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.
AACTE congratulates its Board of Directors member Candice McQueen on being named the next Tennessee education commissioner by Governor Bill Haslam last week. McQueen is currently senior vice president and dean of the College of Education at Lipscomb University. She will assume her new role January 20, 2015.
As the Tennessee commissioner of education, McQueen will oversee all of the work of the Tennessee Department of Education. She will lead the implementation of statewide assessments, the evaluation of curricula across Tennessee, and the execution of education initiatives of the governor as a member of the cabinet. McQueen has also accepted the challenge to oversee education standards that could mirror Common Core standards or Tennessee-specific standards, and she is tasked with creating and implementing a new state standardized test, “TNReady.” The commissioner has a role in creating the test and ensuring it aligns with what’s taught in the classroom.
Editor’s Note: The following text includes issue prompts provided by the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities followed by responses submitted to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget by Dr. Hennessy on December 14. AACTE encourages others to file comments with OMB by the January 2 deadline.
On Tuesday, December 16, President Obama signed into law H.R. 83, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, which distributes $1.1 trillion across the federal government.
U.S. Department of Education discretionary funding was cut by $166 million. The Teacher Quality Partnership program took only a small hit, reducing funding to around $40 million. We are grateful to our champions on the Hill, including Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), for the continued funding of this program.
As you may know, embedded in the teacher preparation program regulations proposed by the U.S. Department of Education is a request for feedback from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) concerning the cost estimates and burden estimates of the proposed information collection. AACTE encourages you to respond to this request.
The deadline for the OMB request is January 2, 2015. Please note this deadline is a month earlier than the deadline to comment on the overall regulations.
Congratulations to the future members of AACTE’s Board of Directors! In an online election that ended November 28, AACTE members chose several of their colleagues to serve a 3-year term beginning March 1, 2015:
Arlinda Eaton, Kennesaw State University (TECSCU)
Pamela Carroll, Oklahoma State University (At-Large)
Dianne Mark, Coastal Carolina University (At-Large)
Jennie Whitcomb, University of Colorado at Boulder (At-Large)
The AACTE Holmes Scholars® Program is one of the Association’s hallmark offerings on diversity and will be featured in a variety of sessions at the 67th Annual Meeting in Atlanta, February 27-March 1.
In addition to dedicated preconference programming, attending Holmes Scholars will participate in the full range of Annual Meeting offerings under the theme Advancing the Imperative, from major forums and general and concurrent sessions to the town hall meeting and the job fair.
The December 2014/January 2015 issue of Educational Horizons is now available from Pi Lambda Theta.
Thanks to a partnership with Phi Delta Kappa and Pi Lambda Theta, all AACTE members receive free online access to this magazine for future teachers as a benefit of their AACTE membership. Chief Representatives also receive each issue by mail.