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New NCLD Helps Teachers Unlock the Power of Students Who Learn Differently


One in 5 students in the United States have learning and attention issues. This includes those with identified specific learning disabilities, diagnosed attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, or related disorders that impact learning. Despite often having above average or average intelligence, the majority of these students are achieving below grade level. This equates to millions of students across the nation whose strengths and potential are going untapped.

The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) and Understood set out to unpack and address this problem. We partnered with teachers—often the most consistent touchpoint for students after their caregivers—to understand their experiences and insights. We rooted these experiences in rigorous research focused on general education classrooms, where the majority of the “1 in 5” spend most of their time. The culmination of this work is found in “Forward Together,” a new report from Understood and the NCLD.

AACTE is joining several other education organizations to develop Forward Together Toolkits for our teachers and teacher educators. Stay tuned for more information on the dissemination of those toolkits!

New Initiative To Advance Teacher and Principal Preparation Grounded in the Science of Learning

Research shows that teachers are the number one in-school factor affecting student outcomes and principals are the number two factor. One important metric for those outcomes is how well and how equitably our nation’s diverse students are able to navigate our increasingly global and technologically complex world, where skills like critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and being able to apply knowledge in a range of contexts are crucial to success. Today, Learning Policy Institute and Bank Street Graduate School of Education have announced the launch of the Educator Preparation Laboratory (EdPrepLab), a new initiative to help educator preparation programs ensure that new teachers and leaders are able to provide all k-12 students with the kind of deeper learning that helps them develop those skills. 

EdPrepLab brings together 15 of the nation’s leading teacher and principal preparation programs to collaborate on further developing and documenting models for preparation that equip educators to advance  deeper learning and equity, and that can inform  other programs across the nation. The initiative will also support research to improve preparation programs and work with policymakers at federal, state, and local levels to help leverage policies that encourage the use of research-based practices that ensure new teachers and school leaders are well-equipped to provide deeper learning and to build the next generation of equitable schools and instructional education practices.

“Our world has changed significantly since the U.S. education system was first developed, and students today need an education that supports and prepares them for that more diverse, technology-driven, knowledge-based society,” said Learning Policy Institute President Linda Darling-Hammond. “That means we need to prepare teachers and school leaders to provide this kind of education. Fortunately, we have research to guide the way. There is a wealth of new knowledge about the science of learning and development, how social and emotional skills support academic learning, and how to ensure that students really understand what they have learned.”

Call for Chapter Proposals – Rethinking School-University Partnerships: A New Way Forward

As co-editors, we are inviting you to submit a chapter proposal for the upcoming book, Rethinking School-University Partnerships: A New Way Forward, which will be published by Information Age Publishing. This volume will explore innovative ways in which colleges of education and education preparation providers (EPPs) engage with school partners to improve teacher education and educational outcomes for P-12 learners. The main focus of this book project is to extend the literature in this area and to learn from others around the country engaged in this important work. We are particularly interested in partnership work that addresses mutually beneficial outcomes and persistent issues/problems in teacher education.

This book will provide educational leaders in public schools and colleges of education with insight, advice, and direction into the task of creating effective, proactive partnerships. In current times, colleges of education and local school districts need each other like never before. School districts struggle with pipeline-workforce, recruitment, and retention issues. Colleges of education face declining enrollment and a shifting educational landscape that fundamentally changes the way that teachers are trained and what local school districts expect their teachers to be able to do. It is with these overlapping constraints and converging interests that partnerships emerge as a strategy for strengthening the education of our teachers.

The partnerships that we envision are different from the ways in which colleges of education and school districts have traditionally worked with one another. In the past, these loose relationships centered primarily on student teaching and/or field experience placements. We conceptualize “new” partnerships as being proactive, mutually beneficial, pragmatic, and futures oriented. By focusing on people who are leaders in colleges/schools of education and local schools, this book will be well-positioned to help us develop a better understanding of how to initiate and lead change around the concept of partnerships.

UT to Launch Program to Support Diversity in Teaching


This article and photo originally appeared on the University of Tennessee News website and are reprinted with permission. 

A new program aimed at increasing the number of licensed teachers from diverse backgrounds will launch this summer in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences.

The program, Increasing Teacher Equity to Address Community High Needs (I-TEACH), is funded by a Tennessee Higher Education Commission grant recently awarded to the college to support diversity in education and to fill critical teaching shortages across the state. The two-year program supports 12 eligible teacher candidates for 33 hours of coursework and clinical practice. Candidates who complete the program will graduate with a master’s degree in teacher education.

NAEP Review of 2025 Mathematics Framework is Underway

Greetings from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2025 Mathematics Framework team at WestEd. NAEP, also known as the Nation’s Report Card, measures student achievement in elementary and secondary schools. Public review of the Mathematics Framework draft is underway, and we would like you to be aware of the offerings for stakeholder groups to become informed and, if you haven’t already, provide input on this important document. 

First, the Mathematics Framework draft, along with further information about NAEP, can be accessed at FNAEPFrameworkUpdate.org. By clicking the “Framework Draft” tab, interested parties can receive directions on how to download, comment on, and upload the draft. AACTE has reviewed the draft framework and provided feedback to NAEP. The draft was available for comment through June 7, 2019.

Additional background information on this work can be found on our website. For example, on April 25, 2019, Suzanne Wilson from the University of Connecticut and Mike Shaughnessy from Portland State University discussed their work on the NAEP  Mathematics Assessment Framework on the Math Ed podcast. Also, upcoming opportunities to engage with the draft Framework, such as webinars with members of the Council of Great City Schools, are located on the Outreach Events tab.

Teacher Ed Grows in Many Ways


This article and photo originally appeared on the Central Michigan University website and are reprinted with permission

What can you add to 688 to total 958?

In Central Michigan University’s teacher education programs, the answer is one year: From fall 2017 to fall 2018, admittance and enrollment in teacher ed grew from 688 students to 958, a 39% increase.

To Betty Kirby, acting dean of CMU’s College of Education and Human Services, the explanation is simple.

“CMU is the place to come for excellent teacher preparation,” she said, “and now is a great time to become a teacher.”

Elisabeth Valenzuela Coordinates New Regional School Partnership

This article originally appeared on the New Mexico Highlands University website and is reprinted with permission.

Elisabeth Valenzuela is the first coordinator for the Regional School Partnership, a collaboration among Pojoaque Valley Public Schools, Los Alamos National Laboratory and New Mexico Highlands University that aims to support improved teaching and learning.

The innovative partnership, launched in October 2018, is the first of its kind in New Mexico to combine a school district, a major employer and a university teacher education program. It focuses on increasing success for youth in grades 4 through 8.

“The clinical residency program is the most exciting element of this new partnership,” Valenzuela said. “Pre-service teachers who are students in the Highlands School of Education will spend their junior and senior years working three days a week co-teaching a classroom in Pojoaque schools. These college students will work under the mentorship of a highly qualified teacher.”

Valenzuela said Los Alamos National Laboratory has a history of working with Northern New Mexico school districts to improve teaching and learning.

Solving the Teacher Shortage Crisis: APSU and CMCSS Team Up on New Program

The first class of residents in the Early Learning Teacher Residence program, a partnership between Austin Peay State University and the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System, wait to sign their contracts on May 24, 2019. (Photo: Jennifer Babich)

This article and photo originally appeared in the Leaf Chronicle and are reprinted with permission

These are not your typical college students.

Instead, they’re the first class of aspiring professionals embarking on a free three-year residency and degree program to turn themselves into teachers, as part of a partnership between Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools and Austin Peay State University.

Teacher Professional Identity and Learner Engagement

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

Can there be something within a teacher’s professional identity that enables them to better engage their students? If so, what are some ways an educator can shape their professional identity to more effectively engage their students in content and skill development?

Education researchers (Salli & Osam, 2018) suggest that a teacher’s professional identity is a balance between both teaching strategies and the teacher’s interactions with students. A person’s identity is made up of several unique perspectives (I-positions), working both separately and in harmony with one another to effect one’s decisions and actions in a given situation (Meijers & Hermans, 2018). I-positions are made up of a person’s past experiences, and each I-position then assumes a role within the person’s identity. When a person encounters a new situation, several I-positions may be activated at the same time and through dialogic interaction, either collaborate or form tension with each other in order for the person to make a decision and act within that situation.

The collaboration and tension among I-positions is where a person’s identity is formed or grows.

Georgia Southern and Haven Elementary Partner for Educator Program

This article originally appeared on the Georgia Southern University website and is reprinted with permission.

Georgia Southern University and Haven Elementary School are partnering to offer teachers a Gratifying Problem-Solving (GPS) program, which will provide educators unique monthly professional development based on the school’s current need for improved mathematics instruction.

The College of Education’s Jackie Kim, associate professor of elementary and special education, serves as director for the project, totaling $74,976, which is funded by a Community Partnership Grant from the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement.

The GPS program uses a bottom-up approach, allowing the participants at Haven Elementary to help shape its development, workshop activities and directive.

“We go to find out what their inquiries and needs are and create a workshop based on the assessment,” said Kim. “We want to start with what they are currently doing in the classroom and change their practice to make instruction stronger yet doable.”

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