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Archive for March, 2016

Becoming ‘NIC Mindful’: The Local Impact of Working in a Networked Improvement Community

In fall 2014, AACTE formed a networked improvement community (NIC) aimed at increasing the number of Black and Latino male teacher candidates in teacher preparation programs. Our College of Education at William Paterson University was among the 10 member colleges selected to participate. As we’ve worked in this collaborative group toward the goal of boosting enrollment of men of color by 25% across our programs, we’ve enjoyed a local impact that reaches well beyond the anticipated range.

The NIC employs the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s “improvement science” methodology to help participants examine our current practices and create new ones that will support the recruitment and retention of more diverse teacher candidates in our programs, and ultimately, their entrance into the teaching workforce.

Professional Standards for Educational Leaders Now Housed at NPBEA

The National Policy Board for Education Administration (NPBEA) has officially assumed leadership for the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) 2015, a revision of the former Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) standards. The standards were formerly owned by the Council of Chief State School Officers, which worked with NPBEA to update the document last year with extensive public input.

"Leaders in higher education and principals at all levels of the K-12 continuum engaged in a thoughtful, deliberative process based on the reality of the contemporary principal’s work," said JoAnn Bartoletti, NPBEA president and executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. "Our consensus is that the new standards are aspirational, reflect the complexity of school leadership, and filter the principal’s work through a lens of student-centered practice. They recognize the importance of cultural responsiveness in the context of a role that addresses the needs of each student."​

Rowan University Strengthening Pipeline of Male Educators of Color

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.

New Jersey’s Rowan University has a new initiative poised to make an impact in increasing the number of men of color going into teaching, aiming to diversify the educator pipeline to better reflect the nation’s demographics. In fact, the program’s very name is IMPACT—Increasing Male Practitioners and Classroom Teachers.

Survey: Are Your Teachers Prepared to Work With LGBTQ Students?

AACTE is excited to collaborate with the Association of Teacher Educators and the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network in a national outreach effort to determine how we can best support teacher preparation programs in training future educators to work with LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) students. Working together, we have created a survey that we now invite you to complete.

We recognize that there is little information about how to best support teacher educators in this arena and many educators, for numerous reasons, may not be addressing these issues. Although there are pockets of excellence leading this work, few teacher preparation programs require LGBTQ issues to be included in their overall diversity initiatives. Through this survey, we hope to learn more about how LGBTQ issues are (or are not) being addressed across the country, raise models of excellence, and provide guidance for programs that are asking for support. As a token of appreciation, survey takers will be entered into a lottery to win Amazon.com gift certificates or free AACTE Annual Meeting registration!

Registration Now Open for AACTE Washington Week, June 5-8

Registration is now open for AACTE’s Washington Week, a set of advocacy-focused events held annually in the nation’s capital. Under the theme “Diverse Perspectives, Deep Partnerships, One Profession,” this year’s Washington Week will be held June 5-8 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, VA, and on Capitol Hill. Please join us to deliberate on provocative issues in the profession, experience interactive sessions with industry leaders, and showcase your work with legislators.

Wallace Foundation Launches New Investment in University-Based Principal Preparation

The Wallace Foundation this month announced a major new initiative to support the redesign of higher education-based programs for preparing school leaders. Investing $47 million over 5 years, the University Preparation Program Initiative will bring together selected institutions and school districts to share best practices and develop more effective principal training.

The initiative will fund improvements to principal preparation programs at up to six universities in partnership with high-need districts. It will also invest in research on effective partnerships, course work, and clinical experiences, and it will engage states in reviews of pertinent policies in support of the work. The selected universities and their district partners will be announced in the fall.

A Site Visit: Keeping It Real with St. John’s University and P.S. 101

I recently had the opportunity to visit St. John’s University in New York City at the invitation of Dean Michael Sampson. Witnessing a high-functioning clinical partnership in action was both inspiring and reassuring, providing a concrete glimpse into the terrific work being done around the country to prepare high-quality teachers.

My visit began at P.S. 101 in Queens, a St. John’s partner school. There, I met with university-based instructor Liz Chase, Department Chair Judith McVarish, Assistant Principals Laura Fahey and Irtis Gonzalez, and Principal Monique Paniagua. The school was bustling with youngsters greeting friends and teachers exuberantly as we made our way to the principal’s office. The joy and laughter filling the hallways showed that the students were excited about being at school.

Title II Data Show Student Teaching Hours Vary by Program Type, but Differing Definitions Hinder Comparisons

Editor’s note: As AACTE moves from collecting information through the Professional Education Data System (PEDS) to tapping other nationally available data sources on educator preparation, we will be providing periodic data reports on Ed Prep Matters based on PEDS, federal collections such as Title II and SASS, and other sources.

The U.S. Department of Education collects data annually from states on teacher certification/licensure programs of all kinds, as mandated by Sections 205 through 208 of the Title II of the Higher Education Act. Assembling information on programs that are “traditional” and “alternative,” based both inside and outside of institutions of higher education (IHEs), the Title II data collection aims to provide a comprehensive view of the field of teacher preparation.

NCTQ Seeks to Identify ‘Great Districts for Great Teachers’

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) is reaching out to select large school districts throughout the country as it prepares to launch a new initiative, Great Districts for Great Teachers. This new initiative seeks to recognize between 10 and 20 districts for having strong practices on five indicators developed by NCTQ:

  • Rational compensation structure
  • Professional support
  • Effective management operations
  • Career pathways and leadership opportunities
  • Adequate support services for students

Nevada Teacher Shortages, Solutions Discussed at AACTE Press Briefing

In advance of the 68th Annual Meeting, AACTE held a press briefing last month at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, focused on educator preparation providers’ work to address the teacher shortages in Nevada. Panelists discussed the challenges they face and innovative solutions under way to meet the urgent demand for qualified teachers in the state’s two largest counties and in both rural and urban areas.

Presented by AACTE in partnership with member institutions in the state, the briefing featured an interactive panel discussion moderated by Mark LaCelle-Peterson, AACTE senior vice president for policy and programs, with the following panelists:

  • Kenneth Coll, Dean, College of Education, University of Nevada, Reno
  • Kim Metcalf, Dean, College of Education, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Dennis Potthoff, Dean, School of Education, Nevada State College
  • Thomas Reagan, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Great Basin College
  • Staci Vesneske, Former Chief Human Resources Officer, Clark County School District, on special assignment to the superintendent’s office

Study: Evidence ‘Thin’ for Key Accountability Efforts—Except for edTPA

A new policy brief out of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) reviews the evidentiary base underlying four national initiatives for teacher preparation program accountability and finds that only one of them—the beginning-teacher performance assessment edTPA—is founded on claims supported by research. The other three mechanisms included in the study are the state and institutional reporting requirements under the Higher Education Act (HEA), the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) standards and system, and the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) Teacher Prep Review.

Holding Teacher Preparation Accountable: A Review of Claims and Evidence, conducted by Marilyn Cochran-Smith and colleagues at Boston College (MA), investigated two primary questions: What claims does each initiative make about how it contributes to the preparation of high-quality teachers? And is there evidence that supports these claims? In addition, researchers looked at the initiatives’ potential to meet their shared goal of reducing educational inequity.

Deans for Impact Policy Agenda Calls for Better Data Access

Navigating the opportunities and challenges that new data sources and reporting requirements present was a frequent theme at this year’s AACTE Annual Meeting. In one well-attended session, representatives of the group Deans for Impact (DFI) released their latest policy paper, From Chaos to Coherence: A Policy Agenda for Accessing and Using Outcomes Data in Educator Preparation, also described here on the DFI blog. (You may recall that DFI, started in 2015 by Benjamin Riley when he left the New Schools Venture Fund, shares AACTE’s commitment to using outcomes-focused data to inform and improve educator preparation. Its 22 member deans include 15 from current AACTE member institutions, many of whom serve or have served on AACTE committees and in other leadership roles.)

The brief calls on policy makers to make better data on graduates’ performance in the field available to programs—an important priority that resonates across the educator preparation profession. As the report notes, despite widespread calls for connecting evidence of new teachers’ effectiveness back to their preparation programs, “there has been no coordinated effort to provide these programs with valid, reliable, timely, and comparable data about the [educators] they prepare” (p. 2). Individual institutions, state university systems, AACTE state chapters and their leadership group, and our accreditor have all called attention to this persistent problem.

Holmes Scholars Give, Receive Much at AACTE

During last month’s AACTE Annual Meeting, the Holmes Program preconference events brought together 74 Holmes Scholars, at least 15 coordinators, and numerous alumni from across the nation. The events, facilitated by the Holmes Scholars Council, AACTE, and the National Association of Holmes Scholars Alumni (NAHSA), included participants from 17 member institutions, more than a dozen presenters, and the program’s first cohort of undergraduate students, known as Holmes Honors students. Attendees shared their research, held a variety of formal and informal meetings, and elected new leaders for the coming year.

While attending, we observed the act of relationship building during program sessions and after hours where the new relations began to take root. Participants were clearly excited about the opportunities to connect with peers from around the nation and to participate in conference sessions that were inspiring and powerful. Representatives from AACTE and NAHSA answered what seemed like endless inquiries about program implementation and growth strategies. Considering the overall feedback from participants, all in attendance walked away with a wealth of knowledge as well as new friends and colleagues.

Pecheone Encourages Teacher Educators to Embrace National Dialogue

The growing conversation, contentious or not, in the teacher preparation community at large about how to prepare great educators is good for the profession and PK-12 students—and is also helping to improve edTPA support and assessment, Stanford University’s Ray Pecheone told 350 educators at the recent AACTE Annual Meeting.

Pecheone, executive director of the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE), said during the February 25 edTPA breakfast session, “The fact that the profession is having this dialogue about what makes an effective teacher is critical. Engage it! Embrace it! Through this dialogue edTPA has gotten better. It’s a continuous improvement model.”

As Global Engagement Grows, AACTE Explores New Initiatives

Did you know that AACTE has a growing international footprint? Although “American” is our first name and our membership is primarily domestic, the world is watching—and engaging—more widely, especially online.

We recently explored who is engaging with AACTE from around the world and discovered audiences in more than two dozen countries are visiting our web sites, connecting with us via social media, or accessing the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) online.

During 2015, the most frequent visitors were from the following countries:

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