Posts Tagged ‘teacher effectiveness’
AACTE’s Committee on Professional Preparation and Accountability has selected James Hiebert, Robert J. Barkley Professor in the University of Delaware School of Education, to receive the 2017 AACTE Margaret B. Lindsey Award for Distinguished Research in Teacher Education. The award will be presented at the 69th AACTE Annual Meeting Speaker Spotlight Session, Saturday, March 4, at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida.
“Dr. Hiebert has invested a major portion of his scholarship in the process of improving teacher preparation,” said Carol Vukelich, dean of the College of Education and Human Development, University of Delaware. “He is recognized as an important scholar who has moved the field of mathematics education forward in significant ways. His work provides a model for how education faculty can design programs that have a positive impact not only on teacher education candidates’ learning but also on the learning of their students when they begin teaching. This is exactly the kind of work our field needs.”
California, like many states in the nation, faces a critical shortage of teachers. As California recovers from the Great Recession, teacher hiring needs have steadily increased from a recent low of 10,360 in 2011-2012 to 21,482 in 2015-2016. During the same period, the number of new credentials issued has decreased to a low of fewer than 14,000 candidates in the 2014-2015 school year. This reduction in productivity is reflective of the downward trend in enrollment in teacher preparation programs.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
I’m a high school teacher in Florida. I entered the profession through an alternative certification route after completing a 20+ year career in telecommunications. Beyond my standard college classes, my classroom-based preparation consisted of only 10 days of observation along with the creation and delivery of two practice lessons. I graduated as “highly qualified” and was hired immediately as a science teacher at the local teacher job fair.
If I were entering the profession now, especially coming from the business world, I would want a more effective teacher preparation experience than the one I had 10 years ago. Many experienced educators concur. Hope Street Group’s On Deck: Preparing the Next Generation of Teachers (a report released this spring) was the first study that compiled data collected by teachers from classroom teachers regarding their professional preparation. Along with 17 other National Teacher Fellows, I conducted this peer research, sourcing educators of all tenures who were certified in 49 states plus the District of Columbia. Amid several interesting findings in On Deck, two particularly resonated with me as I also reflect on “what I wish I’d learned then.”
Several members of AACTE’s Member Engagement team attended the U.S. Department of Education’s May 6 National Summit on Teacher Diversity. The event, held at the conclusion of Teacher Appreciation Week, provided a forum to examine the need for a more diverse teaching workforce and to share best practices for recruiting, supporting, and retaining teachers of color.
Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr., offered opening remarks about the importance of diversifying the educator pipeline. “Students of color would benefit from having more educators and role models who look like them,” he said. “And White students would benefit from seeing more people of color in leadership positions in their schools.”
In February, the Louisiana Department of Education hosted representatives from six states in the Council of Chief State School Officers’ Network for Transforming Educator Preparation (NTEP). Formed in 2013, this aligned action network brings together state chiefs and their education agency staff who are committed to activating key policy levers around licensure, program approval, and data as they transform educator preparation in their respective states. As a representative from the Missouri NTEP team, I joined colleagues from five states—Georgia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Washington—on the visit to Baton Rouge to attend Louisiana’s Believe and Prepare Community Meeting and learn from the work of practitioners, programs, and districts across Louisiana leading efforts to improve educator preparation.
A new policy brief out of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) reviews the evidentiary base underlying four national initiatives for teacher preparation program accountability and finds that only one of them—the beginning-teacher performance assessment edTPA—is founded on claims supported by research. The other three mechanisms included in the study are the state and institutional reporting requirements under the Higher Education Act (HEA), the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) standards and system, and the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) Teacher Prep Review.
Holding Teacher Preparation Accountable: A Review of Claims and Evidence, conducted by Marilyn Cochran-Smith and colleagues at Boston College (MA), investigated two primary questions: What claims does each initiative make about how it contributes to the preparation of high-quality teachers? And is there evidence that supports these claims? In addition, researchers looked at the initiatives’ potential to meet their shared goal of reducing educational inequity.
Navigating the opportunities and challenges that new data sources and reporting requirements present was a frequent theme at this year’s AACTE Annual Meeting. In one well-attended session, representatives of the group Deans for Impact (DFI) released their latest policy paper, From Chaos to Coherence: A Policy Agenda for Accessing and Using Outcomes Data in Educator Preparation, also described here on the DFI blog. (You may recall that DFI, started in 2015 by Benjamin Riley when he left the New Schools Venture Fund, shares AACTE’s commitment to using outcomes-focused data to inform and improve educator preparation. Its 22 member deans include 15 from current AACTE member institutions, many of whom serve or have served on AACTE committees and in other leadership roles.)
The brief calls on policy makers to make better data on graduates’ performance in the field available to programs—an important priority that resonates across the educator preparation profession. As the report notes, despite widespread calls for connecting evidence of new teachers’ effectiveness back to their preparation programs, “there has been no coordinated effort to provide these programs with valid, reliable, timely, and comparable data about the [educators] they prepare” (p. 2). Individual institutions, state university systems, AACTE state chapters and their leadership group, and our accreditor have all called attention to this persistent problem.
AACTE has chosen Matthew Ronfeldt of the University of Michigan School of Education to receive the 2016 AACTE Outstanding Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) Article Award for his article “Field Placement Schools and Instructional Effectiveness,” published in the September/October 2015 issue of the journal. The award will be presented at the 68th AACTE Annual Meeting Speaker Spotlight Session, Thursday, February 25, at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas.
Ronfeldt’s study aimed to determine (a) what types of schools in an urban district are used most for preservice field placement, (b) what school characteristics make a difference in the effectiveness (gauged by value-added measures, or VAM, in reading and math) of the teachers placed there, and (c) whether teachers’ effectiveness corresponds to the degree of match between their preparation sites and the schools where they currently work.
Two new studies commissioned by the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) credit the collaborative professional learning of teachers in British Columbia, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Singapore with their students’ strong performance on international assessments. NCEE’s Center on International Education Benchmarking organized a half-day forum last month featuring panel discussions of these countries’ policies that support such systems—and what lessons the United States should draw from them.
Rather than treating professional development as an add-on program such as monthly workshops, the studies say, successful education systems embed it broadly. Teacher-led collaborative learning is deliberately planned into structures such as well-defined career ladders, mentorship programs, and schools’ daily schedules. Although some of these features can be found in U.S. districts, none is widely used or as robust as described in the reports, and panelists advocated for a stronger systems approach.
On January 28, the U.S. Department of Education issued more guidance to states on transitioning from the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which was signed into law in December.
The new law requires the eight states without NCLB waivers to continue intervening in schools identified as being in need of improvement in 2015-16 through 2016-17. But they don’t have to set aside 20% of their Title I dollars to provide tutoring and school choice. Should these states forego the requirement, they will have to develop and implement a 1-year transition plan to ensure their local education agencies provide alternative supports for eligible students and schools with the highest need. Additional information will be sent to the nonwaiver states in the coming days or weeks. (The eight nonwaiver states are California, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Vermont, Washington, and Wyoming.)