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Archive for August, 2015

Be There in Vegas: Affordability, Convenience for AACTE’s 68th Annual Meeting

AACTE’s 2016 Annual Meeting will be held February 23-25 in Las Vegas—an affordable location where you get the best value for your travel dollar! With over 900 inbound and outbound flights per day and nonstop service from more than 130 U.S. and international cities, Las Vegas is easy on your time as well as your budget.

Few other cities are able to boast the wide array of dining options available in Las Vegas, from all-you-can-eat buffets to some of the finest restaurants in the world—with options for every culinary taste. In addition, the close proximity of Las Vegas hotels nearly eliminates the need for transportation, as attendees can walk to many destinations. When transportation is required, however, Las Vegas supplies myriad options including bus, taxi, shuttles, and the country’s first automated monorail.

PDK/Gallup Poll: U.S. Public Values Teacher Quality, Opposes High-Stakes Testing, Split on Opting Out

AACTE’s more than 800 member institutions are dedicated to high-quality preparation that ensures the effectiveness, diversity, and readiness of professional educators, supporting the priorities of the American public surveyed in the 47th annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. The recently released 2015 poll included questions on teacher quality and evaluation, standards, testing, and more, and a new online polling format captured selected demographic information, allowing for more disaggregated responses than past surveys.

The survey shows that 95% of Americans consider the quality of teachers to be very important and an integral factor for improving public schools. As in past years, an overwhelming majority of the U.S. public also is pleased with the performance of their local schools. Testing is viewed less favorably, though, including for teacher accountability purposes; 55% of Americans and 61% of public school parents oppose using student scores on standardized tests as part of teacher evaluations. Respondents also are skeptical of federal policy influences on public schools and of the Common Core State Standards.

Recording, Slides Available From Webinar on Proposed Federal Regulations, Advocacy Roles

Did you miss AACTE’s recent webinar on the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed regulations for teacher preparation programs? Don’t worry: Members can find a recording of the webinar here along with the PowerPoint slides (updated based on questions from participants!).

If you have any questions about how you can engage in advocacy around the regulations or other matters, please contact me at dkoolbeck@aacte.org.

Superintendents Share Advice for Improving Principal Pipeline

In a new series of short videos, superintendents of six large, urban school districts around the country share lessons for improving development of leaders for their districts’ schools. AACTE members working to prepare leaders for schools and districts may find the videos to be a useful resource for their candidates.

The series features the superintendents in Charlotte-Mecklenburg (NC), Denver (CO), Gwinnett County (GA), Hillsborough County (FL), New York (NY), and Prince George’s County (MD), which have been participating in the Wallace Foundation’s Principal Pipeline Initiative for several years. (AACTE is a communications partner for the initiative and, along with its members, is devoting new attention to principal preparation, beginning with a survey this fall.)

Developing Urban Teacher Leaders Together: The Mort Teacher Leader Academy

The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

Teacher education is entering an exciting era. Scholars and practitioners alike are calling for teachers to be educated differently (AACTE, 2010; CCSSO, 2015; NCATE, 2010), which means that the way we prepare teachers and the way we support teachers’ ongoing professional development must change. In lieu of one-size-fits-all, “sit and get” training sessions, teachers’ professional development must be ongoing, differentiated, sustained, and rooted in issues that they face on a daily basis. Such is the experience for the teachers of Mort Elementary School in Hillsborough County Public Schools (the 8th largest school district in the United States) who participate in the Mort Teacher Leader Academy (MTLA).

Member Voices: The Value and Rewards of Participating in a State AACTE Chapter

Early in my academic career as a faculty member, the Indiana Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (IACTE) was referred to as "the deans group." Its meetings were attended primarily by those holding administrative positions, which did not include me. Still, I got to work with IACTE during this time: I had been appointed by the governor to the Indiana Professional Standards Board (IPSB) for teacher education and licensure, which worked collaboratively with IACTE on developing new standards-based licensure and assessments. At a time when teacher education was truly valued in the state, our joint efforts placed Indiana as one of the front runners in best practices in teacher preparation and the use of performance-based assessments.

Interact With Holmes Scholars on Social Media

The AACTE Holmes Scholars® Program thrives because of the strong connections and networks built within its framework and through the amazing efforts of the membership. To make sure the strength of that assembly is continually being nourished, we are implementing a social media/communications plan that aims to improve engagement and participation among Holmes Scholars and the profession more broadly.

I encourage all Holmes Scholars and other interested students/faculty to join our social media interactions! Our Facebook and Twitter presence aims to meet the following objectives:

Jessica Henry Named August’s Holmes Scholar of the Month

Jessica Henry
Jessica Henry, Ohio University Holmes Scholar

Congratulations to August Holmes Scholar of the Month Jessica Henry!

Henry is a doctoral candidate at Ohio University. Her research interests are mental health and rehabilitation.

Henry’s nominator had this to say about her: “A rehabilitation counselor by trade, it is Jessica’s life goal to improve the quality of life for everyone that she comes into contact with. Jessica epitomizes strength and resilience and leads by example.”

State Legislators Weigh Teacher Quality Reforms, Want Input From Teacher Educators

Last week, I attended the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Legislative Summit along with over 5,000 state legislators and their staff. Teacher quality was a key theme of several sessions ranging from teacher career ladders to school leader preparation.

One of the significant points I took from the conference was that state legislators are eager to hear from teacher preparation programs on current practices and innovations. Please contact your state legislators prior to the upcoming 2016 legislative session to share what is happening at programs in your state!

Registration Now Open for 2016 AACTE Annual Meeting

Registration is now open for AACTE’s 68th Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, February 23-25, 2016. Take advantage of discounted registration by the Early Bird deadline of October 14.

As a profession, educator preparation faces hard questions and tensions that challenge programs’ ability to pursue a common vision of quality. Together, educator preparation providers will tackle these issues as they converge in Las Vegas for AACTE’s 2016 Annual Meeting – the premier event for the profession. Get empowered with proven strategies and unconventional approaches for building a stronger workforce, institution, and community.

Last Call for AACTE Dissertation Award Applications

Time is running out to apply for AACTE’s 2016 Outstanding Dissertation Award! Entries must be made online by Monday, August 17. Help AACTE showcase outstanding doctoral research at your institution by encouraging your top recent graduates (or recent hires!) to apply for this prestigious award, which includes a $1,000 cash prize.

AACTE Holmes Scholars Program to Expand Support of Diverse Students

William Paterson University of New Jersey to Pilot Expansion to Undergraduate, Master’s Students

AACTE is expanding the AACTE Holmes Scholars® doctoral-level program to also support underrepresented students at earlier stages of their education careers. Beginning this fall, William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey, will pilot the new programs for undergraduates and master’s-level students to help diversify the education workforce.

Currently, participation in the Holmes Scholars Program is open to all AACTE member institutions with doctoral programs in education. The newly expanded Holmes Program will reach high school students through the Holmes Cadets Program, undergraduates through the Holmes Honors Program, and master’s-level students through the Holmes Master’s Program. The peer network will continue to feature prominently across all levels, with doctoral Holmes Scholars mentoring Master’s and Honors students just as the scholars benefit from mentoring through the alumni network.

Strengthening AACTE’s Innovation Exchange

AACTE is undertaking a new effort to strengthen its Innovation Exchange by developing better navigation tools, adding fresh resources, and boosting engagement opportunities for the professional community.

“The Innovation Exchange must be an interactive platform for bringing together and amplifying the innovative work our members do,” said Rodrick Lucero, vice president of member engagement and support.

Free Webinar to Explore School Context’s Influence on Teacher Effectiveness

From their recent research on the relationship between teacher productivity and job experience, John Papay and Matthew Kraft of Brown University (RI) will share new evidence on teachers’ long-term career improvement in a free webinar for AACTE members. “Toward a Broader Conceptualization of Teacher Quality: How Schools Influence Teacher Effectiveness” will be held Wednesday, August 19, at 2:00 p.m. EDT.

Policy makers tend to think of “teacher quality” as a fixed and portable characteristic of an individual teacher – in other words, it doesn’t change over time or across school settings. In this webinar, Papay and Kraft will make the case for a broader conceptualization of “teacher effectiveness” that depends, in large part, on the school context in which a teacher works.

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