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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:

Collaboration Across State Lines Transforms Educator Preparation

In February, the Louisiana Department of Education hosted representatives from six states in the Council of Chief State School Officers’ Network for Transforming Educator Preparation (NTEP). Formed in 2013, this aligned action network brings together state chiefs and their education agency staff who are committed to activating key policy levers around licensure, program approval, and data as they transform educator preparation in their respective states. As a representative from the Missouri NTEP team, I joined colleagues from five states—Georgia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Washington—on the visit to Baton Rouge to attend Louisiana’s Believe and Prepare Community Meeting and learn from the work of practitioners, programs, and districts across Louisiana leading efforts to improve educator preparation.

March 2016 State Policy Recap

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

Overview of State Policy Activity

In March, at least 30 state legislatures met as part of their 2016 legislative sessions. At least 184 state bills were introduced related to educator preparation. Since the New Year, approximately 300 bills have been introduced, of which seven have been signed into law.

Nevada Teacher Shortages, Solutions Discussed at AACTE Press Briefing

In advance of the 68th Annual Meeting, AACTE held a press briefing last month at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, focused on educator preparation providers’ work to address the teacher shortages in Nevada. Panelists discussed the challenges they face and innovative solutions under way to meet the urgent demand for qualified teachers in the state’s two largest counties and in both rural and urban areas.

Presented by AACTE in partnership with member institutions in the state, the briefing featured an interactive panel discussion moderated by Mark LaCelle-Peterson, AACTE senior vice president for policy and programs, with the following panelists:

  • Kenneth Coll, Dean, College of Education, University of Nevada, Reno
  • Kim Metcalf, Dean, College of Education, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Dennis Potthoff, Dean, School of Education, Nevada State College
  • Thomas Reagan, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Great Basin College
  • Staci Vesneske, Former Chief Human Resources Officer, Clark County School District, on special assignment to the superintendent’s office

February 2016 State Policy Recap

Ed Prep Matters is pleased to bring you this special feature on policy and AACTE chapter activity in the states. For a summary of January’s state activity, see this article, or to see a year-end recap for 2015, see this article.

Overview of State Policy Activity

In February, 40 state legislatures convened for their 2016 legislative sessions. At least 160 bills were introduced in 30 states that could have an impact on educator preparation programs.

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