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New Webinar Series to Discuss Principals’ Transforming Roles, Preparation

This fall, AACTE will present a new webinar series called “Principals as Transformation Leaders,” supported by The Wallace Foundation as part of the Association’s ongoing partnership to disseminate the latest research and practice innovations in principal preparation. As faculty working with current and aspiring principals in Colorado, we are excited to serve as moderators for these webinars. If you are involved in school leadership, either as a practicing administrator or as a university faculty member, please join us!

The first webinar, titled Principals as Transformation Leaders: Changing Roles and Responsibilities, will be held October 12 at 3:00 p.m. EDT. Transformation leaders identify needs and empower stakeholders to implement positive change to maximize the desired results. They are visionary, resourceful, and adaptable – qualities that are especially valuable in today’s educational environment, where the roles and responsibilities of a principal are changing drastically in any typical day. This webinar will explore these changes and how they impact the day-to-day work of a principal. Learn about proactive ways to support new principals in their challenging role from our panelists:

Toledo’s Early Childhood Science Program Wins AASCU’s McAuliffe Award

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) has selected a professional development partnership of the University of Toledo (OH) to receive the 2017 Christa McAuliffe Excellence in Teacher Education Award. The award will be presented October 22 at the AASCU Annual Meeting in La Jolla, California.

The winning program, NURTURES (Networking Urban Resources with Teachers and University to enRich Early Childhood Science), aims to improve the science learning and readiness scores of preschool through third grade students in the Toledo area. NURTURES is a collaboration among the university’s education, engineering, and natural science faculty; local daycare centers and nursery schools; informal science centers; and other community resources to create a complementary, integrated system of science education. The program enhances teacher understanding of science content to improve classroom practices and offers classroom extension activities and family learning opportunities.

Americans Want Public Schools to Provide Much More Than Academics, PDK Poll Finds

“The three R’s alone don’t cut it anymore,” announces a report released August 28 on the 49th annual PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. In addition to solid academics, Americans want their schools to provide job training, more explicit focus on social-emotional skills, and “wraparound” services like health centers and afterschool programs. Respondents also want students to learn in diverse classrooms and are skeptical about vouchers and the value of standardized tests.

This year’s survey sought to learn more about last year’s discovery of a desire among the American public for schools to focus less on honors classes and more on career and technical education. The new data suggest that the public really wants both strong academics and job preparation, including classes focused on career skills, technology and engineering, and programs leading to a professional certificate or license. The less satisfied respondents are with their local schools, the more likely they are to say schools should offer more job/career skills classes.

Report: States Can Support Continuous Improvement of EPPs Through Better Data Sharing

A new policy brief from the Data Quality Campaign presents recommendations for states to support educator preparation through better sharing and use of information – not just for accountability but also for continuous improvement. The report, Using Data to Ensure That Teachers Are Learner Ready on Day One, calls attention to current data challenges faced by educator preparation providers (EPPs) and offers suggestions and examples for states to improve the situation.

“State education agencies already collect information about teachers, like their licenses, where they teach, and how much they improve student learning, but that information is not consistently shared with EPPs,” the brief states. “On the program side, EPPs are often frustrated by data collection and reporting requirements that do not help them answer important questions about their own program quality. And a lack of publicly available information on EPP outcomes means that EPPs and their stakeholders, from prospective teachers to K-12 principals, too often must spend their own limited time and resources to collect and synthesize information that could be provided by the state.”

The report, developed in partnership with AACTE and several other partner organizations, lists the following primary challenges to using data for EPP improvement:

AACTE Joins 32 Organizations in Supporting the Dream Act of 2017

In a letter led by the American Council on Education, AACTE joined 32 organizations this month in supporting the Dream Act of 2017, a bipartisan bill introduced July 20 by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). The legislation would provide a path for young immigrants who entered the United States as children to attain lawful permanent residency status if they meet a series of requirements.

The target population is immigrants who in essence know only the United States as their home. Individuals may be eligible if they meet the following criteria:

Lessons From ECS Forum: Ongoing Engagement Critical as New State Policy Makers Take Office

On behalf of AACTE, I recently attended the annual National Forum on Education Policy of the Education Commission of the States (ECS), a national organization of state education policy leaders. The more than 550 attendees at the forum included governors, state education chiefs, chairs of state legislatures’ education committees, and higher education executives, many of whom were new to their position. In fact, one of my main takeaways from the conference was the high level of recent turnover in states’ positions for education decision makers – and the associated need for educators to maintain outreach efforts to connect with them.

Over the past 2 years, there has been drastic leadership change for state legislators, chief state school officers, and governors. In 2016, elections were held for 86 of the 98 partisan state legislative chambers and for 6 of the 13 elected chief state school officers. Furthermore, the average tenure of a chief state school officer is approximately 2½ years. In 2017, 36 states will hold elections for their governors, at least 16 of which must be new due to term limits.

How to Grow Your Own: Ideas From NEA/AFT Summit on Teacher Diversity, Social Justice

Last month, more than 150 educators and organizational leaders convened in Washington, DC, for a summit on strategies to recruit and retain a more diverse teaching workforce. Hosted by the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the “Grow Your Own: Teacher Diversity and Social Justice Summit” offered a series of presentations and panel discussions focused on efforts to recruit educators from local communities.

One panel focused on educator preparation programs and included faculty from several universities across the nation. They discussed the challenges and successes of their candidates and the particular approaches of successful grow-your-own (GYO) programs, from community-centered recruitment to unique financial incentives and other supports.

Using NICs to Engage More Minority Males in STEM Learning

A member of the North Carolina A&T State University team shares its work during the May event at Morgan State University.
Abiodun Fasoro of Central State University discusses his campus’ minority male STEM program during the Verizon Innovative Learning Showcase.

Last month, I had the privilege of participating in the Building a Networked Improvement Community Around Engaging Minority Males in STEM Workshop at Morgan State University. The workshop focused on advancing the work of the Early STEM Engagement for Minority Males (eSEM) Initiative, a network of 16 minority-serving institutions (MSIs).

Led by Morgan State and in partnership with Verizon Innovative Learning Programs, SRI Education, the National CARES Mentoring Network, and local school districts, eSEM is a growing collaborative seeking to address STEM achievement challenges and improve outcomes for middle school minority male students through the development of a Networked Improvement Community (NIC). The initiative is supported through grants from the National Science Foundation and includes the following universities:

AACTE 2017 Washington Week Recap

During the AACTE Washington Week, June 4-7, teacher educators, preservice teachers, and PK-12 school administrators united under the event theme “Diverse Perspectives, Deep Partnerships, One Profession.” The convening brought together attendees from across the nation to discuss important education policies and advocate for educator preparation with members of Congress and their staff.

Coming Soon: Teacher Educator Technology Competencies

The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

To help educator preparation programs address calls for better preparing new teachers to integrate technology in their practice, we recently led a collaborative research effort to develop a set of teacher educator technology competencies. An article outlining the competencies and our underlying methodologies is currently in review for publication, and we look forward to disseminating the details soon – but for now, we’d like to share some background on what spurred the project and how we decided to approach it.

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