On January 14, the Council of Chief State School Officers announced four finalists for the 2015 national teacher of the year. The finalists are state teachers of the year from Alabama, Hawaii, Indiana, and Texas.
The Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform Center (CEEDAR Center) will sponsor a free webinar, “Innovation Configurations in Action,” this Wednesday, January 28, at 1:00 p.m. EST.
Developed last year, innovation configurations are program evaluation tools that help determine the extent to which evidence-based practices are taught, observed, and applied in teacher preparation and professional development programs.
It is time for us to again be advocates for our profession. In response to the notice of proposed federal regulations for teacher preparation programs, we need faculty, students, and the community of PK-12 partners to respond and let their voices be heard.
This is not easy given the February 2 deadline for comment—comments are due just as faculty and students are returning for the spring semester!
A recent report by the think tank Third Way claims that the federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grant program is failing to meet its aims, instead burdening nearly 40% of recipients to date with converted unsubsidized loans after they failed to complete all program requirements.
The report calls for changes to the program, either through “short-term fixes” such as reducing reporting requirements and limiting grant use to “high-performing” programs (as proposed in the new federal regulations for teacher preparation programs) or, preferably, in a thorough overhaul that streamlines all federal assistance for teachers into a simple loan-forgiveness program.
Before we all head to Atlanta for AACTE’s 67th Annual Meeting, I asked a few past attendees to share tips for what to do at the event. Here’s some useful guidance from Jennifer Waddell, associate director of the Institute for Urban Education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
This post also appears on the Public School Insights blog of the Learning First Alliance.
Last week, the White House announced a new push to protect students’ digital privacy, as ever-expanding data collection efforts heighten concerns from parents and advocacy groups about appropriate uses of the data. Institutions of higher education share the administration’s priority to protect elementary and secondary students and uphold diligent safety and privacy practices in preparing teachers for the classroom. Ultimately, safeguarding student data is everyone’s business.
With an intention of generating 100,000 comments to the U.S. Department of Education on its proposed regulations for teacher preparation programs, the members of the AACTE Committee on Government Relations and Advocacy are leading the charge with a Twitter campaign to spread awareness of the proposed regulations.
Remember, the deadline to comment is February 2, and the teacher preparation profession’s voice must be heard! (See AACTE’s regulations web page for more information.)
Please join our Twitter campaign at #EDregs to help us reach out to colleagues, public officials, students, organizations, and the public to help generate more conversation on Twitter about the regulations—leading, we hope, to more comments submitted to the government.
’Twixt Scylla and Charybdis: Navigating the Paradoxes of Data Use, Accountability, and Program Improvement
Academic leaders in teacher education are currently faced with unprecedented policy pressures related to collecting, reporting, and acting on an intensifying array of program outcome measures. Moreover, many of the state and federal policies driving these pressures are saturated with paradox, attempting to address multiple and often contradictory goals. Perhaps the most fundamental of these is related to the essential tension between policy goals related to identifying and eliminating “low-performing programs,” and those related to “program improvement.” Coping with contradictory discourses and policies related to accountability, program improvement, and “data use” has become one of the facts of life experienced by virtually all contemporary teacher educators.
We have an opportunity to make our voices heard. Though the proposed federal regulations for teacher preparation programs were released for comment most inconveniently during the hurly burly of exams and the holidays, I was determined to find a festive, collegial way to engage the faculty and students at my institution in contributing our knowledge and experience by February 2.
AACTE’s challenge to generate 100,000 comments inspired me. There’s no guarantee that the U.S. Department of Education will listen, of course, but an onslaught of letters will hopefully grab their attention. The question for me: How to spur people to actually read and respond to the proposal.
On Friday, January 2, AACTE submitted formal comments to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regarding the burden and cost estimates that were provided in the proposed federal teacher preparation regulations. The extensive 38-page analysis echoes many of the concerns raised by AACTE members and colleague organizations.