Archive for April, 2015

USED Webinar: ‘First in the World’ Grants

Are you thinking of applying for a federal “First in the World” (FITW) grant? Learn about the program during a free webinar with the U.S. Department of Education this Wednesday, April 15, 4:00-5:00 p.m. EDT.

The FITW program is run through the Department’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education office. Intended to spur collaborative innovation among institutions of higher education and partnering nonprofit organizations, FITW grants target improved educational outcomes, college affordability, and an evidence base of effective practices. The grants are funded at $60 million this year, including a $16 million set-aside for minority-serving institutions.

Why I Score edTPA

Editor’s Note: Tracy Spesia, a nationally trained edTPA scorer, is the recent recipient of an innovation award from the University of Saint Francis for her work on edTPA at the College of Education. According to the university, Spesia’s “creative and successful efforts with the implementation of edTPA have positioned USF as a leader in the state” and have helped enhance “the quality of USF students’ application of theory into practice during their field experiences.” In recognition of her leadership, she was appointed to the Illinois Association for Teacher Education in Private Colleges as the edTPA liaison. Spesia also serves on the executive board of the Illinois Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. Click here for information about becoming an edTPA scorer.

This year I became an official edTPA scorer, and it is one of the most rewarding professional experiences I have had since I started working in the area of teacher preparation.

Take Action With AACTE’s TAGs

Did you know that AACTE has 14 topical action groups (TAGs) established to date? TAGs are member-initiated working groups that are supported by AACTE. Anyone from a member institution can join existing TAGs, or start their own TAG, at any time.

TAGs address topics as diverse as accreditation, diverse workforce development, research in teacher preparation, and women in the deanship, among others. (For a complete list of TAGs, visit our web site).

Mark Your Calendar for AACTE Summer Events

Kick off the summer with AACTE’s signature June events: Washington Week and the Leadership Academy. Join your colleagues from around the country in Washington, DC, advocating for the profession on Capitol Hill and participating in a special conference on closing the achievement gap in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields; or meet with fellow new deans and administrators in Cincinnati, Ohio, for intensive leadership development and networking. These are two popular summer conferences, so mark your calendar today!

The Power of Teacher Professional Communities in Urban Schools

Editor’s Note: Professor Hollins inspired attendees of AACTE’s recent Annual Meeting in Atlanta during the Speaker Spotlight Session. (View a video recording of her speech here, and read another version in this Hechinger Report piece, which includes the video she played during her address.) To follow up on her presentation, we invited Hollins to explore her topic in a series of blogs for Ed Prep Matters. This is the final post in the series.

Most teachers in urban schools, as elsewhere, are dedicated professionals who put much effort into their practice and care deeply about the students they teach. Teachers understandably feel frustrated when their students fail to meet expectations for learning outcomes. How they address this frustration, however, makes all the difference for student outcomes—and it is influenced heavily by the ideology developed in their school’s professional community.

Strategic Deployment of Teacher Experience: Getting It Right for Students

News Flash! The interest of students and their opportunity to learn is not better or even well served by a strategy of constant and high demand of inexperienced teachers. Retention matters, not just to teachers but, most critically, to students.

Recent studies showing that teacher effectiveness continues to develop over time reinforce this imperative to do right by our students. First, in a working paper completed last year for the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research, researchers at Duke University found that middle school teachers’ effect on student test scores as well as attendance rates improves over at least several years. A subsequent study out of Brown University found improvement in teacher effectiveness is indeed steepest in the early years in the classroom but continues for many more years, challenging the common perception that teacher quality is a fixed characteristic after just a couple of years of experience.

Looking Ahead to 2016, NCTQ Continues Data Collection Efforts

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) has re-engaged its data collection efforts in preparation for its 2016 Teacher Prep Review—scheduled for an October 2016 release. In an e-mail message to programs throughout the country, NCTQ has sent both an overview of the changes for the 2016 review and an itemized data request for each program, requesting that institutions notify NCTQ if they plan to comply with the request by April 20.

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