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January 2017 State Policy Recap

Ed Prep Matters is pleased to bring you this special feature on state policy and AACTE state chapter activity. For a recap of all state policy and state chapter in 2016, check out this blog.

Overview of State Policy Activity

This month has seen a landslide of state legislative action as the vast majority of state legislatures have convened for their 2017 legislative session. Since January 1, at least 164 state bills have been introduced that could impact various aspects of educator preparation.

Let’s Get It Right Together: Tapping Educators’ Expertise for Successful State Policy

This article appeared in the “Regional Roundup” newsletter of the Council of State Governments West and is reprinted with permission. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

Utah is grappling with many of the same education challenges plaguing other states: high teacher turnover; persistent staffing shortages in key fields, demographic areas, and districts; inadequate access to performance data; and the list goes on. As legislators work to address these challenges, they stand the best chance of success if they develop solutions in collaboration with professional educators. Without the benefit of educator perspectives, well-meaning legislators risk developing and implementing policy that will not adequately address these challenges, and may even contribute to them.

2016 – The Year in State Policy

Ed Prep Matters is pleased to bring you this special feature on state policy and AACTE state chapter activity. For prior monthly recap articles, browse the “State Directions” section of the blog.

2016 began with some clear themes for state education policy showcased in governors’ State of the State Addresses. According to a report from the Education Commission of the States (ECS), the following issues topped the governors’ lists:

Using AACTE Resources to Advance the Local Message

In August, the Advisory Council of State Representatives (ACSR), the governing body of AACTE’s state chapters, released a set of state policy statements to enhance educator preparation. The statements represent the priorities of more than 1,100 educator preparation providers nationwide. AACTE created a customizable template in which state chapters can adapt the statements to meet their state and local needs.

The Missouri Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (MACTE) has been working on tools to advance our message with the state legislature and other key stakeholders. One of our newest assets is the ACSR State Policy Statements, which we adapted by adding a statement on our membership. MACTE has 100% participation among the state’s institutions of higher education that support educator preparation. We felt it was critical to illustrate that we are the collective voice of educator preparation in Missouri.

November 2016 State Policy Recap

Ed Prep Matters is pleased to bring you this special feature on state policy and AACTE state chapter activity. For similar recap articles from earlier months, browse the “State Directions” section of the blog.

Overview of State Policy Activity

During November, many state legislatures continued preparing for the 2017 legislative sessions. Over the past month, Montana, New Hampshire, Nevada, Texas, and Wyoming prefiled bills for 2017 – providing a general preview of legislators’ priorities. Some of the prefiled bills relate to adopting a performance funding system for institutions of higher education, modifying the governance structure of a state’s professional standards commission, requiring the collection of additional information on teachers and paraprofessionals for accountability purposes, and modifying eligibility criteria for a teacher loan program geared to address the teacher shortage.

Recapping State Elections: Results and Next Steps

While the country’s attention during last week’s election was largely on the presidential race, education had a lot at stake in key state-level decisions.

Governors

The first significant category of decisions was for governorships, for which 12 states held elections. Going into this month, Republicans held 31 offices, Democrats held 18, and an Independent led one state. In the 12 states with gubernatorial races, Republicans won six, Democrats won five, and one was still too close to call at press time.

The results put Republicans on track to tie or exceed a post-World War II record for the partisan control of governorships. See this link for an overview of the outcomes of each gubernatorial race.

UVA Hosts State ‘TeachStrong’ Event on Teacher Prep

On October 11, a TeachStrong event was hosted by the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia to offer solutions to concerns in the state about the preparation of novice teachers. The event, held jointly with the state’s education secretary, aimed to highlight successful programs and practices aligned with TeachStrong’s policy proposal around quality teacher preparation. (AACTE is a partner supporting the nine TeachStrong principles to elevate teaching.)

After a short welcome and introduction by Dean Robert Pianta and Virginia Secretary of Education Dietra Trent, a panel of five educators discussed programs run by George Mason University, the University of Virginia, and Virginia Commonwealth University. Well-planned clinical practices were the focal point of the discussion.

September 2016 State Policy Recap

Ed Prep Matters is pleased to bring you this special feature on state policy and AACTE state chapter activity. For similar recap articles from earlier months, browse the “State Directions” section of the blog.

Overview of State Policy Activity

Although almost all states’ legislative sessions have now adjourned for the year, September did have a bit of policy activity. Three bills were introduced in Michigan and Montana, including one in Michigan that would create a program to prevent teacher shortages in high-need subjects and geographic areas.

Several states, including Montana and Nevada, got a head start on the 2017 legislative session by prefiling bills, which gives us a preview of likely priorities for the coming year. For example, some of the prefiled bills relate to teacher loan forgiveness and standards for initial teacher licensure.

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

njacte-logo

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.

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