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Free Webinar Series to Explore Principal Preparation for Leadership, Learning

Beginning this fall, AACTE will host a series of four free webinars on preparing effective principals through collaborations among higher education institutions and school districts.

The webinars will feature participants in the Wallace Foundation’s Principal Pipeline Initiative, a multiyear effort to strengthen the preparation and support of principals in six high-need urban districts: Prince George’s County (MD), Charlotte-Mecklenburg (NC), Denver (CO), New York City, Hillsborough County (FL), and Gwinnett County (GA).

The initiative, for which AACTE has served as a communications partner, builds on over a decade of research that identified four key parts of a pipeline to develop successful principals: rigorous job requirements, high-quality preparation, selective hiring, and on-the-job evaluation and support.

Wichita TQP Grant Yields Lasting Results

As a recipient of federal Teacher Quality Partnership grants over the past 6 years, Wichita State University (WSU) in Kansas has proven the value of investing in innovative educator preparation practices.

The Wichita Teacher Quality Partnership (WTQP) created extensive field-based learning experiences that prepare diverse and highly qualified teachers for urban school settings. Through the application of the professional development school (PDS) model in particular, the initiative fostered partnerships among the Wichita Public Schools (including 26 urban schools), The Opportunity Project (an early learning center), Head Start programs, local community colleges, and the College of Education at WSU.

If You Don’t Say It, Who Will? Improving Communications With PK-12 Communities

The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

It happens far too often: PK-12 schools and higher education blame each other for educational shortcomings rather than collaborating on solutions or celebrating each other’s successes.

That’s why it was so encouraging to hear leaders from AACTE’s state chapters identify improved communication with PK-12 counterparts as a priority during last month’s State Leaders Institute. In the session I led on communications strategies, many teacher educators offered examples of how they are already building and strengthening these important relationships.  

A Principal’s Perspective: Five Takeaways From Teacher Discussion on edTPA

I want to congratulate the organizers of the recent Mid-Atlantic edTPA Implementation Conference at Towson University (MD) for doing something that should be standard at educator preparation conferences: They included PK-12 partners in the conversation and created a high-profile opportunity for them to tell their stories. To accomplish this goal, the National Education Association worked with conference organizers to set up a panel discussion, inviting teacher candidates and teachers to participate and asking me to facilitate.

The conversation at the conference provided authentic educator perspectives on recent experiences with edTPA. Here are my five top takeaways from the conversation.

AERA Panel Weighs Supervisors’ Role in Supporting PDS Educators

At last month’s conference of the American Educational Research Association, I attended a joint business meeting of two special interest groups—Professional Development School Research and Supervision and Instructional Leadership—focused on the role of supervision of instruction in professional development schools (PDSs) from preservice to retirement. Panelists included AACTE’s Linda McKee, senior director of performance measurement and assessment policy; Daisy Arredondo-Rucinski, University of Alabama; and Bernard Badiali, Pennsylvania State University.

AACTE Applauds Committee Passage of Every Child Achieves Act

AACTE applauds the leadership of U.S. Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) on the unanimous, bipartisan passage of the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 (ECA). AACTE is pleased with the committee’s progress on the long overdue reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

The bill moves away from the "test and punish" strategy that evolved from the implementation of the current version of ESEA, known as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. While the bill retains the requirement for annual assessments disaggregated by subgroups, it leaves states, schools, teachers, and parents to determine what to do about the results of those assessments. AACTE believes students would benefit from stronger accountability for subgroup results, but overall, the bill makes important bipartisan progress toward fixing a broken law.

Helping Our Candidates Become Better Communicators

A Conversation With Harriet “Niki” Fayne, Dean of Education at Lehman College

Harriet “Niki” Fayne, dean of education at Lehman College (City University of New York) in the Bronx, isn’t about to say that edTPA was easy for her faculty and students, or that it is the final answer for teacher preparation. But she does say this: edTPA moves the profession in the direction of strengthening the skills of beginning teachers.

Teacher Educators Participate in ‘Teaching & Learning 2015’

Representatives from AACTE and member institutions joined thousands of other educators convening in Washington, DC, last weekend at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards’ star-studded second annual Teaching & Learning conference.

AACTE President/CEO Sharon P. Robinson spoke at a plenary session on preparing novice teachers, joining a panel that also included Linda Darling-Hammond (Stanford University, CA) and Terry Holliday (Kentucky commissioner of education), moderated by American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten.

Reaffirming the Importance of All Voices: Universities and PK-12 Partners

One of the things I appreciate most about conferences is how the small groups of teacher educator voices residing within our home institutions can join together with others to create an impressively large chorus—one whose collective power can provide needed volume and attention to important issues.

At the AACTE Annual Meeting in Atlanta, I was encouraged to have my quiet voice as a future teacher educator amplified, thanks to the company of so many colleagues who share my passion about creating a developmental continuum that recognizes, values, and utilizes the expertise of classroom teachers in preservice teacher preparation and induction.

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