Earlier this month, we were excited and honored to attend the symposium “Closing the Gaps: A Policy and Practice Conversation to Advance an Opportunity Agenda,” presented by the National Education Association at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. It was a thought-provoking event, filled with great speakers and compelling strategies for closing gaps in student achievement and opportunity.
Panelists included Linda Darling-Hammond (Stanford University), Robert Balfanz (Johns Hopkins University), Kisha Davis-Caldwell (National Board for Professional Teaching Standards), Ron Ferguson (Harvard University), and many others. These speakers discussed gap-closing strategies, policy levers to support effective practices, and directions the education field will (and should) take in the future. They also consistently emphasized the importance of community engagement.
Many of your institutions have championed the AACTE Holmes Scholars® Program by establishing local programs, while others have yet to realize the potential of the program to meet not only individual universities’ needs but the greater goals of the profession—such as AACTE’s strategic goal to launch and sustain systemwide initiatives to promote the diversity of the professional community and to prepare educators who can serve diverse learners. On May 15-16, this trajectory gained steam in Tallahassee, Florida, where officials from Florida A&M University (FAMU), the University of Central Florida (UCF), the National Association of Holmes Scholars Alumni (NASHA), and AACTE gathered with scholars from member institutions for the Holmes Scholars Dissertation Retreat on the FAMU campus.
Congratulations to May Holmes Scholar of the Month Ahmed Fahad!
Fahad is a third-year doctoral student at the University of Cincinnati (OH) in the Second Language Studies Department. His research interests are in second-language acquisition and pedagogy, critical discourse analysis, and computer-mediated communication.
The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) published an article in last week’s Teacher Quality Bulletin that criticized journals with a teacher education focus for not publishing enough articles on “core techniques and skills.” Targeting AACTE’s Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) in particular, the authors report that “only” 11% of the articles published in JTE in the past 5 years address this topic. JTE Coeditor Fran Arbaugh of Pennsylvania State University sent the following response to the article’s authors:
I am delighted to announce AACTE’s new Quality Support Initiative, which is designed to provide resources and support to educators interested in assessment and accreditation. Starting next month, we will offer Online Professional Seminars (OPSs) for faculty at AACTE member and nonmember institutions, undergraduate and graduate students, PK-12 teachers—or anyone involved in educator preparation.
As part of our mission to advocate and build capacity for high-quality educator preparation, AACTE has established this initiative to support the profession’s work in continuous improvement and accreditation. The OPSs provide professional development for individuals and promote organizational development for institutions in a convenient, flexible format.
The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) continues its data collection efforts for the planned 2016 edition of its Teacher Prep Review. As part of this pursuit, NCTQ is once again utilizing state open-records requests for information from public institutions that have chosen not to comply with NCTQ’s information requests—and at least one state is considering a change to open-records law.
The subject of lawsuits from NCTQ in Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin, several institutions around the country asserted that course syllabi are the intellectual property of their faculty and therefore covered by copyright law – protecting them from NCTQ’s open-records requests.
Last year, an AACTE State Chapter Support Grant enabled members of the Michigan Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (MACTE) to build more collaborative relationships with PK-12 schools and the Michigan Department of Education in order to facilitate more meaningful and relevant discussion on the preparation of excellent beginning teachers. This work supported the chapter’s goal of “promoting, within Michigan, the learning of all PK-12 students through the promotion of high-quality preparation and continuing education for all school personnel.”
Many thanks to AACTE, we were able to host a summer workshop at Ferris State University, the primary accomplishment of which was the review and revision of the MACTE Strategic Plan that had been developed the previous year. Based on input from the workshop, the group decided to tailor the annual conference to provide a forum for examining and highlighting the increasingly pressing issue of beginning teacher evaluation and distinctive efforts to improve educator preparation.
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) invites feedback on the latest revision of the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) model standards. Comments are due Friday, May 29.
The update attempts to capture the changing expectations for school leaders, who are increasingly held responsible not only for administrative tasks but also for student learning. The model standards, according to the draft document,
[. . .] clarify the most important work and responsibilities of learning-focused leaders operating in today’s education context. Grounded in both research and effective practice, these standards provide a framework for state departments of education and districts alike to understand how to best prepare, support, and evaluate education leaders in their efforts to help every child reach his or her fullest potential. [. . .] The standards can also inform how schools and districts recruit and cultivate leaders who can build teams that share and distribute the responsibilities required for high levels of student learning and achievement to occur. (p. 3)
The AACTE Board of Directors subcommittee formed to engage in conversation with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) convened May 5 for its first meeting. All committee members were present: Chair Renée A. Middleton (Ohio University), Jane Bray (Old Dominion University, VA), David Cherry (Whitworth University, WA), John Jacobson (Ball State University, IN), and Carol Vukelich (University of Delaware), as well as Board Chair Mark Ginsberg (George Mason University, VA) and AACTE Vice President Rodrick Lucero.
To start the meeting, Middleton invited Ginsberg to formally address the committee’s charge and scope of work. Ginsberg stated that AACTE continues to recognize and support CAEP as the single accrediting body for educator preparation programs. He reiterated that the committee was established to engage with the CAEP leadership to address concerns stated in the February AACTE Board of Directors resolution, which reflected ongoing communication from AACTE member institutions with respect to CAEP.
The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) seeks presentation proposals for its fall “CAEPCon” conference in partnership with AACTE, to be held September 17-19 at the Washington (DC) Hilton Hotel. Proposals must be submitted online by Sunday, May 24.