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Toward a Valid and Reliable Student Teacher Observation Tool

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.

Carolina Teacher Induction Program Completes First Year

CarolinaTIP Director Nicole Skeen, right, works with first-year teacher Karlee Baxter and students in Baxter’s classroom.

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.

Kansas EPPs Pilot Statewide Tool for Student Teaching Assessment

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.

Updated AACTE Resource: State Policy Makers

I am thrilled to announce that AACTE’s contact lists for state policy makers in each state and the District of Columbia have been updated and posted in the AACTE Resource Library (accessible to AACTE members only!). In addition, links to these lists can be found on the AACTE Advocacy Center’s State Advocacy page and on AACTE’s State Policy and Legislation page.

These documents are an AACTE member benefit to support you in your state-level advocacy work. Use them to find key state policy makers–for example, legislators for authorizing and appropriating education funds, state department of education contacts, and even your governor’s education staffer.

East Carolina to Host State Induction Program

north-carolina-new-teacher-program

East Carolina University (ECU) has been named the new institutional home of the North Carolina New Teacher Support Program (NC NTSP), which provides university-based professional development and on-site instructional coaching for new teachers throughout the state.

The NC NTSP aims to boost the effectiveness and reduce attrition among early-career teachers in order to raise student achievement, especially in historically disadvantaged and underserved school districts.

Originally launched with federal Race to the Top grant funds in 2012, the program now operates with funding from the state legislature, which allows districts to enroll teachers in the program at a subsidized rate. Nine universities in the UNC System provide the instructional support in partnership with 53 school districts around the state.

External Connections Key to Advancing Chapter Work

Members of the Arkansas Association of Colleges for Teacher Education participate in a recent annual conference; at right, current chapter President Victoria Groves-Scott of the University of Central Arkansas addresses members.

The 47 state chapters of AACTE employ a wide variety of membership models, activity calendars, and strategic partnerships to meet the priorities of their members. While all chapters are based on the fundamental value of interinstitutional collaboration, these coalitions are not just about members talking to themselves or circling the wagons. They also provide an effective launching point for their individual and collective members to connect with external groups that lend important new perspectives and advantages.

The Arkansas Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (ArACTE) offers an example of how connections forged outside its membership boost its capacity to focus on advocacy priorities as a group–and on common programmatic concerns at the campus level.

New Resource Aids States in Developing Principals for Inclusive Schools

A new website aims to equip state education agencies to support principals for better serving students with disabilities. AACTE is among nearly two dozen organizations convened by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to develop the site’s content.

The resulting online guide, Supporting Inclusive Schools for the Success of Each Child: A Guide for States on Principal Leadership, outlines eight strategies for states to embed expectations for inclusive principal leadership in policy and practice:

State Legislative Liaison: Luxury or Necessity?

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

In the face of continuing criticism of teacher preparation, the Ohio Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (OACTE) has worked to advocate for sensible teacher preparation policy. Although advocacy was not something many in OACTE envisioned would factor into their higher education careers, we have come to believe that advocacy is not only important, but essential, to the continued health and evolution of teacher education work.

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