Posts Tagged ‘equity’

Letter to Editor: Prepare Teachers to Adapt to Factors Outside School

The following letter to the editor was published today in Education Week.

There are kids entering urban classrooms every day hungry, sad, tired, and angry. Name an obstacle to learning, and most urban teachers have seen it play out firsthand among their students.

In January, the Horace Mann League of the United States released School Performance in Context: The Iceberg Effect, a report on the “unparalleled levels” of poverty, inequity, and violence faced by U.S. students. Though outside factors such as these are not the reason for increasing gaps in achievement, they’re barriers teachers must understand and address to have an impact on student learning.

The Power of Teacher Professional Communities in Urban Schools

Editor’s Note: Professor Hollins inspired attendees of AACTE’s recent Annual Meeting in Atlanta during the Speaker Spotlight Session. (View a video recording of her speech here, and read another version in this Hechinger Report piece, which includes the video she played during her address.) To follow up on her presentation, we invited Hollins to explore her topic in a series of blogs for Ed Prep Matters. This is the final post in the series.

Most teachers in urban schools, as elsewhere, are dedicated professionals who put much effort into their practice and care deeply about the students they teach. Teachers understandably feel frustrated when their students fail to meet expectations for learning outcomes. How they address this frustration, however, makes all the difference for student outcomes—and it is influenced heavily by the ideology developed in their school’s professional community.

Apples to Oranges: Comparing Student Performance Across Countries With Varied Socioeconomic Conditions

In the three decades since A Nation at Risk was released, the state of America’s education system relative to other countries’ has been a matter of heated debate. Along the way, public opinion has placed the onus for our schools’ perceived failure on teachers and their preparation, and education policy has echoed this assumption through an array of accountability measures for teachers and preparation programs.

One driver of the continued misconception about U.S. teacher quality is the highly publicized results of international large-scale education assessments (ILSAs) that suggest America’s students are performing far below other nations. At January’s press briefing for the report The Iceberg Effect, lead researcher and report author James Harvey explained that ILSAs have been misused and that the science behind them is highly questionable, akin to comparing apples to oranges.

Support Arts for Learning at AACTE’s Annual Meeting

At this year’s Annual Meeting in Atlanta, AACTE is proud to partner with a local organization, Arts for Learning, to give back to the surrounding community. Look for the designated table beside the AACTE Resource Center outside the Conference Community Center.

Arts for Learning at the Woodruff Arts Center aims “to transform the lives and learning of young people through the arts.” It is an affiliate of Young Audiences, Inc., the nation’s largest source for arts-in-education services, and reaches preschool through high school students. According to its web site, the organization’s “performances, workshops, and residencies encompass a wide variety of art forms, genres, and cultural traditions in the visual, performing, literary, and media arts.” Arts for Learning serves more than 200,000 PK-12 students annually in hundreds of schools across Georgia, with targeted supports for classroom teachers to implement arts-integrated instructional strategies, particularly those focused on literacy.

TCU to Win Multicultural Best Practice Award

AACTE’s Committee on Global Diversity has selected Texas Christian University’s College of Education to receive the 2015 AACTE Best Practice Award in Support of Multicultural Education and Diversity. The award will be presented at the 67th AACTE Annual Meeting Speaker Spotlight Session, Sunday, March 1, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

The university’s robust Early Childhood Through Grade 6 Program (EC-6) is the particular target of AACTE’s award, with a focus on diversity broadly conceived. Students in this program–who predominantly come from middle-high socioeconomic, monolingual backgrounds and initially expect to teach in schools with similar demographics–develop knowledge, skills, and values to effectively work in high-need settings by serving as a bridge between home and school while academically challenging all children for success.

‘The Iceberg Effect’—Not Just About Asking Questions

Upon arriving at AACTE last month to begin our semester-long internship, we were whisked off to the National Press Club for a press briefing on The Iceberg Effect, based on the new studySchool Performance in Context: Indicators of School Inputs and Outputs in Nine Similar Nations. For three doctoral students who are dedicated to promoting social justice in and out of the classroom, this could not have been a more fitting introduction to our work at AACTE.

The report, released by the National Superintendents Roundtable and the Horace Mann Foundation, casts new light on U.S. students’ performance on international assessments, controlling for social and economic factors that have not been previously studied alongside student achievement on this scale. The results highlight the relatively strong academic achievement of America’s students in spite of our nation’s poor performance in providing supports to help offset the widespread social and economic effects of poverty.

Panel: Proposed Federal Regulations Could Have Negative Impact on Teacher Diversity

On Tuesday, January 27, the American Federation of Teachers and Howard University (DC) convened a panel at the National Press Club to discuss the potential impact of the proposed federal teacher preparation regulations on minority-serving institutions (MSIs) and their teacher pipelines. AACTE President/CEO Sharon P. Robinson was among the panelists who shared their concerns and urged the U.S. Department of Education to withdraw the regulations.

AACTE Receives NSF Grant for International STEM Conference

The National Science Foundation has awarded AACTE $72,820 to support a conference in 2015 on closing the student achievement gap in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The event will help participants address the following objectives:

  • To review current research on the achievement gap in mathematics and science with a focus on school-related variables that adversely affect outcomes from low-income and minority students
  • To discuss teacher quality and effective teaching in STEM
  • To identify effective strategies and models that promote equity in education and that close the STEM achievement gap
  • To build collaborative, interdisciplinary partnerships for addressing the U.S. achievement gap in STEM subjects

Coalition for Teaching Quality Submits Commentary on HQT Data Collection

Tomorrow, April 18, is the deadline for public comment on the proposed “highly qualified teacher” (HQT) data collection by the U.S. Department of Education. A detailed letter submitted yesterday by the Coalition for Teaching Quality hails the proposed collection as “an important first step towards meeting the legislative intent” of Congress’ directive to report on the extent to which students in certain high-need categories are taught by teachers who are labeled as “highly qualified,” but who are actually teachers-in-training in alternative routes. 

Symposium to Mark 60th Anniversary of Brown Decision

Next month marks the 60th anniversary of the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision that put an end to legalized segregation of U.S. public schools. To commemorate the occasion, George Mason University (VA) is hosting a film screening and symposium on Monday, April 28. (AACTE is a promotional partner for the event.)

The free symposium, titled “Unspoken Histories of Unequal Education,” will kick off with an hors d’oeuvres reception at 6:00 p.m., followed by a screening of the film Stolen Education. After the movie, join the filmmaker (Professor Enrique Alemán, Jr., of the University of Utah) and other esteemed panelists to discuss the film and the impact and relevancy of Brown today.

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So mark your calendars and get ready for an exciting week to come!

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