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Archive for November, 2013

Webinar Spotlights Teacher Preparation for Online Instruction

On November 20, an interactive webinar sponsored by the Midwest Regional Educational Laboratory at American Institutes for Research addressed the preparation of preservice teachers to educate PK-12 students in online, hybrid, and blended environments. Mary Herring, associate dean of the College of Education at the University of Iowa and chair of AACTE’s Committee on Innovation and Technology, and Bryan Zugelder, executive director for undergraduate affairs and partnerships at the University of Central Florida’s College of Education and Human Performance, discussed the preservice teaching landscape as it relates to online learning; the implications of virtual education on preservice teacher preparation programs; and the skills that current research and theory suggest preservice teachers should have to be successful in online and blended learning programs.

Michigan Chapter Benefits From AACTE Grant

Michigan Association for Colleges for Teacher EducationThe views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

Thanks to an AACTE State Chapter Support Grant, the Michigan Association for Colleges for Teacher Education (MACTE) brought together university leaders in educator preparation and the Michigan Department of Education for a 4-day retreat in June on the campus of Northern Michigan University (NMU). The Pine Tower Retreat was an invigorating experience for all of us and helped us create tangible outcomes for the academic year.

NCTQ Promotes Inspectorate Model as Alternative to Program Accreditation

Last summer in its 2013 Teacher Prep Review, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) set forth recommendations for state and local policy makers who want to see the ratings increase for educator preparation programs in their jurisdictions. One of these recommendations was to “revamp current inspections of teacher preparation programs, performed as a condition of program approval.” Positing that neither state program approval site visits nor national accreditor site visits have proven to be meaningful, NCTQ recommended that states employ independent inspectors, along the lines of the British inspectorate model for preparation programs, to conduct program evaluation site visits and program evaluations.

Progress on Principal Preparation

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of attending a meeting of the Wallace Foundation’s Principal Pipeline Initiative. The foundation regularly convenes the initiative’s participants to provide time and space for them to assess their efforts to transform the way they recruit, prepare, and support principals and to plan for further work.

In early 2013, the Wallace Foundation awarded AACTE a grant to serve as one of its communications partners engaged in disseminating research about education leadership as well as the practices and research emerging from the foundation’s Principal Pipeline Initiative.

New Report Finds Success in Transfers of High-Performing Teachers to Low-Achieving Schools

Good news: A new study shows that transferring highly effective teachers to low-performing elementary schools improves the achievement of students in those schools. The impact of the transferred teachers in this study was greater than the impact of Teach For America (TFA) teachers found in studies with similar student populations.

Mathematica conducted the multisite experimental study, in which highly effective teachers were offered $20,000 over 2 years to transfer into and remain in elementary and middle schools that had low average test scores.

Announcing the Annual Meeting Event Planner

Note: This post also appears on the AACTE Annual Meeting site.

March will be here before we know it. The latest evidence of its rapid approach? The full AACTE Annual Meeting schedule is now available to you in the brand new Event Planner tool.
Accessible to everyone with an AACTE login (and anyone with an institutional e-mail address can set up an AACTE login), the Event Planner contains all the information we will be printing in the program book—but with search and scheduling functions that paper can’t match.

An Industry of Progress, Promise

Note: This op-ed was submitted to The New York Times but was not published.

A recent column by Bill Keller in The New York Times, “An Industry of Mediocrity,” highlighted a 2005 report by the well-respected Arthur Levine that concluded that the programs that prepare our nation’s educators “range from inadequate to appalling” and set the premise that the profession is a “contended cartel” of low-quality programs that should “feel threatened.” As leaders of AACTE, we view Mr. Keller’s column not as a threat but as an opportunity to do what we do best: educate.

Early Childhood Education Bills Introduced in Congress

Several early childhood education bills were introduced recently in Congress.

A bipartisan bill, the Strong Start for America’s Children Act (H.R. 3461/S. 1697), was introduced November 13 in the House and Senate that would expand access to and quality of early learning programs for children. The bill was introduced in the Senate by Tom Harkin (D-IA), chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, and in the House by Representatives George Miller (D-CA), ranking member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, and Richard Hanna (R-NY). Hanna’s endorsement makes the bill bipartisan, although no Republicans in the Senate support the legislation.

TAG—You’re It!

A great new AACTE program has hit the ground running, as many of your colleagues are already putting it to good use by creating “topical action groups” (TAGs).

The TAG program, which replaces the Association’s former “special study groups,” allows members to initiate or join action-oriented forums around a professional topic of importance, with funding and other support from AACTE.

Here are two examples of newly established TAGs and how they are using AACTE funding and support to further a topic of professional interest:

Building Allies Through Community Engagement

You all know about the significance of “telling your story.” As an advocacy and public-relations strategy, teacher educators should regularly communicate with media outlets and policy makers to promote their programs’ strengths such as innovative practices, state-of-the art technologies employed by faculty, the qualities of matriculating candidates, and the impact program completers are making in PK-12 schools.

Indeed, AACTE has long encouraged members—collectively, through state chapters, and individually—to build outreach efforts through advocacy and communication strategies. Today I want to remind you of the importance of also engaging members of your local community in these efforts. I’m not talking about your service work here; this is about strengthening the relevance and perceived value of your institution and program within the community.

National Briefing Heralds Launch of edTPA, Releases Field Test Data

AACTE President Sharon P. Robins speaks at the breifing
AACTE President Sharon P. Robinson speaks at the briefing

On November 8, AACTE marked the national launch of edTPA with a briefing in front of a standing-room-only audience at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. A report released at the briefing presents results of 2 years of field testing and recommends a passing score for edTPA, the first preservice performance-based assessment available to every educator preparation program across the country.

The briefing’s panelists—including a classroom teacher who completed edTPA in her preparation program, a teacher educator, state policy leaders, and edTPA partners—celebrated the new measure of teaching readiness as evidence that the teacher preparation profession is taking control of its future. Panelists said using edTPA as part of a multi-measure assessment system encourages continuous improvement by both candidates and programs, and it strengthens partnerships between the PK-12 community and teacher preparation programs. They also agreed that implementing the assessment with integrity will take time and the engagement of all stakeholders.

AACTE Celebrates Official Launch of edTPA

Today marks a proud accomplishment of the teacher preparation community and our partners as we celebrate the launch of the first nationally available, standards-based performance assessment for preservice teachers: edTPA.

edTPA was created for the profession by the profession and is already in use by nearly 500 teacher preparation providers in 32 states and the District of Columbia. With edTPA now fully operational, every preparation program in the country has access to a rigorous, reliable assessment that will give us confidence that aspiring teachers are ready to take charge of their classroom on Day One. This is truly a transformational moment in teacher preparation.

AACTE Congratulates New Committee Members

Please join AACTE in welcoming the following new appointees to its standing committees, effective March 1, 2014:

Committee on Global Diversity
Judit Szente, University of Central Florida

Committee on Government Relations and Advocacy
Suzann Girtz, Gonzaga University (WA)
Joen Larson, Ashford University (IA)

Committee on Innovation and Technology
Jeffrey Carpenter, Elon University (NC)
Christina Dehler, California State Polytechnic University Pomona

edTPA Implementation Conference Draws 400+

The annual edTPA Implementation Conference convened November 1-2 at the University of San Diego (CA) with the theme “Evidence of Learning and Practice: Teacher Performance Assessment by the Profession, for the Profession.” More than 400 higher education administrators, faculty, supervisors, and state education agency representatives were able to deepen their understanding of edTPA, ask important questions, and discuss strategies and best practices with their colleagues from across the country.

With edTPA now nationally available and being used by teacher preparation programs in 32 states plus the District of Columbia, this conference allowed teacher preparation professionals to share their trials and triumphs with edTPA implementation and plan for the future of their programs, institutions, and the teacher preparation field as a whole. The conference was cosponsored by the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE) and AACTE and came just a week before a National Press Club briefing, to be held today in Washington, DC, to discuss the edTPA field test results and nationwide launch.

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