Over the past month, 35 state legislatures have convened for their 2016 legislative session—and it’s already been a productive year. Since January 1, nearly as many state bills related to educator preparation have been introduced as in all of 2015. In 2015, about 150 such bills were introduced; during January 2016, there were 133, introduced in 33 state legislatures. The states with the most bills proposed so far are New Jersey, Oklahoma, Iowa, Florida, and Michigan. Some of the common topics addressed in the bills include modifying teacher certification/licensure standards as related to teacher shortages and alternative routes to certification, investing in scholarships and loan forgiveness for teachers, and mandating training for teachers to support students with dyslexia as a requirement for licensure.
In addition, since the New Year, 34 state regulations have been proposed in 17 states related to educator preparation. The vast majority of the proposed state regulations relate to streamlining or clarifying teacher certification standards.
As the Every Student Succeeds Act rolls back the direct federal involvement in improving student achievement and hands over much of that authority to states, lawmakers throughout the country will be examining a range of issues related to PK-12 education during their 2016 legislative sessions. One of the most pressing concerns on many states’ lists is teacher shortages.
At AACTE’s 2016 Annual Meeting next month in Las Vegas, a three-part series of panel discussions on the topic has been organized with the help of the Advisory Council of State Representatives:
Ed Prep Matters is featuring “Stories of Impact” to showcase AACTE member institutions with educator preparation programs that are making a positive impact in their communities and beyond through innovative practices. We are committed to sharing members’ success stories and encourage you to do the same.
Teacher shortage is an issue nationwide but especially in Nevada, where 955 classrooms were without licensed teachers at the start of the 2015-16 school year. Now with engineering and technology giants Tesla and Switch establishing a strong presence in northern Nevada, top-quality teachers are in more demand than ever in our community.
To discuss Nevada’s persistent teacher shortages and what local educator preparation providers (EPPs) are doing about it, AACTE will partner with member institutions for a press conference in advance of the 68th AACTE Annual Meeting. The event will be held Monday, February 22, at 2:00 p.m. PST on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Severe staffing shortages in Clark County, Nevada’s largest school district, have been making national headlines and spurring emergency policy changes to boost numbers in the local teaching workforce. The press conference will address how the state’s EPPs, and those in similar contexts around the country, are addressing the crisis.
Officials from Clark County School District, nearby university-based colleges of education, and AACTE will discuss factors contributing to the local shortage as well as efforts to alleviate it. The following panelists have been confirmed to date:
- Staci Vesneske, Former Chief Human Resources Officer, Clark County School District, on special assignment to the superintendent’s office
- Kim Metcalf, Dean, College of Education, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
- Kenneth Coll, Dean, College of Education, University of Nevada, Reno
- Dennis Potthoff, Dean, School of Education, Nevada State College
- Thomas Reagan, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Great Basin College
- Mark LaCelle-Peterson, AACTE Senior Vice President for Policy and Programs
This post also appears on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas web site and is reposted with permission. Ed Prep Matters is featuring “Stories of Impact” to showcase AACTE member institutions with educator preparation programs that are making a positive impact in their communities and beyond through innovative practices. We are committed to sharing members’ success stories and encourage you to do the same.
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval addresses the Summit on Nevada Education held at UNLV. (R. Marsh Starks/UNLV Photo Services)
Improving education in the Silver State and beyond was the focus of more than 250 educators, policy makers, and community leaders who gathered December 7 for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) inaugural “Summit on Nevada Education.”
The daylong conference, hosted by the UNLV College of Education (COE), drew decision makers from the local, state, and national levels to discuss policy opportunities in the wake of a landmark 2015 Nevada Legislative Session for education. Also front and center were Nevada’s role and impact on the national education conversation and the importance of partnerships to ensure quality education at all levels.
Over 940 emergency credentials have been issued this year by the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) as a result of the statewide teacher shortage. A preliminary report issued December 10 by a state task force offers recommendations that aim to tackle the problem on multiple fronts.
The task force, formed by the OSDE to identify and recommend strategies for reducing the shortage, includes more than 60 legislators, OSDE staff, educators, business leaders, teacher organizations, education advocacy groups, and other community-based stakeholders. I represent teacher preparation programs on the task force, particularly through my role as president of the Oklahoma Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (OACTE), a state affiliate of AACTE.
As 2015 comes to an end, we want to take a moment to reflect on what was a very active year for state policy makers and AACTE state chapters.
In 2015, state legislators proposed more than 150 bills related to educator preparation. Of these proposed bills, 18 were enacted into law. Some of the highlights of these new state laws are the creation of a new teacher leader endorsement in New Jersey; establishing the Teach Nevada Scholarship Program to incentivize students to pursue teaching degrees in Nevada; prohibiting video recording of classroom teachers in New Hampshire; and modifying teacher licensure standards in Delaware, Illinois, Maine, and Michigan.
On September 25, 2012, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon launched the UN Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) for making quality education available to all children, young people, and adults. This year, on the third anniversary of the GEFI launch, leaders from AACTE answered his call for assistance by committing to revive a longstanding partnership with the International Council on Education for Teaching (ICET). But why ICET, and why now?
What Is ICET?
ICET is a nongovernmental organization (NGO) working with educator preparation providers (EPPs) globally to ensure all learners will have access to a high-quality education in which educators are appropriately qualified and recognized as motivated and committed professionals and practitioners.
Editor’s Note: In this opinion piece written for his local newspaper, Gonzalez provides his perspective on the enrollment decline in his state’s teacher preparation programs. This post originally appeared in the Indianapolis Star and is reposted with permission. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE. See also Sharon P. Robinson’s recent post calling national attention to the same topic.
I was pleased to see Tim Swarens’ Oct. 26 column making the point that education reform in Indiana needs a conversation not confrontation. That conversation should start with an honest assessment of the impact of reform efforts to date.
Over the last decade, teacher salaries in constant dollars in Indiana have decreased by more than 10%. Outpaced only by North Carolina, which experienced teacher salary decreases of 14%, Indiana had the second largest decrease in the country.
Recent budget cuts at the federal, state, and local levels are affecting the delivery of special education services for students with disabilities, according to a new survey conducted by the National Coalition on Personnel Shortages in Special Education and Related Services (NCPSSERS), of which AACTE is a member.
The survey of more than 1,000 special education professionals from all 50 states, which was featured in Education Week, shows that the impact of federal, state, and local budget cuts on special education is most evident in an increase in caseload, class size, and reduced professional development opportunities.