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Advancing the Imperative of Authentic Practice

Throughout the AACTE Annual Meeting sessions in Atlanta, I was reminded of the lesson from Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert. The imperative of ample, authentic practice as a foundation for professional mastery resonated across several conference presentations.

‘Deans for Impact’ Brings Welcome Energy to Reform Efforts

Eighteen education deans have formed a new coalition, Deans for Impact, to engage in the ongoing and important discussion about educator effectiveness and quality evidence. This group has staked out an agenda that is congruent with AACTE’s overall goals and also echoes the professional standards being implemented by the Council for the Accreditation for Educator Preparation.

Implementation Conference Reflects Growth, Experience of edTPA Community

The third annual edTPA National Implementation Conference, held last month in Los Angeles, drew nearly 400 educators and policy leaders from 28 states and more than 100 universities.

Convened at the University of California Los Angeles to accommodate record attendance, this year’s conference featured 32 plenary and breakout sessions, including a panel on how to promote and sustain partnerships between teacher preparation programs and cooperating PK-12 schools.

PDK/Gallup Poll Shows Public Support for Quality Teacher Preparation

AACTE Members Addressing Key Concerns Through Rigorous Programs, Partnerships, and Policy Initiatives

AACTE member institutions across the country are leading rigorous and effective teacher preparation programs that echo the priorities of those surveyed in the 46th annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. The 2014 poll includes a special section released today on teacher preparation and evaluation.

The first report on the 2014 poll, released last month, showed that Americans are skeptical of federal policy influences on public schools and of the Common Core State Standards and standardized tests. The newly released second report delves into specific ways respondents think teacher quality and schools should be improved.

CPRE Report: Preparation in Methods, Pedagogy Linked to Teacher Retention

Preservice preparation in teaching methods and pedagogy has a notably positive effect on new teachers’ likelihood to stay past their first year on the job, according to a new report out of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE). Teachers’ routes to licensure, certificate types, degrees, and selectivity of their colleges have much less correlation with attrition, say report authors Richard Ingersoll, Lisa Merrill, and Henry May.

Analyzing data from the national Schools and Staffing Survey and supported by a National Science Foundation grant, the authors studied to what degree various elements of preservice preparation contribute to beginning teachers’ attrition or retention after 1 year in the classroom, particularly in the fields of mathematics and science.

Breathing Room for Teacher Evaluation; Will ED Extend Approach to Teacher Prep?

Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued a statement responding to widespread concerns about standardized testing—saying that “testing issues today are sucking the oxygen out of the room in a lot of schools” and offering to delay by a year the federal requirement that teacher evaluations include some “significant” influence from students’ performance on state assessments.

Teaching: More Complex Than Rocket Science

American teachers touch the American future every day. They do so by producing good citizens, good employers, good workers, and good people. As teacher educators, we prepare these leaders.

In today’s political climate, too many people take a simplistic approach to teaching and learning. It’s not hard to find someone who will argue that to teach, all you need are good intentions. Nearly everyone has been in school, so many people believe this makes them expert on how to teach and even on how to train teachers. Similar logic would lead us to conclude that since everyone has been born, we could all be obstetricians and medical educators. Teaching and teacher training are not simple tasks.

Nation’s Top Educators Prepared by Colleges of Education

AACTE applauds the Council of Chief State School Officers’ 2014 National Teacher of the Year Sean McComb, the three additional finalists, and the colleges of education that helped prepare all of them for their highly successful careers.

McComb, who is also the 2014 Maryland Teacher of the Year, teaches English at Patapsco High School & Center for the Arts in Baltimore. Additionally, he oversees the school’s Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) program. He completed his undergraduate and graduate preparation at the University of Pittsburgh, earning a bachelor’s degree English literature and master’s degree in English education.

Exemplar Teachers Share Insights on How They Became Effective

Report CoverHow does the profession support teachers’ development over time? Addressing that question from a collaborative approach, a new report was released yesterday by the National Network of State Teachers of the Year in partnership with the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders at American Institutes for Research and five other national education organizations, including AACTE. The Council of Chief State School Officers hosted a release event featuring a panel discussion by teacher leaders, researchers, and policy makers about the report’s findings.

Insights in the report, From Good to Great: Exemplary Teachers Share Perspectives on Increasing Teacher Effectiveness Across the Career Continuum, are based on an exploratory survey of more than 300 former national and state teachers of the year. This research identifies valuable professional experiences and supports that were essential to these exemplar teachers’ professional growth and effectiveness throughout various stages of their career. Teachers responded to survey questions relevant to four stages of the teacher career continuum, identified as the preservice, novice, career, and teacher leader stages.

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