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.
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:
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.
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.
The election for the 2014 AACTE Board of Directors is now under way through December 2. Four seats will be decided via online voting: one representing the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education (AILACTE) and three at-large seats.
The slate is as follows:
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.
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
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.
Did you miss the Early Bird registration deadline for AACTE’s 66th Annual Meeting? Don’t worry: We’re giving you one more chance to register at the lowest rate!
For the next 48 hours, you can register at the Early Bird rate (new registrations only!). Don’t delay—this deal expires at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Friday, November 8.
On Tuesday, November 12, AACTE and the Kentucky Association of Colleges for Teacher Education present “Developing the Dispositions of Preservice Teachers for a Culture of Continuous Professional Learning,” from 3:00 to 4:15 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
This is the second webinar in a two-part series sponsored by a grant from Learning Forward, making registration free for AACTE members. The series addresses how educator preparation programs can develop professional learning-ready teachers and school leaders.
In the last couple of weeks, many AACTE members have been contacted by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) inviting them to submit new materials by December 15 for the council’s 2014 review of education schools.
Of note in NCTQ’s communication with members is that the 2014 review will be a ranking, rather than a rating, of programs, and that programs that don’t set a minimum GPA entry requirement can meet the selectivity standard by showing that the average GPA of admitted candidates is a 3.3 or higher.
AACTE will continue to support members’ decision-making regarding their engagement with NCTQ and to represent members’ concerns about the organization and the work it produces. Members can find materials, including AACTE’s statement on the release of NCTQ’s 2013 review, in the NCTQ-U.S. News resource section of AACTE’s web site.
Did you know a recent study found you can boost your energy at work by taking “microbreaks” that involve work-related tasks? So take a tiny break from your midterm grading to learn what we have planned for educator preparation’s premier event—the AACTE Annual Meeting, to be held March 1-3 in Indianapolis.
In response to a recent solicitation from the U.S. Department of Education, AACTE will be submitting comments on a proposed data collection regarding “highly qualified teachers.” We also sent an action alert November 4 to members of our Grassroots Action Network, encouraging members to send their own comments as well.
In September 2012—more than a year ago—AACTE and the 90+ other members of the Coalition for Teaching Quality won a significant victory when Congress passed a law requiring the Department of Education to collect data regarding the number of teachers-in-training currently serving as teachers of record. Specifically, the Department of Education is required to submit a report to Congress on the extent to which students with disabilities, English learners, students in rural areas, and students from low-income families are taught by teachers-in-training. For more background on this issue, see this article from AACTE’s Advisor.
FACTE President Marci Greene with AACTE’s Jane E. West
On October 24, I had the great pleasure of joining the Florida Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (FACTE) for its fall conference. With 130 people in attendance and the announcement of a new executive director, FACTE is going strong.
After years of outstanding service, Bob Shockley (Florida Atlantic University) retired as executive director, and FACTE welcomed Terry Osborn (University of South Florida) as its new head. AACTE’s membership ambassador, former FACTE chair Jennifer Platt, shared with FACTE the many benefits of joining AACTE. And we all welcomed Flagler College into the AACTE family as a new member.
Do you long to share your reams of research with the press? Are you eager to present insights from your years of practical experience in an AACTE panel? Or perhaps you’re looking for peers in your state who are researching Response to Intervention? AACTE wants to know about your areas of research and practical expertise so we can help you find others in your field, pass your information along for press inquiries, and invite you to present at AACTE events.