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Registration Open for April Quality Support Workshop in Texas

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Registration is now open for AACTE’s first Quality Support Workshop, to be held April 24-26 in Fort Worth, Texas. Bring your team for 2 days of hands-on, expert-facilitated learning and planning around performance assessment, continuous improvement, and quality assurance.

The event is the first in a new series of regional workshops announced last month, offered through the AACTE Quality Support Center. A core component of AACTE’s mission is to support institutions’ continuous improvement efforts. With learning outcomes focused on topics of national or local interest, these workshops will provide accessible, targeted support for teams of faculty and staff.

Call for Submissions: AACTE Innovations Inventory

AACTE is excited to announce a call for new submissions to the Innovations Inventory! Online submissions will be accepted now through September 23.

The Innovations Inventory is an online repository of successful programs and initiatives that are improving educator preparation at AACTE member institutions. By documenting successful innovations, the inventory aims to inspire and support advances in educator preparation based on proven approaches that will benefit the field broadly. Members and their PK-12 partners are invited to submit examples of unique or new approaches to educator preparation programs or initiatives that address critical issues in educator preparation and show evidence of positive impact.

In this year’s call for submissions, we are pleased to offer two pathways through which faculty and partners can share their innovative programs:

    AACTE Networked Improvement Community Yields Exciting Results at UConn

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

    Like other programs, our teacher preparation program at the University of Connecticut Neag School of Education has long struggled to recruit as many students of color as we’d like. That’s why we joined AACTE’s networked improvement community (NIC) in 2014 to collaborate with other institutions on strategies to bring more Black and Latino men into our programs. Already, we have nearly doubled the percentage of students of color in our program, going from roughly 12% of students to 20% of our entering cohort this fall.

    ‘Guys With Ties’: Mentoring Men of Color for the Teacher Workforce

    When considering the trends in college degree attainment among students of color, there appears to be a tale of two genders, and something must be done about it. In April, I was part of a group of educators from across the country that convened in New Jersey at William Paterson University’s College of Education to consider the issue. The attendees have been working together over the past 2 years as members of AACTE’s Black and Hispanic/Latino Male Initiative Networked Improved Community (NIC), drawing upon the collective expertise of the member institutions to increase representation of Black and Hispanic/Latino males in the teacher workforce.

    Profession-Led Innovations Most Grounded in Evidence

    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.

    Registration Opens This Week for New Online Professional Seminar

    AACTE is pleased to open registration for its first in-depth Online Professional Seminar (OPS), Creating a Quality Assurance System, with the first 4-week section launching August 10 and additional sections beginning throughout the fall semester. Participants from AACTE member institutions receive a significant discount on the registration fee, but the seminars are open to the public as part of the Association’s Quality Support Initiative.

    Already, hundreds of educators have participated in the two free introductory seminars, OPS #1: Building Quality Assessments and OPS #2: Using Data for Improvement. Additional sections of these two free seminars are still open for registration on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Free Online Seminars an Early Hit With Educators

    More than 200 participants from a variety of education settings just completed the first Online Professional Seminar (OPS) in the series being offered by AACTE’s new Quality Support Initiative. With another 250-plus registrants signed up for the second free seminar starting next week, the series is off to a strong start—and there is still space in upcoming cohorts!

    The focus of each OPS is a topic relating to quality assessment and/or accreditation. Seminars are 3-week, interactive online courses for current and aspiring professional educators, PK-16. Courses are open to all educators, whether AACTE members or nonmembers, and the first two seminars in the series—Building Quality Assessments and Using Data for Improvement—are offered free of charge. These two introductory OPSs can be taken in any order.

    Member Voices: edTPA Data Help Ensure Readiness to Teach

    I recently had the pleasure and honor of delivering the keynote address for the 2015 edTPA Mid-Atlantic Implementation Conference in Towson, Maryland. As a longtime supporter and champion of observation- and performance-based educator preparation and assessment, I was eager to share with peers from across the nation who are at different places on their journey with edTPA.

    First, I wanted to commend each person for being there. By the virtue of their attendance and leadership, participants were helping shift the negative tone of dialogue around teacher preparation by highlighting innovative practices and committing to positive change. At the core of the narrative is a shared rallying call to ensure each teacher candidate enters tomorrow’s classroom ready to teach.

    Sarah Brown Wessling to Keynote Spring CAEP Conference

    Sarah Brown Wessling, 2010 National Teacher of the Year
    Sarah Brown Wessling, 2010 National Teacher of the Year

    The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) has announced that 2010 National Teacher of the Year Sarah Brown Wessling will be a keynote speaker for the 2015 Spring CAEP Conference in Denver, Colorado. The theme of the conference, which takes place April 9-10, is Preparing Effective, Classroom-Ready Teachers: An Evidence-Based Approach.

    In 2010, Wessling took a short break from her post teaching English at Johnston High School in Johnston, Iowa, to come to the White House to be named National Teacher of the Year. Wessling, a National Board Certified Teacher, has since leveraged this title to give her students and peers a voice.

    ‘Deans for Impact’ Brings Welcome Energy to Reform Efforts

    Eighteen education deans have formed a new coalition, Deans for Impact, to engage in the ongoing and important discussion about educator effectiveness and quality evidence. This group has staked out an agenda that is congruent with AACTE’s overall goals and also echoes the professional standards being implemented by the Council for the Accreditation for Educator Preparation.

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