“Although the current dialogue about school choice is generally focused on charter schools, vouchers, and the overall diversion of taxpayer monies to private entities, it misses a fundamental reality: Most public school districts already offer a wide range of choices to their students.” This message is at the core of a new report from the National School Boards Association’s Center for Public Education titled Busting the Myth of “One Size Fits All” Public Education.
At an event unveiling the report earlier this month, panelists discussed the wide variety of alternative options offered in public education. Thomas Gentzel, executive director and CEO of the National School Boards Association, noted that the system has evolved over many years from one that offers limited options into one that molds to students’ diverse needs – providing a greater degree of choice, in fact, than many private schools.
Thanks to an AACTE State Chapter Support Grant, the New Jersey Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NJACTE) recently completed a statewide advocacy campaign to debunk myths about teacher preparation and teacher quality.
In spring 2015, NJACTE submitted a successful proposal to AACTE for funds to expand the capacity, leadership, and relationship with the PK–12 community and the state Department of Education by collaborating on strategies to debunk myths about teacher preparation and teacher quality.
Editor’s note: This is the third of six blogs exploring data on program entry and exit requirements from the latest available (2014) federal collection mandated by Title II of the Higher Education Act. The data include 1,497 providers of “traditional” programs based in institutions of higher education (IHEs), 472 providers of IHE-based alternative programs, and 201 providers of non-IHE-based alternative programs.
Although critics sometimes claim that educator preparation programs have few or no requirements for admission and completion, federal Title II data say otherwise. In this article, we explore the number of exit requirements reported by different types of providers at the undergraduate and graduate levels. (See our recent blogs about the number and frequency of various entry requirements.)
As noted in the first blog of our series, the Title II survey provides 15 options for providers to indicate their entry and exit criteria:
To help you tell your story, AACTE is hosting a three-part webinar series this fall titled “If You Don’t Say It, Who Will?” which offers strategies for how to engage your internal networks and PK-12 partners as well as how to be sure the media and other audiences hear your messages. Won’t you join us in our ongoing campaign to debunk myths about educator preparation and teacher quality?
The first webinar in the series ran November 16, as dozens of you tuned in for “If You Don’t Say It, Who Will? Engaging Internal Networks to Tell Your Story” led by AACTE Director of Marketing and Communications Jerrica Thurman. This event taught participants how to create engagement and communication within their institutions to build a stronger channel for promoting the meaningful work happening in their educator preparation programs. Thurman also shared strategies for recruiting students, faculty, communication officers, and others to spread the word about the impact their program is making. In addition to discussing how to develop dynamic key messages and to identify news worthy to share, Thurman walked participants through the steps to develop a successful communications strategy:
A set of nine laudable principles to advance the teaching profession undergird an ambitious campaign organized by the Center for American Progress (CAP) that launches today. The new initiative, TeachStrong, targets improvements at every stage of the educator pipeline, from recruitment and preparation through licensure and career pathways, calling for a much-needed shift in focus in education policy away from test-and-punish accountability and toward strengthening the teaching profession.
TeachStrong attempts to elicit a common tune from the cacophony of voices across the education sector—from AACTE and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to the National Council on Teacher Quality and Teach for America—with a “Path to Modernizing and Elevating Teaching” comprising nine goals:
A new study out of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) helps debunk the oft-repeated assumption that half of new teachers leave the profession in the first 5 years. Overall, some 77% of participants in the Beginning Teacher Longitudinal Study continued teaching for 5 straight years, and the rate was even higher (80%) for those who had a mentor or participated in an induction program—just two of the many influences on teachers’ career paths studied for the report.
Career Paths of Beginning Public School Teachers first scrutinizes both broad and detailed career paths of 155,600 teachers who began their classroom career in the 2007-08 academic year. Then it looks at a subset of 1,440 teachers’ characteristics in their first and in their final year of teaching, covering personal demographics, student and school factors, and professional preparation and in-school supports.
A new video in AACTE’s Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series focuses on a thriving partnership in Colorado from the perspectives of novice teachers prepared in a professional development school model. This blog highlights one teacher’s experience and offers insights from his assistant principal about the program’s success.
The forward-thinking partnership between Colorado State University (CSU) and the local Poudre School District employs a professional development school (PDS) model to prepare teachers who are ready to teach on Day 1. Their classroom is the classroom: Instead of taking their classes off site at the university, prospective teachers receive their lessons and then put them into practice in the same school building—with real kids and under the tutelage of a real teacher. While the program’s elements are fairly typical, its particular success comes from each course’s clinical component and support from a robust professional community.
As another ambitious teacher preparation innovation captures national attention, I invite you to join me in taking stock of how widespread creative change has become in this field. The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently announced the launch of their brand-new research laboratory and graduate program to prepare teachers and school leaders. The educator preparation field, already rife with innovation, welcomes the new Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning as the latest partner in a robust entrepreneurial environment.
While I do not embrace the negative rhetoric that accompanied the new program’s announcement, I am keenly interested in the work. In fact, the Academy’s goals are quite aligned with those being addressed by many other educator preparation providers and organizations. Foundation President Arthur Levine and his partners at MIT will find themselves in good company as they pursue their particular reform interests and share their findings.
What a difference a year makes.
Last spring, Phil Munkvold was in his final months of college at Minnesota State University (MSU) Mankato, finishing his clinical experience and preparing his edTPA portfolio.
Thanks to a strong partnership between the MSU Mankato program and the school where Munkvold student taught, he was exposed to the edTPA process as well as the school’s staff and its students shortly after he moved to Minnesota from another state to continue his teacher preparation.
Do you think educator preparation programs are out of touch with today’s PK-12 schools? See what Ohio’s teacher educators are doing to engage with their partners in this video for AACTE’s Debunking Myths campaign. See how you can participate in the campaign here.
In early March, 60 representatives from Ohio public and private higher education institutions converged for Day on the Square to meet with state legislators, including Senate Education Committee Chair Peggy Lehner and House Education Committee Chair Bill Hayes. Conversations centered on current policies, legislation, and the direction of teacher education in Ohio, focused specifically on the theme “Merging Voice and Vision Through P-16 Partnerships.”