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AACTE Clinical Practice Commission and Special Education Taskforce Collaborate on Next Steps

Nearly 40 members of the AACTE Clinical Practice Commission (CPC) and the Special Education Task Force met in Washington, DC on September 24-26 to discuss their separate and shared initiatives that serve as next steps for advancing the new CPC report. Released in January 2018, A Pivot Toward Clinical Practice, Its Lexicon, and the Renewal of Educator Preparation by the CPC offers a framework, guidance, and common lexicon to expand the operationalization of clinical educator preparation. Its 10 proclamations and tenets identify highly effective and evidence-based practices for embedding teacher preparation in the PK-12 environment.

During the planning session, the CPC developed a working plan to advance its emissary work and to create a site-based peer-coaching model. The Taskforce focused on finalizing a series of tenets that will be added to the existing CPC proclamations to provide more specific practice recommendations for special and inclusive educator preparation.

“The CPC met on the first day to discuss the next round of their work, which is to share findings of the report more broadly through focused emissary work and the development of peer coaching strategies,” said Amanda Lester, AACTE director of programs and professional learning. “This emissary work includes a defined plan that will help AACTE members learn more about how to implement the report’s research for developing or expanding their clinical practice model.”

Southern New Hampshire University Launches New Degree in Clinical Education

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) in Manchester launched its new clinical master’s degree program during the 2018-19 academic year. The program offers dual certification in elementary and special education or early childhood and early childhood special education. It is designed to prepare teacher candidates for certification and to ensure that new educators have the required skills, competencies, knowledge, and dispositions specifically needed to support the development and learning of students in elementary grades (K-8) and general special education (K-12).

“It’s an accelerated 15-month clinical program that enables teacher candidates to work clinically with students during 11 of those months,” said Mary Ford, Interim Dean in the School of Education at SNHU. “They are [working] in supervised clinical experiences learning the craft and skill of teaching as well as monitoring the learning progress of their K-12 students.”

Carolina Teacher Induction Program Completes First Year

CarolinaTIP Director Nicole Skeen, right, works with first-year teacher Karlee Baxter and students in Baxter’s classroom.

Teacher shortages are a critical concern across the United States, and the University of South Carolina is tackling the crisis head-on with an innovative response to teacher retention. While recruiting new teachers into the profession is vitally important, reducing the alarming rate at which novice teachers leave the profession must be a central focus in addressing the teacher shortage, as shared in a recent op-ed by University of South Carolina College of Education Dean Jon Pedersen.

“If you add the belief that teacher preparation and support should not end at graduation, a desire to gather data to inform programmatic improvement, and a teacher retention issue to new accreditation standards and a college leadership team determined to make a positive impact on the profession, beyond the walls of the university, you arrive at the impetus for the Carolina Teacher Induction Program (CarolinaTIP),” said Cindy Van Buren, assistant dean and one of the developers of the college’s induction program.

AACTE InTouch: ‘What Makes a Good Teacher?’

Did you know AACTE produces a mini-documentary series called AACTE InTouch? These brief videos inform the public about educator preparation and ways to advocate for, get involved in, and support the education profession.

The series educates viewers on how effective teachers are prepared and showcases successes and challenges in educator preparation. The video content is designed to align with the Association’s key messages focused on quality, advocacy, partnerships, and innovation. Featuring a variety of topics and layered storytelling, the series helps viewers understand the critical issues in educator preparation, feel connected to AACTE’s mission, and learn about innovations in the field.

Creating High Teacher Quality in Teacher Prep Programs- Radio Talk With AACTE Members

Rebecca West Burns
D. Mark Meyers

An online Education Talk Radio program last month featured AACTE members in a discussion of how their educator preparation programs contribute to high teacher quality. Host Larry Jacobs interviewed guests Rebecca West Burns, assistant professor at the University of South Florida, and D. Mark Meyers, director of the Educational Administration Program at Xavier University (OH).

The show began with discussion around the continuum of teacher development, from preservice preparation through stages of leadership, both formal and informal. Burns explained that teacher leaders include those who are instructional coaches or mentors as well as those acting less formally as leaders from within their classroom. Teachers can work collaboratively to share knowledge and help each other make progressive changes in their school. Meyers added that leadership principles applied by teacher leaders and administrators are often the same, although they may be implemented differently.

AACTE Fall Syllabus Focuses on Core Values, Continuous Improvement

The AACTE Quality Support Workshop this month was an inspirational model of improvement in action. During my 3 days in Minneapolis, I witnessed a profound commitment among participants to ensure high levels of quality in their programs. Understanding standards and evidence more deeply, using data more strategically, and creating more effective quality assurance systems were some of the topics covered.

Dedication to continuous improvement is shared by AACTE’s members and the Association itself. To that end, the AACTE team is focusing the first part of this new academic year on an extensive review of the organization’s operations and programs, facilitated by an experienced consulting firm with assistance from a staff steering committee (see this recent article by Vice President Rod Lucero). In addition, an Association-wide member survey launches in September, and we’re counting on your participation to inform our work going forward. AACTE is always looking to improve and meet the changing needs of the membership.

AACTE Leads Effort to Save Funding for Title II-A of ESSA

On May 10, AACTE was pleased to submit a letter to members of Congress on behalf of 141 organizations and their state affiliates recommending full funding for Title II-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The letter went to leaders of the education subcommittees working on appropriations in both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives for Fiscal Year 2018, in light of the recommendation in the president’s request to eliminate this $2.295 billion program (see the “skinny budget” released in March, and I’ll have another article soon about the full proposal being issued today).

NBCTs Say Quality Preservice Prep Matters Long After They Become a Teacher of Record

Everyone likes a great investment, a sure thing, a great return for the money. In education, as in the markets, trying to figure out where to invest for the best results is challenging. Still, solid research can point us in the right direction, which is why I couldn’t wait for the results of the latest study in the “Good to Great” series by the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY): Investing in What It Takes to Move From Good to Great: Exemplary Educators Identify Their Most Important Learning Experiences.

Member Voices: The Best Way to Honor Teachers

This op-ed was published May 14 in the Virginian-Pilot. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

At a recent alumni award ceremony for Old Dominion University’s Darden College of Education, one of the honorees, author Rodney Sidney II, introduced the guests he had invited. Among them was his fourth-grade special education teacher. The moment was tremendously poignant, as he spoke of the support and encouragement he had received from her. Even more touching was how Sidney described her belief in him and her never-ending guidance.


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So mark your calendars and get ready for an exciting week to come!

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