FACTE implemented a detailed advocacy strategy during the public comment period. One of our greatest assets was our relationship with the Florida Department of Education (FDOE), which has always worked to be partners with our programs. I cannot speak enough of the importance of building relationships with those charged with program approval before you are in the process of rule development. We have focused our efforts on building on our shared vision of ensuring every child in the state is taught by a high-quality educator.
This post originally appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education and is reposted with permission.
With high rates of retirement by an aging teaching force and continuing growth in school enrollments, we as a nation need more than ever to focus on how, where, and how well we prepare our future educators. Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Education has recognized the need to move on those issues. But one of its proposed solutions, in the form of regulations for evaluating the quality of higher-education programs that prepare elementary and secondary school teachers, could take us down a hazardous track.