• AACTE 70th Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD

Posts Tagged ‘partnerships’

Developing Forward-Thinking Urban Superintendents

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?

Woodrow Wilson, MIT Partner on Competency-Based Educator Preparation

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.

USED to Offer ‘Skills for Success’ Grants

The U.S. Department of Education invites applications for Skills for Success grants to support local education agencies and their partners, including colleges and universities, in developing the noncognitive skills of middle-grades students.

According to the Department’s web site, up to $2 million is available to fund “the implementation, evaluation, and refinement of existing tools and approaches (e.g., digital games, growth mindset classroom activities, experiential learning opportunities) that integrate the development of students’ noncognitive skills into classroom-level activities and existing strategies designed to improve schools.”

STEM Conference Inspires, Shares Strategies to Close Gaps

AACTE’s Washington Week kicked off with diverse perspectives, enlightening anecdotes, and compelling conversations at the special conference “Progress and Factors That Contribute to Closing the STEM Achievement Gap,” sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Five presenters joined AACTE leaders on two panels discussing ways to improve learning outcomes of underrepresented populations in the STEM fields.

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Hall Davidson, Vasanta Akondy, and Armando Sanchez-Martinez at STEM Conference

The conference began with presenters Armando Sanchez-Martinez, manager of Editorial Santillana in Mexico, and Vasanta Akondy, co-manager of the Verizon Innovative Learning Program (VILP), who together provided a global perspective on innovative solutions to increase access to STEM education in Mexico and India.

Sanchez-Martinez presented a comprehensive look into Mexico’s educational landscape, including a detailed explanation of sociocultural factors that contribute to local achievement gaps and of the current educational movements and solutions to closing the gap. Akondy highlighted the importance of VILP and its efforts to recruit more girls in India into the STEM fields. The aim of this program is to provide a community network of support while focusing on student engagement and providing technological resources to underfunded schools.

Uniting the Profession at AACTE’s Washington Week

Throughout AACTE’s Washington Week, June 9-11, the theme “Diverse Perspectives, Deep Partnerships, One Profession” permeated each event, motivating attendees to forge and nurture bonds that will strengthen the profession. From the emerging leaders attending the Holmes Scholars Summer Policy Institute to the chapter executives at the State Leaders Institute, and from the STEM conference through Day on the Hill, participants connected with peers, policy makers, and partners around common goals and interests.

A Barber Needs 1,000 Hours of Training in Wisconsin, But Some Teachers Need None

To quote Valerie Strauss in the May 28 edition of The Washington Post, “What the heck is going on with Wisconsin public education?” Efforts in the Wisconsin State Legislature to reform education without the transparency of public debate, or the consultation of educators, resulted in proposed legislation that may erode the basic foundation of Wisconsin’s public school system. Do politicians realize they are proposing a licensure policy that, if approved, would require barbers (yes, you read that right) to have more training at their craft than teachers?

Seriously, what the heck IS going on?

Building Capacity and Common Understanding

Professional advocacy organizations support their members by helping them advance a collective voice. By articulating a field’s consensus positions, associations empower their members to speak clearly about what they know, identify priorities, invest their energy strategically, and communicate confidently with internal and external audiences.

These unified understandings, which we adjust as research and best practices evolve, help us fulfill our obligation to correct misinformation and to respond to critics—a frequent need in the field of educator preparation. More importantly, though, they provide a foundation for action by the profession and help us recognize areas of need. In educator preparation, we’ve instituted a variety of reforms in recent years that have prompted us to develop new resources to increase our capacity, assess our progress, and inform our knowledge base.

edTPA Data Drive Conversations, Changes at Nazareth College

Educator preparation faculty at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY, like to meet with faculty in other departments to compare notes about how their teacher candidates are doing and how best to support them across study areas.

“That’s just the environment we work in. They are all of our students, as they major in education and an area of the liberal arts and sciences,” explains Kate DaBoll-Lavoie, professor and immediate past chair of the Department of Inclusive Childhood Education at Nazareth. “We want them to succeed. We support our colleagues.”

For the past 2 years, DaBoll-Lavoie and her colleagues have brought to the table new data that have enriched the conversations and helped to focus them on specific needs of students.

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