Member Voices: Join AACTE Twitter Campaign on #EDregs

With an intention of generating 100,000 comments to the U.S. Department of Education on its proposed regulations for teacher preparation programs, the members of the AACTE Committee on Government Relations and Advocacy are leading the charge with a Twitter campaign to spread awareness of the proposed regulations.

Remember, the deadline to comment is February 2, and the teacher preparation profession’s voice must be heard! (See AACTE’s regulations web page for more information.)

Please join our Twitter campaign at #EDregs to help us reach out to colleagues, public officials, students, organizations, and the public to help generate more conversation on Twitter about the regulations—leading, we hope, to more comments submitted to the government.

’Twixt Scylla and Charybdis: Navigating the Paradoxes of Data Use, Accountability, and Program Improvement

Academic leaders in teacher education are currently faced with unprecedented policy pressures related to collecting, reporting, and acting on an intensifying array of program outcome measures. Moreover, many of the state and federal policies driving these pressures are saturated with paradox, attempting to address multiple and often contradictory goals. Perhaps the most fundamental of these is related to the essential tension between policy goals related to identifying and eliminating “low-performing programs,” and those related to “program improvement.” Coping with contradictory discourses and policies related to accountability, program improvement, and “data use” has become one of the facts of life experienced by virtually all contemporary teacher educators.

Member Voices: Rallying Responses to the Federal Regulations

We have an opportunity to make our voices heard. Though the proposed federal regulations for teacher preparation programs were released for comment most inconveniently during the hurly burly of exams and the holidays, I was determined to find a festive, collegial way to engage the faculty and students at my institution in contributing our knowledge and experience by February 2.

AACTE’s challenge to generate 100,000 comments inspired me. There’s no guarantee that the U.S. Department of Education will listen, of course, but an onslaught of letters will hopefully grab their attention. The question for me: How to spur people to actually read and respond to the proposal.

Member Voices: Easy A’s Gets an F

Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education and is reposted with permission. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE. See also AACTE’s statement about the Easy A’s report.

The National Council on Teacher Quality, a Washington-based think tank, has issued a number of reports in recent years on teacher preparation around the country. Its flagship effort since 2013, the Teacher Prep Review, is an annual report released in June that rates programs on how well they are preparing new teachers. In order to keep its name in front of the media between those major annual releases, the council has issued a series of studies on other aspects of teacher preparation. The latest one, Easy A’s and What’s Behind Them, came out this week. As with the organization’s other studies, this one has fatal flaws that undermine most of the conclusions articulated in it.

Member Voices: School Reform Pushing Potential Teachers Away From Profession

Editor’s Note: In this opinion piece written for his local newspaper, Gonzalez provides his perspective on the enrollment decline in his state’s teacher preparation programs. This post originally appeared in the Indianapolis Star and is reposted with permission. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE. See also Sharon P. Robinson’s recent post calling national attention to the same topic.

I was pleased to see Tim Swarens’ Oct. 26 column making the point that education reform in Indiana needs a conversation not confrontation. That conversation should start with an honest assessment of the impact of reform efforts to date.

Over the last decade, teacher salaries in constant dollars in Indiana have decreased by more than 10%. Outpaced only by North Carolina, which experienced teacher salary decreases of 14%, Indiana had the second largest decrease in the country.

Innovative Use of Technology at Saint Leo: Tech Integration, Digital Backpacks

Jeffrey Carpenter is a member of AACTE’s Committee on Innovation and Technology, which selects winners for the Association’s Best Practice Award for the Innovative Use of Technology. This post highlights the work of a runner-up for the 2014 award, Saint Leo University (FL).

Last year’s submissions for the AACTE Best Practice Award for the Innovative Use of Technology included many outstanding entries that linked to the committee’s focus on technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK)-based approaches to teacher preparation. Although the committee was only able to recognize one institution with an award, it is our pleasure to share information about the effective, innovative practices described in another highly rated application.

Innovative Use of Technology at California State University: CalStateTEACH and iPads

Teresa K. DeBacker is a member of AACTE’s Committee on Innovation and Technology, which selects winners for the Association’s Best Practice Award for the Innovative Use of Technology. This post highlights the work of the 2014 award winner, CalStateTEACH.

In 2010, CalStateTEACH launched a one-to-one mobile learning initiative using iPads. Introduction of this mobile technology led to transformation of every aspect of the program, from the reconceptualization of curriculum and redefinition of candidate outcomes to the personalization of faculty development and creation of e-supervision tools. This transformation was described in the award-winning application for the 2014 AACTE Best Practice Award for the Innovative Use of Technology. The award recognizes outstanding initiatives that are based in the technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) model of teacher knowledge.

Diez Reflects as Sun Sets on Alverno Tenure, Rises on SSSF

Alverno’s Mary Diez (right) with her SSSF vice presidents

It’s hard to believe, but it’s true: After 38 years, Mary Diez is leaving Alverno July 1.

Diez, professor and former dean of the School of Education at Alverno College (WI), was elected last month to a 4-year term as president of the School Sisters of St. Francis (SSSF), an international congregation with 850 sisters in the United States, Europe, India, and Latin America. This full-time commitment will take her to all of those places, although she plans to retain her campus residence at the college where she has lived for nearly 4 decades.

Taking her leadership skills off campus is hardly new for Diez, whether as a consultant in the Milwaukee community, member of standards boards, convener of assessment institutes, champion of dispositions work, or president of AACTE—among countless other roles she has held around the country and internationally. Despite having so much on her plate, Diez generously responded to my questions this week about her career to date and future plans.

Membership Committee Chair: Service Brings Broad Perspective on Profession

The Call for Nominations to serve on AACTE’s Board of Directors and standing committees is open at submit.aacte.org until May 9, 2014. One of the seven standing committees is the Committee on Membership Development and Capacity Building, focused on membership recruitment and retention, including the development of supporting programs and services. I asked the committee’s chair, Patricia Heydet-Kirsch, director of Assessment of Program Evaluation at Florida Atlantic University, to share why she was drawn to serve and what experiences she has gained.

What caused you to want to serve on AACTE’s Committee on Membership Development and Capacity Building?

I was interested in serving on AACTE’s Committee on Membership Development and Capacity Building to understand the broader perspective of AACTE’s impact.

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