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California Programs Developing Next Generation of Teacher Educators

The California Council on Teacher Education (CCTE) has for several decades viewed the preparation of new teacher educators to be among its most important responsibilities. Semiannual CCTE conferences have always been open and welcoming to graduate students and newly hired teacher education faculty. In recent years, however, the organization, which has served as the California state chapter of AACTE since a merger with the California Association of Colleges for Teacher Education in 2000, has created more purposeful programs to recruit and mentor future teacher educators.

Reflections on the 2016 AACTE State Leaders Institute

What an inspirational and invigorating experience I had last week at AACTE’s State Leaders Institute (SLI)—in my 7th year participating in AACTE’s Washington Week!

SLI was held June 5-6 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. Thirty-five states were represented by 60 attendees, many of whom were new faces adding to SLI’s rich and continuing conversations. This enrollment represented an increase from last year of 10 additional AACTE state chapters and also included 20 attendees who returned from the 2015 institute.

Over the course of 2 days, we enjoyed ample and fulfilling opportunities to engage with expert panelists, peers sharing research-based and cutting-edge practices in preparing high-quality teachers and leaders for PK-12 schools, federal updates, policy trend overviews, advocacy and coalition planning, working with policy makers and their staffers, working with the media, and individual and state chapter strategic planning work time. We also had the pleasure to interact at a special reception with not only each other but also a cohort of AACTE Holmes Scholars—graduate students from across the country who represent the brightest future in the profession.

May 2016 State Policy Recap

Ed Prep Matters is pleased to bring you this special feature on state policy and AACTE state chapter activity. For a summary of state activities from January through April 2016, see this article.

Overview of Policy Activity

In May, state policy activities have begun to slow, as many state legislatures have adjourned their 2016 legislative sessions. This month, only 15 state legislatures have been in regular session, while four states have been in a special session. Six education-related bills were introduced this month in two states, New York and North Carolina. These bills covered issues such as offering loan forgiveness for teachers, supporting reimbursement for National Board certification, authorizing alternative routes to the teaching profession, and amending admission requirements for graduate-level preparation programs for teachers and school leaders.

IACTE Unites Partners in Practice for Advocacy

Members of IACTE
Members of the IACTE Executive Committee at the chapter’s inaugural Day at the Statehouse in February

Last year, the Indiana Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (IACTE) received an AACTE State Chapter Support Grant to fund the creation of a statewide advocacy consortium. In order to disrupt the dominant discourse that negatively portrays teacher education programs, educators, and schools, IACTE sought to collaborate with “partners in practice” to tell positive stories and create a unified message of the education profession. We held a series of productive conversations and meetings, culminating in the capstone experience of the first IACTE “Day at the Statehouse” event in February.

Our partners in this work included the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents, the Indiana Association of School Principals, the Indiana State Teachers Association, the Indiana School Boards Association, and the education honorary, Kappa Delta Pi.

ECS Explores Teacher Shortage Solutions

The Education Commission of the States (ECS), a national state policy organization that partners with education policy leaders including AACTE, has released six reports that provide guidance to state policy makers seeking to address teacher shortages.

An introductory report, Teacher Shortages: What We Know, examines the teacher labor market and highlights recent findings from state task forces that have addressed policies related to teacher shortages.

Five additional reports consider different state strategies to tackle shortages: alternative certification, financial incentives, induction and mentorship, evaluation and feedback, teacher leadership.

Grant to Support State Leaders Institute Sessions

Please join AACTE for a free policy discussion and reception June 6! RSVP here.

Each summer, AACTE’s State Leaders Institute (SLI) brings together leaders of the Association’s state chapters to discuss important trends in state policies and to advocate for the profession. This year, the institute will be held June 5-6 as part of AACTE’s 2016 Washington Week, themed “Diverse Perspectives, Deep Partnerships, One Profession,” at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, VA.

Thanks to a grant from the Learning First Alliance’s Get It Right campaign, the 2016 SLI will offer interactive sessions highlighting how state policy for college- and career-ready standards will be affected by the recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the implications for educator preparation. Participants will gain a deeper understanding about the uniqueness of individual states, find ways in which they are similar, and discover how those similarities can help frame a common message.

State Policy Recap – 2016 to Date

Ed Prep Matters is pleased to bring you this special feature on state policy and AACTE state chapter activity. For a summary of March’s state activity, see this article; February’s state activity is available here.

Overview of State Policy Activity

Thanks to AACTE’s State Policy Tracker, we can identify trends in state legislation and regulations related to educator preparation.

So far this year, approximately 300 state bills related to educator preparation have been introduced. Of these, 186 were related to certification and standards, and 18 have been enacted. Many of these laws are related to lowering certification standards for alternative-route programs, differentiated licensure standards for certain subjects including STEM fields and career and technical education (CTE), and allowing more pathways into teaching to alleviate shortages. Seven bills related to teacher certification and shortages have been signed into law in 2016 with themes such as expanding scholarships for teacher candidates and offering loan forgiveness for teachers. Five state bills have been signed into law related to teacher licensure standards.

Resources Available on Using AACTE Policy Tracker

Last week, I hosted a webinar demonstrating the AACTE State Policy Tracker, an online tool that provides an interactive and user-friendly way for member institutions and state chapters to be more informed on state legislation and regulations related to educator preparation.

The webinar’s video recording and presentation slides are now available here.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the online policy tracker, contact me at agoldstein@aacte.org or (202) 478-4504.

North Dakota Chapter Uses AACTE Grant to Implement Statewide Surveys

The North Dakota Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NDACTE) received an AACTE State Chapter Support Grant last year to assist with the development and administration of a set of common assessments to be used by all North Dakota teacher preparation programs to improve the effectiveness of programs and quality of graduates.

During this school year, members of NDACTE have engaged in meetings and training workshops to learn how to effectively implement four common assessments: the Preservice Teacher Exit Survey, the Transition to Teaching Survey, the Supervisor Survey, and the Preservice Teacher Observational Assessment.

Recruiting More Teachers for Rural Schools: What South Carolina Is Doing Right

It is no secret that South Carolina has faced many challenges related to education. Most recently, a shortage of teachers has been severely affecting the most vulnerable regions of South Carolina: our rural and poverty-stricken regions. In a state where most students live below the poverty level, there are some unsung heroes doing their best with the lowest of means, but we desperately need to improve our recruitment and retention of professional educators.

One way the state is supporting this goal is through Proviso 1A.73, also known as the Rural Teacher Recruiting Incentive. The FY16 budget allows for $1.5 million to be spent on this plan. The Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA) at Winthrop University along with the South Carolina Department of Education and the Education Oversight Committee has been charged with the responsibility to develop the initiative, and CERRA Executive Director Jane Turner submitted the plan for the first year in January 2016 with multiple components:

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