‘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.

In four guiding principles, Deans for Impact pledges members’ commitment to being

  1. Data Driven—collecting, sharing, and using data to drive change within their programs and across the field
  2. Outcomes Focused—using common metrics and assessments that tightly align the activities of their programs with demonstrable impact on student achievement and other common outcomes measures
  3. Empirically Tested—using the tools of research to identify the features of educator preparation programs that improve student learning
  4. Transparent and Accountable—elevating expectations for educator preparation accountability and making program outcomes transparent to all

AACTE also shares Deans for Impact’s vision for collaborative work within the field to improve itself. We firmly believe it is the responsibility of our profession to work across programs to articulate a collective vision and to continually assess our own quality and impact.

While AACTE differs on the types of measurement we believe should be used to determine the effectiveness of new teachers and programs—for example, Deans for Impact supports the proposed federal regulations for preparation programs, including their call for using value-added modeling to rate programs, which AACTE opposes—we agree on the importance of collecting and using metrics to understand the impact new educators have on student achievement.

Speaking as a unified professional voice, we can create a chorus of influence on state and federal policy as well as our own program improvement. Working together, we can continue to develop and test measures of effectiveness for their validity to gauge our programs’ outcomes for PK-12 student learning.

I look forward to engaging Deans for Impact and other groups in conversations about how we can work in concert to assure the readiness of all new teachers to enter the classroom and to measure candidates’ impact on a variety of student outcomes.

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Sharon Robinson

President and CEO, AACTE