Posts Tagged ‘partnerships’
On December 10, after many painful years of wrestling with the heavy-handed No Child Left Behind Act and state waivers that were often more prescriptive than the law itself, educators finally got a new federal law governing PK-12 education. Its replacement, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), promises to return power to the states, reduce accountability burdens, and broaden the scope of support for students with the greatest needs. I join my fellow educators around the country in celebrating these improvements.
Nonetheless, there are lemons lurking among the plums in the new ESSA. This law contains more concessions to reformist entrepreneurs and venture philanthropists than many of us would like. For example, one provision in Title II allows states to create charter-like “academies” for preparing teachers and principals for high-need schools—an idea that has been debated for several years and widely opposed by education organizations. Now that it is part of the law, however, we will do well to heed Maya Angelou’s advice: if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. So let’s celebrate the plums and then get busy making lemonade.
Political advocacy was the focus of much work this fall for the Massachusetts Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (MACTE). The national attention to teacher preparation policy, from the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to the proposed teacher preparation program regulations, inspired our state chapter to respond in a big way. We were—and are—determined to tell our story.
As a first step, the MACTE Executive Board created a “take home document” to educate our elected officials, highlighting some of the current work of member institutions. We pointed out initiatives and programs that were specifically developed to meet the greatest needs of our PK-12 partners and, ultimately, the needs of the students in the commonwealth. To compile this document, we put a call out to all of our member institutions to tell us what they were doing across five main focus areas:
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:
As the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and their kindred iterations continue to gain traction in schools around the country, staff development efforts have been bringing in-service educators up to speed, and colleges of education have been adjusting their curricula to ensure that the field’s newest professionals are also ready for the new standards. Nowhere has this shift seen greater success than in Kentucky, which was the first state to adopt and implement CCSS. A recent AACTE webinar sponsored by the Learning First Alliance’s “Get It Right” campaign highlighted the remarkable progress made by institutions in the state.
Meaningful and purposeful collaboration among multiple agency heads is something that many states aspire to do. Georgia is among those that have been successful in forming such alliances, which provides a supportive environment for the work of the Georgia Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (GACTE).
The collaborative culture is well established in the Georgia Alliance of Education Agency Heads, which over the past decade has been successfully fulfilling its mission to collaborate, innovate, and achieve while addressing three strategic goals: (1) increase the percentage of students reading at grade level by completion of third grade; (2) increase the percentage of graduates from high school and postsecondary institutions prepared for the demands of college, workplace, a global economy, and responsible citizenship; and (3) increase the percentage of effective teachers and educational leaders. The alliance includes the state’s universities and technical colleges, the governor’s office, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, and other education agencies.
Now through October 15, the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education (AILACTE) is accepting session proposals for the 2016 AILACTE Annual Meeting and Conference to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, February 22-23, 2016.
The conference theme is “Collaboration as a Cornerstone of Teacher Education.” We seek proposals—60-minute workshops and 30-minute presentations (to be coupled with similar themed presentations)—that help us deliberate on collaboration—big and small—in teacher education.
As your state chapters plan fall and spring conferences, executive retreats, and other meetings, please keep in mind that AACTE staff are available to serve as speakers and presenters at meetings around the country.
As the first cohort of leaders embarks on their course of study with the new AASA Urban Superintendents Academy at Howard University and the University of Southern California, we are thrilled to see this promising work come to life. Urban districts desperately need forward-thinking leaders, particularly those from underrepresented demographic groups, prepared to be barrier-busting champions for every student in their care.
Following an intensive kick-off conference later this month, participants in the Academy—predominantly from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups—will spend the academic year undertaking internships in the field, focusing on problems of practice under the guidance of experienced mentors, and taking graduate courses at the university before completing culminating projects. These participants, in-service administrators who want to enrich their field experience and training for urban settings or prospective superintendents, will be prepared for certification through the program.
What is so promising about the Academy?
AACTE issued a press release June 24 announcing a new Clinical Practice Commission, which has already begun working on an ambitious agenda to better define what constitutes high-quality clinical teacher preparation. Read on to learn more, or contact Vice President Rodrick Lucero, who chairs the commission, for more information.
A new partnership between the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) launched last week to “transform policy and practice” in educator preparation. Announced June 16, the new Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning will be a graduate school of education based at MIT that conducts research and offers competency-based master’s programs in teaching and school leadership.
Foundation President Arthur Levine, former president of Teachers College at Columbia University (NY), touted the academy’s plan to “throw out the clock”—focusing on its students’ mastery of competencies rather than on credit hours—and to produce open-source course modules for ease of replication nationwide.