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The Demand for Educators: Good News for Candidates, A Daunting Challenge for Hiring Administrators

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

For future teachers, the job outlook is bright. For school hiring personnel, the challenge of finding enough qualified educators for their vacancies is daunting.

The growing mismatch between teacher supply and demand was documented strongly in a comprehensive report published by the Learning Policy Institute last month. One of the key data sources cited in the study is the American Association for Employment in Education (AAEE) “Educator Supply and Demand Report 2014-15,” which now has a new edition available—and the shortage situation has not improved.

Member Voices: Listen to the Children

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This article originally appeared as Ena Shelley’s monthly “Transforming Education” column; it is reposted with permission. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

“While we try to teach our children all about life, they teach us what life is all about.” – Anonymous

You are likely reading this on the brink of our national election. There have been months of bickering, insult slinging, and behavior that would not be tolerated in most of our classrooms. Certainly there are adult issues that must be addressed, yet I sometimes wonder that if we remembered more often the voices and ears of children, we might find the margins of compromise that allow debates to become more about the “us” and less about the “them.” Children truly have wisdom and perspective that adults sometimes forget or lose in the busyness of life. I am sharing three links in this column that are the voices of younger children and adolescents. What if those running for political office, as well as those who already hold a policy-making position, and the media gave more time and attention to the wisdom they have to offer?

On the ‘Residency Era’ in Teacher Preparation

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

When John Dewey wrote of the need to create an “intimate union” between the university and the elementary school such that each is a laboratory for the other, he was speaking of a need that is still yet to be fully satiated. Today’s increasing prevalence of the residency model, however – supported by a growing body of research and application across diverse settings – is ushering in a new era that offers new promise toward achieving Dewey’s vision.

For Dewey, the intimate union would have the university contributing “to the evolution of valuable subject-matter and right method while the school in turn will be a laboratory in which the student of education sees theories and ideas demonstrated, tested, criticized, enforced, and the evolution of new truths” (Dewey, 1900/1990, p. 93). And although Dewey’s University of Chicago Laboratory Schools flourish as a living instantiation of his intimate union, in many practical ways the ideal has proven elusive.

Clinical Practice Commission Convenes, Refines Work

Last week, AACTE’s Clinical Practice Commission (CPC) met to continue its consensus work regarding clinical experiences in teacher preparation. Colorado State University was a gracious host, and the high altitude was matched perfectly by the commission’s high expectations.

After our last meeting in June, commission members had been hard at work reviewing literature, considering exemplars, and drafting pieces of a large research document. Early on at this meeting, we affirmed our belief in the centrality of clinical practice and clinical partnerships for high-quality teacher education programs and practices. In hopes of maximizing the usefulness and traction of our work in the field, we decided to adjust our focus to producing a shorter white paper outlining bold claims and key supporting tenets for successful clinical partnerships and practices. The white paper will be accompanied by several additional pieces of scholarship aimed at different audiences and providing more details.

AACTE Grant Supports N.J. Chapter Campaign to Debunk Education Myths

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Thanks to an AACTE State Chapter Support Grant, the New Jersey Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NJACTE) recently completed a statewide advocacy campaign to debunk myths about teacher preparation and teacher quality.

In spring 2015, NJACTE submitted a successful proposal to AACTE for funds to expand the capacity, leadership, and relationship with the PK–12 community and the state Department of Education by collaborating on strategies to debunk myths about teacher preparation and teacher quality.

What We (Don’t) Know About Independent Teacher Preparation Programs

The following article is reposted with permission from the University of Washington College of Education website. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of AACTE.

As some advocacy groups push to deregulate the preparation of teachers and expand independent, alternative routes into teaching, a new policy brief authored by the University of Washington College of Education’s Ken Zeichner reviews what is known about the quality of five of the most prominent independent teacher education programs in the United States.

Supporting Students Taking Their Credentialing Exams

When I was advising prospective teachers at my former institution, I encountered many candidates who had strong potential as educators but struggled to pass the licensure tests. For some of these students, it was helpful to offer practice tests, with feedback, to help combat their test anxiety, but it was challenging for me to find time for this work.

So when I recently met Stephanie Shapiro, the partnerships manager of a test-prep company that offers just this kind of service to teacher candidates–some of it for free–I was intrigued and persuaded her to join AACTE as a new affiliate member. I asked her to share how her organization, Teachers Test Prep, is helping teacher candidates pass their exams. Here’s her response:

AACTE Networked Improvement Community Yields Exciting Results at UConn

The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

Like other programs, our teacher preparation program at the University of Connecticut Neag School of Education has long struggled to recruit as many students of color as we’d like. That’s why we joined AACTE’s networked improvement community (NIC) in 2014 to collaborate with other institutions on strategies to bring more Black and Latino men into our programs. Already, we have nearly doubled the percentage of students of color in our program, going from roughly 12% of students to 20% of our entering cohort this fall.

Passionate Leaders Build Connections at Leadership Academy

A dynamic group of 80 leaders from educator preparation programs nationwide gathered in Portland, Oregon, for AACTE’s annual Leadership Academy June 26-30. This year’s participants came from all types of institutions, some on their own and others in pairs or teams. Many had just accepted a new role as a chair or dean, others were experienced in their positions, and some were enhancing their skills in preparation for future career opportunities.

The 5-day event featured several general sessions addressing such topics as establishing authority, building consensus, assembling a team, and managing change. Two guest sessions on inclusive education were added this year, one presented by the Ohio Deans Compact on Exceptional Children and the other by the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform Center. Based on the positive response to these offerings, AACTE plans to continue including special topics at future Leadership Academies.

‘More Than Just a Score’: Making edTPA Work for Early Education

The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

At City University of New York’s Lehman College in the Bronx, our early childhood education students are known for their strong work ethic and resilience. Most are working parents, some with long commutes to class on public transit, and approximately 70% are bilingual, having learned English as a second language.

Early on in the edTPA process, we set out to disprove the contention that teachers of very young children – our teachers work with kids as young as 2 years old – would not score well on the assessment. It’s true that it can be challenging to reflect and write about giving feedback to such young students, especially when some of our teachers struggle with written English. But our students led the way in determining developmentally appropriate ways to provide feedback, and they documented their work during writing workshops on the weekends.

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