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Here They Come: Proposed Federal Regulations for Teacher Preparation Programs

The U.S. Department of Education is moving on finalizing the proposed federal regulations for all 25,000 teacher preparation programs across the country. Given some questions and misinformation I have received since the comment period closed, I want to clarify a key piece of information:

As drafted and released in December 2014, these proposed regulations would apply to each individual teacher preparation program at your institution regardless of whether you offer TEACH grants.

Recording, Slides Available From Webinar on Proposed Federal Regulations, Advocacy Roles

Did you miss AACTE’s recent webinar on the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed regulations for teacher preparation programs? Don’t worry: Members can find a recording of the webinar here along with the PowerPoint slides (updated based on questions from participants!).

If you have any questions about how you can engage in advocacy around the regulations or other matters, please contact me at dkoolbeck@aacte.org.

Webinars to Update Members on Proposed Federal Regulations, Advocacy Roles

The U.S. Department of Education has stated that the final regulations for teacher preparation programs will be released this fall. Please join me for an update at a free webinar at 11:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, August 12, or 4:30 p.m. EDT on Thursday, August 13. These webinars are for AACTE members only and are free of charge.

During the webinars, I will update you on the interplay of the proposed regulations with the recent work of Congress to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as well as the pending work to reauthorize the Higher Education Act.

AACTE Issues Statement on GAO Report on Department of Education’s Role in Teacher Preparation Program Accountability

Last week, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report examining the roles of both the states and the U.S. Department of Education in identifying low-performing teacher preparation programs as well as in information sharing amongst stakeholders. AACTE and some of its members participated in this study, which took over a year for GAO to complete. In response to the report, AACTE issued the following statement, which received press coverage by Politico’s subscription service. Please send questions to dkoolbeck@aacte.org.

(July 24, 2015, Washington, DC) — AACTE and its over 820 member institutions stand firmly behind the reforms and innovations that are currently under way in teacher preparation programs across this nation, and we welcome the opportunity to be held accountable for our work. We support identifying low-performing programs, giving them time and resources to improve, and closing those programs that do not accomplish the necessary reforms. Unfortunately, states and the U.S. Department of Education have faced challenges in complying with the law requiring them to identify such programs, according to a report released yesterday by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Education Appropriations Advance in U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate Committees

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations completed its work on the Labor, Health & Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill June 24. In the full committee markup, Representative David Price (D-NC) offered an amendment to restore funding for the Teacher Quality Partnerships and other programs supporting teachers and administrators, but the amendment was defeated on a party-line vote. The bill does retain the policy rider prohibiting the promulgation or enforcement of the proposed teacher preparation program regulations.

U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee Marks Up Bill for Education Appropriations – Includes Provision on Proposed Teacher Prep Regulations

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies marked up its draft bill on Wednesday, June 17. The bill passed on party lines with a vote of 9-5, including both the chair and ranking member of the full committee. All amendments offered by the Democratic members of the subcommittee were voted down. The bill now moves to the full committee next week.

Your Next Steps on Federal Teacher Preparation Regulations

AACTE is grateful for your energy and efforts on submitting comments to the Federal Register about the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed federal regulations on teacher preparation programs. Now, it is time again to make your voice heard.

Congress is hard at work on reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and next up will be the Higher Education Act (HEA). Part of the HEA reauthorization conversations will be around the increasing amount of regulation on institutions of higher education, including the proposed regulations on teacher preparation programs. I urge you to ensure that your representative and your senators know where you stand on these proposed regulations. Adding your voice to this conversation will increase the likelihood that the decisions made by your representative and senators will support teacher preparation across the nation.  

Bills Introduced in Congress to Impede Proposed Teacher Preparation Regulations

Note: AACTE offered a free webinar to members March 25 and 26 about the next steps on the proposed regulations for teacher preparation programs. A recording of the webinar is available here.

Two new bills introduced in Congress seek to impede the U.S. Department of Education’s attempt to regulate teacher preparation programs. The Supporting Academic Freedom through Regulatory Relief Act (H.R. 970), introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC), and its companion bill in the U.S. Senate, S. 559, introduced by Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), seek to achieve the following objectives:

Member Voices: Bring It On: Teacher Education Ready for Sensible Evaluation

This post originally appeared in Dean Feuer’s blog, “Feuer Consideration,” and is reposted with permission. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

The dean of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia recently wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post that was well meaning but misleading. It was surprising and disappointing to see a distinguished educator miss an opportunity to dispel conventional myths and clarify for the general public what is really going on in the world of teacher preparation and its evaluation.

For those who may have missed Robert Pianta’s short article, here is a summary and rebuttal.

Free Webinars: Next Steps on the Federal Proposed Teacher Preparation Regulations

Please join me next week for a free webinar on what you can do next regarding the proposed federal regulations for teacher preparation programs.

The public comment period through the Federal Register, which closed last month, was just one piece of ongoing advocacy and outreach necessary to ensure the voice of the profession is expressed to policy makers and key stakeholders as the regulation process unfolds. Learn of the next steps for you to take on the federal proposed teacher preparation regulations.

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