Posts Tagged ‘reports’
If it’s back-to-school time, it’s time for the annual Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) International Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. The findings released today, in this 48th year of the survey, show views that are consistent with prior years in many areas and reveal ambivalence about the primary purpose of public education.
As usual, most of the 1,221 adults (especially parents) who participated in the telephone interviews say they like their local public schools, in general, but are less positive about schools elsewhere and about their own schools’ performance in specific areas, ranging from academic rigor to development of students’ critical thinking and teamwork skills. Respondents are notably divided about the chief goals of public education, the degree of freedom that charter schools should have, and the appropriate balance between technology-based and traditional teaching.
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.
In a new report issued August 10, the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) calls for reorganizing schools to better cultivate deep learning for all students. The report, What Matters Now: A New Compact for Teaching and Learning, lays out an ambitious vision for educator-driven improvements buttressed by a coordinated system of policy and community supports.
Assessment matters for teachers. Teachers target and differentiate instruction based on evidence gathered in classroom assessments. Teams of teachers in schools review assessment evidence to understand student needs and to guide curriculum development. Parents, teachers, and students themselves make use of assessment results to make the most of learning opportunities. Assessment and interpretation of assessment results is also sometimes a particular challenge for novice teachers, and it is often the subject of school and district professional development efforts. With so many tests, so many strategies, and so much evidence, assessment is a wide and sometimes confusing topic.
A new report on international approaches to developing elementary teachers will be released next week at a webcast event featuring AACTE President/CEO Sharon P. Robinson. Register at this link to tune in for the event, which will be held Tuesday, July 19, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. EDT.
The report, Not So Elementary: Primary School Teacher Quality in Top-Performing Education Systems, is authored by Australian researcher Ben Jensen on behalf of the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE). It looks at international practices in elementary teacher preparation and their effects on student achievement. Recommendations for U.S. policy and practice are included.
Ask any new teacher what part of their preparation was most important, and the answer will almost always be the final clinical component—the student teaching, internship, or residency experience. But while everyone seems to agree that high-quality clinical experience is critical to high-quality preparation, a persistent set of challenges have stood in the way of widespread implementation: identifying excellent clinical faculty, providing adequate time in clinical placements, and helping candidates, particularly those of limited means, navigate the full-time demands of unpaid student teaching or internships.
Last week the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released a new report offering the council’s assessment of how well teacher preparation programs are preparing preschool educators. Again relying on course descriptions and syllabi for its evidence, NCTQ paints a predictably bleak picture, saying the “review of these programs shows little evidence of quality training focused on the needs of the preschool classroom.”
For this report, NCTQ reviewed 100 programs in 29 states and chose not to identify which programs were included in the review. Accompanying the report is a set of resources that include policy recommendations for states and school districts, outlining what NCTQ calls “essentials for a great preschool teacher prep program,” and a guide for would-be teachers, outlining what NCTQ believes they should look for in a teacher prep program.
The National Commission on Financing 21st Century Higher Education released a set of white papers earlier this month exploring aspects of the fiscal issues facing higher education. Designed to guide policy and funding decisions, these papers (and another six still in development) provide a revealing look at the state and national funding landscape for institutions.
The commission, a project of the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, has been working since 2014 on policy and funding recommendations for the United States to reach the goal of 60% of the labor workforce having a postsecondary degree or credential by 2025. Currently, the nation is not on target to meet this goal and faces numerous related challenges, from high school graduation rates and access to higher education to workforce underdevelopment. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, other nations are meeting or surpassing the United States in postsecondary degree and credentialing rates.
The TeachNY Advisory Council, convened last year by the State University of New York (SUNY), published last month a set of recommendations to address the most pressing challenges facing the state’s teacher development pipeline. The dozens of policy recommendations and innovative strategies for teacher recruitment, preparation, and career support are now providing a roadmap for a collaborative campaign between SUNY and the New York State Education Department (NYSED).
“If we take our 60 recommendations and the really hot buttons that we’re talking about right now in terms of policy and execution, and we take them to scale across the SUNY system, we will do good for New York,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher in an interview with The Chronicle of Higher Education. What’s more, Zimpher said, the system hopes to “work with other states and with other policy makers, too, to take what we’re learning across the country.”
The AACTE Clinical Practice Commission (CPC) was launched in June 2015 with the goals of establishing a shared lexicon, identifying model protocols and best practices, and developing actionable recommendations for the field to define and align high-quality clinical practice in teacher preparation. The commission’s work is projected to extend through December 2016, but the 68th AACTE Annual Meeting held in February provided an opportunity to share the group’s work to date and gather feedback from the field.
During the conference, members of the CPC presented their vision for clinical practice, built upon a foundation of strong PK-24 partnerships and centered on transforming educator preparation by unifying the profession. Several commissioners provided insight into the CPC’s work as presenters during the preconference event “Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders Through School-University Partnerships,” sponsored by the Wallace Foundation, and as featured panelists in the major forum “Clinical Practice in Educator Preparation.”
Three members of the CPC, Kristien Zenkov and Audra Parker from George Mason University (VA) and Rene Roselle from the University of Connecticut, spoke at the preconference event. Their presentation summarized the commission’s progress toward developing a white paper and a shared lexicon to connect the essential elements of clinical partnerships. They also discussed the common structures of clinical preparation and the implications that clinical teacher preparation has for advancing clinical practice in principal preparation.