When we are faced with changes in standards or other expectations for our programs, we often worry about their impact on our work. But sometimes revisions are needed to improve our processes and outcomes, informed by our ever-growing body of research and experience with partners in the field. How can new rules or laws enhance rather than upend our work?
Please join me October 5 at 1:00 p.m. EDT for a free webinar, How Accrediting Organizations and Standards Can Improve Principal Quality, made possible with support from The Wallace Foundation. Panelists will discuss their varied viewpoints on these parameters for improvement and lessons they’ve learned in national and state agencies, PK-12 districts, and higher education.
On Friday, September 23, the U.S. Department of Education sent a letter to the presidents of certain institutions that are eligible for TEACH grants, announcing a change in eligibility requirements. If you are at one of these institutions, a response must be filed with the Department within 30 days of the letter – meaning by October 23.
Previously, institutions could offer the grants if their programs held either (a) specialized accreditation awarded through a Department-recognized agency or (b) state approval plus a requirement of at least 10 weeks of full-time preservice clinical experience and pedagogical course work. The letter (see PDF) explains that effective September 22, the Department no longer recognizes any national accreditor for educator preparation programs, eliminating option (a) as a qualifier for eligibility.
The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) seeks presentation proposals for sessions to be held at the 2017 spring and/or fall CAEPCon. Proposals must be submitted online by October 10.
Are you looking to expand your understanding of quality assurance processes? Give your practice a boost with an affordable and convenient Online Professional Seminar (OPS), offered through AACTE’s Quality Support Center.
Joseph Lubig, an associate dean at Northern Michigan University, has completed five of the six seminars on assessment and accreditation. He says he especially enjoyed OPS #5: Preparing for Accreditation and its practical assistance for meeting the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) standards, including legacy standards of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC).
Please join the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) in partnership with AACTE for this fall’s CAEP Conference, September 29–October 1 in Washington, DC. Online registration is open now through September 9.
The CAEP Conference, known as “CAEPCon,” is an opportunity to share evidence of innovations, continuous improvement, and transformational practice as well as to be informed on the CAEP accreditation process. Held twice a year, the event convenes educator preparation providers, state and local education agencies, and various education organizations and associations to share strategies and best practices along with innovative ideas about accreditation’s role in ensuring candidate readiness.
At its biannual meeting this month, the Board of Directors of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) adopted language to clarify and refine the academic achievement component required in Standard 3: Candidate Quality, Recruitment, and Selectivity. Other board action included approving revisions to the CAEP Standards for Advanced Programs, bylaw updates, budgetary work, and other business.
For Standard 3, Component 2—which addresses candidates’ academic achievement—the following actions were approved, according to a statement from the CAEP board:
Last week, the AACTE Clinical Practice Commission met with members of the former CAEP State Alliance for Clinical Preparation and Partnerships for a summit that began merging the outcomes from the alliance’s work into the ongoing efforts of the commission. Summit participants from the alliance were invited to join the commission, which is now in Round 2 of its quest to better define clinical practice and related best practices for the field.
The synergy in the room when these two groups got together was palpable. They began as if they had been working together forever. Each group has been studying clinical practice with an eye to advancing the recommendations of the 2010 NCATE Blue Ribbon Panel report, but tackling the work from different angles. The alliance’s findings, produced by state-based teams through work cycles grounded in improvement science, provide a valuable complement to the commission’s national effort. (CAEP, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, allowed the alliance to sunset this spring.)
Carol Smith, 1949–2016
Carol E. Smith, longtime AACTE staffer who deftly guided the Association through the early standards movement and years of accreditation reforms, died June 6 in Falls Church, Virginia. She was 66.
A native of Johnson City, Tennessee, Smith gave 23 years of devoted service to AACTE. After an early career in the banking and legal fields, she joined the AACTE staff as an administrative assistant in 1985 and worked up to senior leadership as vice president for professional issues before leaving in 2008.
Her portfolio of responsibilities was vast, including orchestrating the Association’s liaison with the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, contributing to the design of the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium, and convening the Task Force on Teacher Education as a Moral Community, among others.
The National Policy Board for Education Administration (NPBEA) seeks comment by May 22 on new draft standards for leadership preparation programs. Once approved, these preparation standards will replace the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) standards and be used to guide the educational leadership program design, accreditation review, and state approval of preparation programs for principals and superintendents.
The proposed National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) Standards specify what novice leaders should know and be able to do, at the building and district level, after completing a high-quality educational leadership preparation program. The new draft aligns the standards for preparation programs with the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) approved by NPBEA last fall. Formerly known as the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) standards, the PSEL standards articulate the knowledge and skills expected of school leaders broadly.
It’s axiomatic that experts in a field are better equipped than outsiders to design interventions that will work. Yet in education, we face a constant barrage of external reform efforts that fail to incorporate professional knowledge and expertise—and they just don’t work.
This point is reinforced in recent research out of the National Education Policy Center. In this study, Marilyn Cochran-Smith and her colleagues at Boston College (MA) examine the evidentiary base underlying four national initiatives for teacher preparation program accountability and improvement. They find that only one of the initiatives—the beginning-teacher performance assessment edTPA, designed and managed by the profession—is founded on claims supported by research. With a measure that is valid, scoring that is reliable, and therefore results that are accurate, we have a serious tool for program improvement.