As AACTE Board Chair, I have shared and reflected monthly on several of our AACTE core values. This month, I would like to focus on one of our most important core values: professionalism.
This value calls for AACTE members to prepare teacher candidates to be not only successful educators, but also members of the larger professional community. Candidates should graduate from their programs with a clear understanding of the ethical responsibilities of being an educator and be equipped to contribute to the greater good in communities, school districts, and society.
A new report from the Teacher Education Task Force of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) makes a compelling case for quality teacher preparation, capturing the key challenges that make the current context complex but also offering recommendations for both university leaders and policy makers to move the field forward.
The task force conducted a survey last year of presidents, provosts, and education deans at state colleges and universities to gauge the current state of educator preparation. (The survey results are included as an appendix to the new report.) The responses informed conversations among task force members to distill the core themes, debate their implications in light of the latest research, and determine consensus recommendations for priority actions by higher education administrators. The results were combined to craft the new report, and the AASCU policy team added a set of priorities for federal and state policy.
At the recent National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Legislative Summit, the organization’s International Education Study Group released the report No Time to Lose: How to Build a World-Class Education System State by State. This report culminates a 2-year study by a bipartisan group of state legislators and legislative staff examining the highest performing countries on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) to discover common themes across their policies and practices.
The Advisory Council of State Representatives (ACSR) is pleased to announce a new consensus document, the State Policy Statements to Enhance Educator Preparation, developed by AACTE state chapter leaders and members to support the advocacy work of educator preparation providers (EPPs).
ACSR leaders representing more than 1,100 EPPs participated in a collaborative process to develop the document, agreeing on key statements under the following three priority areas:
Have you seen the JTE Insider blog managed by the Journal of Teacher Education editorial team? Check out the latest entry below.
In the editorial of the May/June 2016 issue of the Journal of Teacher Education, Carter Andrews, Bartell, and Richmond bring awareness to the recent teacher sick-outs in Detroit Public Schools as a way to illustrate the continued resistance to elements that serve to dehumanize the teaching profession. They write:
We are calling attention to the teacher sick-outs in Detroit and the factors leading up to them in these pages, because they represent one of the numerous examples throughout the country of educators’ resistance to the continued de-professionalization of teachers and teaching and the institutional and structural forms of dehumanization that teachers experience regularly. Furthermore, we believe teachers’ professional self-concept is negatively impacted by inequitable working conditions in many high-need schools and communities that are not present in schools that are resource-rich. (p. 170)
Two new studies commissioned by the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) credit the collaborative professional learning of teachers in British Columbia, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Singapore with their students’ strong performance on international assessments. NCEE’s Center on International Education Benchmarking organized a half-day forum last month featuring panel discussions of these countries’ policies that support such systems—and what lessons the United States should draw from them.
Rather than treating professional development as an add-on program such as monthly workshops, the studies say, successful education systems embed it broadly. Teacher-led collaborative learning is deliberately planned into structures such as well-defined career ladders, mentorship programs, and schools’ daily schedules. Although some of these features can be found in U.S. districts, none is widely used or as robust as described in the reports, and panelists advocated for a stronger systems approach.
The U.S. Department of Education announced Monday that Acting Secretary John King will start an “Opportunity Across America Tour” January 14. The tour will focus on King’s stated priorities for 2016:
- Promoting equity and excellence at every level of education to ensure that every child has the opportunity to succeed
- Supporting and lifting up the teaching profession
- Continuing the Department’s focus on returning America to the top of the rankings in college completion by ensuring more students earn an affordable degree with real value
In the coming week, King will be visiting Texas; Washington, DC; Delaware; and Pennsylvania. If any of the locations are in your community, you might want to attend to connect with King in person. The full announcement and schedule appear below.
There are certain professions within our society that carry with them an inherent respect. Doctors, nurses, firefighters, soldiers – the list goes on. These people save lives. They care for the sick. They run into burning buildings. They defend our freedom.
These people, without question, deserve our gratitude and appreciation.
There is, however, another profession that deserves that same level of respect, a profession that, for whatever reason, does not always seem to receive it: teaching.
Teachers work with minds. Teachers work with hearts. Teachers work with souls. They are preparing the next generation of doctors, nurses, firefighters, and soldiers (and countless other professionals). And yet, many people act as though that’s something that anybody can do. It isn’t. Teaching requires years of schooling and training, and even then, the job is not easy.