Ohio recently proved that collaboration across education stakeholders can increase communication and partnerships, as well as shape state legislation.
In fall 2017, a superintendent group representing the Western Ohio Advocacy Network (WOAN) worked with Ohio Senator Matthew Huffman to craft the Ohio School Deregulation Act (SB216), intended to increase local control of education. The initial bill proposed reverting back to having only two general education licensure bands: Grades 1-8 and 7-12, a radical departure from Ohio’s existing licensure bands: PK- 3, 4-9, and 7-12. SB 216 also proposed moving teacher licensure bands from Ohio’s Administrative Code (controlled by the Ohio Department of Education) to Ohio’s Revised Code (with legislative oversight), which meant that any future changes would require legislative action.
Members of the Washington Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (WACTE) met with Washington state lawmakers during WACTE’s inaugural “Day on the Hill” earlier this year—an effort to familiarize legislators with teacher preparation programs across the state, present ourselves as resources to legislators on teacher preparation and K-12 education, and articulate the WACTE agenda/priorities.
In the state of Washington, the legislative process is nothing like academia, where it can take a year from proposal to approval for a new program or process. The legislative sessions move at a furious pace. A bill can be amended to do something completely different than the original intent, and a legislative lobbyist can prevent the legislative process from “getting away from you before you know it.”
AACTE has awarded five state chapters the 2018-19 AACTE State Chapter Support Grant. The recipients are as follows:
- New Jersey
Each year, AACTE and the Advisory Council of State Representatives (ACSR) Executive Committee select recipients of the State Chapter Support Grants to help strengthen the capacity of the chapters on various levels, including advocacy and statewide collaboration to meet key challenges, as well as strengthen AACTE’s relationship with state chapters.
As a new state chapter of AACTE, the Montana Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (MTACTE) focused on the development of a basic infrastructure during the 2017-18 academic year. Our primary goals in establishing MTACTE were threefold:
- To create an effective voice within Montana for educator preparation programs (EPP) to address pressing policy matters, such as a rural teacher shortage
- To link national and state policy information systems
- To foster collaboration among EPPs to strengthen educator preparation across the state.
In case you missed it in State Directions, AACTE’s state-focused monthly e-newsletter, the ACSR Executive Committee created two new ad-hoc committees in response to participants’ feedback at the 2018 State Leaders Institute during AACTE’s Washington Week in June.
The two ad-hoc committees will focus on:
AACTE has an active network of state chapters across the country, and would like to help promote what’s happening in your local chapter through its communication channels. Is your state chapter providing activities to share best practices, engage on solutions to challenges, or advance professional skills? If yes, then please share your event details with AACTE!
Whether your state chapter convening varies from monthly meetings to large conferences in the spring and fall, AACTE would like to promote your event details on the state chapter and events pages of its website. If you are a state chapter leader, please take a moment to complete a short online form for each chapter meeting and conference that will take place during the 2018-19 academic year.
The North Dakota Association of Colleges for Teacher Education received a 2017-2018 AACTE State Chapter Support Grant for work on supervisor training modules to enhance the reliability and utility of the state’s new student teacher observation tool. Other AACTE chapters have also recently pursued collaborative work around assessment instruments, including those in Kansas and Ohio.
In 2016, the 12 member institutions of the North Dakota state chapter of AACTE collaborated to develop a student teacher observation tool (STOT). We were seeking a high-quality instrument to facilitate program improvement through meaningful, valid, and reliable data. We also knew that working together decreased the workload for all and leveraged resources and expertise across campuses. Finally, we were interested in adding to the common metrics used statewide to enable continued collaboration to improve teacher preparation in North Dakota.
The AACTE Advisory Council of State Representatives (ACSR) seeks nominations by October 12 of state chapter leaders to run in an election for the ACSR Executive Committee. The positions open for election are the West Region representative, Northeast Region representative, and ACSR chair-elect, all to take office in March 2019.
Terms and Roles
Teacher shortages are a critical concern across the United States, and the University of South Carolina is tackling the crisis head-on with an innovative response to teacher retention. While recruiting new teachers into the profession is vitally important, reducing the alarming rate at which novice teachers leave the profession must be a central focus in addressing the teacher shortage, as shared in a recent op-ed by University of South Carolina College of Education Dean Jon Pedersen.
“If you add the belief that teacher preparation and support should not end at graduation, a desire to gather data to inform programmatic improvement, and a teacher retention issue to new accreditation standards and a college leadership team determined to make a positive impact on the profession, beyond the walls of the university, you arrive at the impetus for the Carolina Teacher Induction Program (CarolinaTIP),” said Cindy Van Buren, assistant dean and one of the developers of the college’s induction program.
The Kansas Association of Colleges for Teacher Education received a 2017-2018 AACTE State Chapter Support Grant for work on a statewide observation/assessment instrument for use with student teachers. The author is the chapter’s lead contact on the grant. Other AACTE chapters have also recently pursued collaborative work around assessment instruments, including those in Ohio and North Dakota.
In collaboration with the Kansas State Department of Education and Marzano Research/REL Central, members of the Kansas Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (KACTE) are piloting and testing the reliability and validity of a student teacher observation/assessment instrument they developed for statewide use.