Last month, the Oregon Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (OACTE) convened the second annual Oregon Education Summit, organized to unite as many stakeholder groups as possible around educator preparation and related topics. Held January 5 at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, just 15 miles from the State Capitol in Salem, the gathering attracted representatives from every OACTE member institution as well as community colleges, legislators, PK-12 district staff, the state Department of Education and licensing agency, and nongovernmental agencies.
The summit was borne of the desire by OACTE to both claim a seat at the state table and access first-hand information – while establishing the organization and its members as willing collaborators on all aspects of education in the state. The first summit, held a year ago, was a success that organizers were eager to build on in Year 2. “Our first step is always a proactive one. We begin by asking, ‘How can we help?’” said OACTE President Leif Gustavson, who is dean of the College of Education at Pacific University. “Then we tend to get invited to the table. We are not an obstructionist organization, and we need to not think of others that way either. The summit gives us all an opportunity to meet face to face and realize the potential of what we can accomplish collectively.”
As you plan your session schedule for the AACTE Annual Meeting, don’t neglect your advocacy skill development! Please join me Friday, March 2, at 2:00 p.m. for “Putting Advocacy to Work.”
In this speed-dating-style session, I will run the clock while you circulate through your choice of introductory mini-sessions led by experts and professionals. There will be four time slots during this hour-long opportunity, each beginning with a few minutes of commentary by the leaders, and then opening for questions and discussion. Move from table to table to learn how to start off:
In 2017, state policy makers – particularly state legislators and state education agencies – placed great emphasis on key policy levers affecting educator preparation.
AACTE’s State Policy Tracker, an online tool that is available free of charge to AACTE members, allows for real-time tracking of pertinent state legislation and regulations affecting educator preparation. (If you are not familiar with the State Policy Tracker, I invite you to watch an archived webinar here.) During 2017, this tool enabled us to track 285 bills, of which 43 were enacted, and 296 regulations, of which 193 were adopted.
Educators from the Clark County School District speak at the Summit on Nevada Education, held December 4 in Las Vegas. (Photo: UNLV College of Education)
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend the third annual Summit on Nevada Education hosted by the College of Education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). I was invited to attend the gathering by Dean Kim Metcalf, a member of the AACTE Board of Directors, and was delighted to witness the excitement of participants who shared and discussed their work to improve education across the state.
As I entered the student union on the UNLV campus, I followed the laughter and energy to find the ballroom. The excitement and synergy was palpable among attendees as they gathered, grabbed coffee, and greeted one another. The introductions began, and I was impressed with the numerous video greetings from Nevada senators and representatives as well as from Governor Brian Sandoval. These dignitaries were teeming with pride over the collaborative efforts under way to elevate education in Nevada. They recognized the ongoing work and articulated future directions for preparing teachers with the “next, best practices.”
To keep members informed, AACTE regularly monitors and reports on the activity of the National Council on Teacher Quality that could affect educator preparation programs. Visit our NCTQ resource page for additional information.
This week, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released its biannual review of state policies related to teacher quality, providing a status report on what the organization considers effective policies governing how teachers are selected, prepared, evaluated, and retained.
According to the 2017 State Teacher Policy Yearbook, many states have room for improvement in these policies, and despite recent progress on several fronts, NCTQ reports, many have stalled in their efforts to improve key policies related to educator quality.
The yearbook recommends various areas of improvement for states to consider:
A new study from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest has reaffirmed many of the challenges related to recruiting and retaining educators in rural areas. The report, Indicators of Successful Teacher Recruitment and Retention in Oklahoma Rural School Districts (download PDF here), examines data spanning a decade in Oklahoma districts, more than 70% of which are rural.
The analysis finds that two key influences on teacher retention are compensation and teachers’ level of responsibility at their school. Numerous other factors affecting retention are catalogued in the appendices of the report, organized into categories of teacher, district, and community-based variables. Educator preparation programs that collaborate with rural districts may want to review the study’s findings for insights that might be applied to their own local challenges.
A commission made up of college of education deans, state legislators, university presidents, heads of postsecondary systems, state and district superintendents, and leaders of nationwide organizations has released a report presenting recommendations for state policy related to teacher preparation data systems. This Teacher Preparation Commission of the Southern Regional Education Board, a nonprofit organization that works with states to improve public education and support state policy makers, is charged with developing and identifying state recommendations to improve teacher preparation programs.
More Than the Numbers – Teacher Preparation Data Systems: State Policy and Recommendations, the Commission’s first report, focuses on how to build strong statewide data systems for teacher preparation drawing on policy models in three states – Louisiana, North Carolina, and Tennessee. In Louisiana, the report acknowledges the work of the Board of Regents and the Louisiana Teacher Preparation Program Dashboard for promoting data in a more accessible and transparent way. In North Carolina, the report praises the University of North Carolina Educator Quality Dashboard. In Tennessee, the State Board of Education, Tennessee Department of Education, and Tennessee Higher Education Commission redesigned the state’s Teacher Preparation Report Card to provide an interactive tool for aspiring teachers. Other practices that the report praises are data systems’ ability to follow teachers through their careers, focus on outcome measures, break down data “silos,” and make data more accessible.
This month’s members-only Federal Update webinars are today and tomorrow, September 19 and 20 – or just view the recording in our archive if you miss them! The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
Over the summer of 2017, I integrated a valuable new asset into my doctoral-level Critical Policy Analysis class: advocacy resources from AACTE. From the members-only webinars to downloadable advocacy guides, these materials informed my students’ discussion of policy items pertinent to not only Illinois but the nation at large. They also provided current, practical information and tools for students to become more engaged in advocacy outside of class.
Today, the Education Commission of the States (ECS), a national organization of state education policy leaders, released a report that reviews state policies related to teacher license reciprocity. While states are facing educator pipeline challenges, the report finds that teacher licensure systems are intended to ensure educator quality, but have the potential of limiting cross-state mobility that could cause harm teacher attrition and retention.
The report explores teacher license reciprocity – in which a candidate who possesses an out-of-state license can earn a license in a new state based on state requirements. At the national level, the report references the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement, which collects agreements between NASDTEC member states to understand which licenses are transferable and what additional requirements might be needed. At the state level, the report finds that since last year, 11 states have enacted new laws or regulations that facilitate teacher license reciprocity. Two states – Arizona and Nevada – became full reciprocity states by enacting new laws that remove barriers for licensure. Two additional states – Oklahoma and Delaware – passed new laws that waive certain assessment requirements for out-of-state candidates.
This week, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) released Transforming Educator Preparation: Lessons Learned From Leading States, a playbook for how states can improve educator preparation based on the experience of the Network for Transforming Educator Preparation (NTEP).
States that participated in NTEP – a multiyear effort to identify policies that effectively support the preparation of profession-ready teachers – were California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington.