Archive for February, 2016

President Releases FY17 Budget Request

On February 9, President Obama released the final budget request of his presidency, a request for Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17). Next, Congress will respond with its own budget followed by the appropriations process—when lawmakers can choose to implement the president’s request or parts of it, or move forward on their own priorities. With the Congress under control of the Republicans during this presidential election year, the president’s request is unlikely to receive much focus.

The budget request for the U.S. Department of Education is $69.4 billion for FY17, a 2% increase over the FY16 level. The administration again proposes to eliminate the Teacher Quality Partnerships—the only federal grant program focused on strengthening and improving teacher preparation programs—replacing it with the Teacher and Principal Pathways programs. The administration also proposes to eliminate the TEACH grants in 2021 and increase loan forgiveness for teachers in high-need schools.

HITE, CCSS, and Teacher Preparation: Strange But True Bedfellows

You still have time to apply for the 2016 Holocaust Institute for Teacher Educators (HITE), a week-long, all-expenses-paid professional development opportunity in June at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. The deadline for applications has been extended until March 4!

AACTE member faculty are invited to apply through our online application. For more information, read this article or contact me at zvanhouten@aacte.org.

Be sure to also stop by the HITE concurrent session at AACTE’s 68th Annual Meeting in Las Vegas! The session (Education Under the Third Reich: A Case Study for the Ethics of Teaching) is scheduled for Thursday, February 25, at 10:30 a.m. in Grand Ballroom E. Add the session to your personal schedule through our Online Event Planner.

Proposals Due Feb. 15 for edTPA Implementation Conference

The annual National edTPA Implementation Conference will be held March 31 – April 2 at the Savannah Marriott Riverfront in Savannah, GA. The program planning committee seeks session proposals by Monday, February 15, from implementers of edTPA, the PK-12 community, and others involved in supporting teachers and candidates in using the assessment.

The conference, “Building Bridges to Highly Accomplished Teaching: From Preservice to Teacher Leader,” aims to include interactive sessions to share and develop practices, perspectives, and research aligned with the following strands:

Wilkerson Named February Scholar of the Month

Congratulations to February Scholar of the Month Amanda Wilkerson!

Wilkerson is a doctoral candidate at the University of Central Florida. Her research interests are historically Black colleges and universities, college transition programming for first-generation, low-income students, and program evaluation, curriculum development, and instrument design for Freshman Year Seminar.

“Amanda is truly a dynamic educator, scholar, and individual,” said Wilkerson’s nominator. “Her passion for social change is one of her many facets that I admire and am inspired by. You never leave the same after having an encounter with Ms. Amanda Wilkerson, and her future college presidency will surely bode well for the institution being served under her leadership. It is my honor to nominate such an outstanding woman!”

Major Forum to Feature Collaborative Approach to Addressing Teacher Shortages

As chair-elect of AACTE’s Advisory Council of State Representatives (ACSR), I invite you to join me in an engaging, thought-provoking, and solutions-oriented panel discussion about school-staffing challenges during AACTE’s Annual Meeting in Las Vegas.

On Tuesday, February 23, at 1:45 p.m., ACSR will host the major forum “A Regional Lens to Addressing Teacher Shortage and Distribution by Subject and Location,” focusing on factors contributing to the western region’s teacher shortages and to the inequitable distribution of effective educators. (You can add the session to your personal schedule in the Online Event Planner).

Learning in 3-D: Shared Perspectives Bring Practice Into Focus

Have you tried walking around with just one eye open? It’s tough: Your field of vision is limited; your balance suffers; you lack depth perception. Our brains need a variety of signals to bring the world into focus—and of course, this holds true not only for eyesight, but for our comprehension of just about everything.

Educator preparation is no exception. To help us meet the demands of professional practice, we form partnerships that span varying perspectives. One-dimensional views issued from the academy are as unhelpful as those emanating from the state house. But we find meaning and make progress on the tough questions when we tackle them from many angles at once, embracing complexity as an element that is essential to moving forward.

AACTE’s upcoming Annual Meeting—a convening primarily for teacher educators—will bring in these key viewpoints with significant participation from the world of practice and beyond. Beginning with preconference events and running through sessions large and small, this conference will provoke new insights on problems of practice through multidimensional views.

ESSA: Hardly Perfect, But Progress to Build On

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

Many people in the teaching profession are applauding the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which President Barack Obama signed into federal law in December. ESSA is not perfect, but what law or federal mandate is? The purpose of ESSA, in short, is to modernize and fix the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which turned into a broken system that, for more than a decade, did far more harm than good.

ESSA, to be sure, addresses some of NCLB’s biggest problems. The good news is that it allows for greater flexibility and opportunities for educator preparation programs to be creative and innovative in impacting PK-12 student learning with local districts and other partners. It also requires states to adopt challenging academic content standards and entrance requirements for credit-bearing course work in the state’s system of public higher education. These changes, among others, are long overdue.

Department Offers Guidance on Using NCLB Funds to Reduce Testing

On February 2, the U.S. Department of Education released guidance to chief state school officers on how No Child Left Behind (NCLB) funds in effect through the 2016-2017 school year may be used to “eliminate redundancy and ensure efficacy and quality of assessment.” You might recall that the Department released a Testing Action Plan in October 2015 to reduce the overtesting of our nation’s youth.

The guidance elaborates on what the Department views as principles for good assessments. The principles state that every assessment should be

  • Worth taking
  • High quality
  • Time limited
  • Fair, and supportive of fairness, in equity in educational opportunity
  • Fully transparent to students and parents
  • Just one of multiple measures
  • Tied to improved learning

Portland’s Concordia to Relocate Ed School in ‘3 to PhD’ Initiative

Ed Prep Matters is featuring “Stories of Impact” to showcase AACTE member institutions with educator preparation programs that are making a positive impact in their communities and beyond through innovative practices. We are committed to sharing members’ success stories and encourage you to do the same.

In one of the most impoverished neighborhoods of Portland, Oregon, a flourishing partnership between Concordia University and the PK-8 Faubion School has spawned ambitious plans for a new model of education to help disenfranchised students and the whole community.

Countries With High-Performing Students Have Strong Teacher Professional Learning

Two new studies commissioned by the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) credit the collaborative professional learning of teachers in British Columbia, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Singapore with their students’ strong performance on international assessments. NCEE’s Center on International Education Benchmarking organized a half-day forum last month featuring panel discussions of these countries’ policies that support such systems—and what lessons the United States should draw from them.

Rather than treating professional development as an add-on program such as monthly workshops, the studies say, successful education systems embed it broadly. Teacher-led collaborative learning is deliberately planned into structures such as well-defined career ladders, mentorship programs, and schools’ daily schedules. Although some of these features can be found in U.S. districts, none is widely used or as robust as described in the reports, and panelists advocated for a stronger systems approach.

January 2016 State Policy Recap

Over the past month, 35 state legislatures have convened for their 2016 legislative session—and it’s already been a productive year. Since January 1, nearly as many state bills related to educator preparation have been introduced as in all of 2015. In 2015, about 150 such bills were introduced; during January 2016, there were 133, introduced in 33 state legislatures. The states with the most bills proposed so far are New Jersey, Oklahoma, Iowa, Florida, and Michigan. Some of the common topics addressed in the bills include modifying teacher certification/licensure standards as related to teacher shortages and alternative routes to certification, investing in scholarships and loan forgiveness for teachers, and mandating training for teachers to support students with dyslexia as a requirement for licensure.

In addition, since the New Year, 34 state regulations have been proposed in 17 states related to educator preparation. The vast majority of the proposed state regulations relate to streamlining or clarifying teacher certification standards.

AACTE Subcommittee Completes Accreditation Survey, Refines Liaison to CAEP Board

The AACTE Board of Directors subcommittee formed to engage in conversation with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) has concluded surveying AACTE members regarding their perspectives related to CAEP, standards, and accreditation in general. Thanks to all who responded to our survey!

The survey, which invited feedback last fall, received responses from 176 respondents in 46 states. Members of the subcommittee met with AACTE President/CEO Sharon Robinson on January 21 to begin an initial review of the responses. This month, we will finalize our review of the data and present our findings and recommendations to the AACTE Board of Directors, which commissioned the work last spring. At this point, we can report that the standards that garnered the most desire for continued dialogue and attention were Standards 3 and 4. Following the February Board meeting, we will share more specific themes from the survey.

Major Forum to Tackle Tough Questions on ‘Digital Divide’

The editors of the Journal of Teacher Education are pleased to be organizing our annual major forum for AACTE’s 68th Annual Meeting.  This year’s session, “Equity, Access, and the Digital Divide: Challenges for Teacher Education,” will be held Wednesday, February 24, 9:00-10:15 a.m. (Be sure to add it to your personal schedule in the Online Event Planner!)

Our goal is to bring together representatives of stakeholder institutions and organizations to discuss how AACTE members, working together, might effectively respond to the challenges teachers face in using technology to meet the needs of all students despite the inequities posed by the digital divide.

ESSA’s Impact on California and Teacher Preparation: Opportunities for Collaboration

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

With the signing of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December 2015, there was an intentional shift in power from the federal government to the states when compared with its predecessor, the No Child Left Behind Act. There is great value in having more autonomy and accountability at the state level, and in many ways California has been ahead of this curve in terms of a strong statewide approach that focuses on local control and multiple measures of effectiveness. Under the leadership of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Chair Linda Darling-Hammond, the state has forged a new path around program quality and assessment, revising its policies and practices to focus on outcomes instead of inputs. In many ways, this shift anticipated what was put into law with ESSA.

AACTE Tools

Follow Us