Archive for April, 2016

Comment by May 2 on Proposed Regulations

It is time again to make your voice heard in the latest request for comments on the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed regulations on teacher preparation programs. The deadline to submit comments is Monday, May 2.

On April 1, the Department released a supplemental notice of proposed rule making (NPRM) affecting the implementation of the proposed teacher preparation program regulations for “distance education” programs. The Department seeks additional feedback on questions raised about these programs in some of the nearly 5,000 comments received on the initial NPRM last year.

AACTE stands ready to help you respond to this request for comment!

Clinical Practice Commission Members Share Vision for Advancing Teaching Profession

The AACTE Clinical Practice Commission (CPC) was launched in June 2015 with the goals of establishing a shared lexicon, identifying model protocols and best practices, and developing actionable recommendations for the field to define and align high-quality clinical practice in teacher preparation. The commission’s work is projected to extend through December 2016, but the 68th AACTE Annual Meeting held in February provided an opportunity to share the group’s work to date and gather feedback from the field.

During the conference, members of the CPC presented their vision for clinical practice, built upon a foundation of strong PK-24 partnerships and centered on transforming educator preparation by unifying the profession. Several commissioners provided insight into the CPC’s work as presenters during the preconference event “Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders Through School-University Partnerships,” sponsored by the Wallace Foundation, and as featured panelists in the major forum “Clinical Practice in Educator Preparation.”

Three members of the CPC, Kristien Zenkov and Audra Parker from George Mason University (VA) and Rene Roselle from the University of Connecticut, spoke at the preconference event. Their presentation summarized the commission’s progress toward developing a white paper and a shared lexicon to connect the essential elements of clinical partnerships. They also discussed the common structures of clinical preparation and the implications that clinical teacher preparation has for advancing clinical practice in principal preparation.

Advance Your Career at AACTE’s Leadership Academy

Are you a new dean or department chair—or simply looking to advance your career as an academic administrator? Get ahead at AACTE’s Leadership Academy this June in Portland, Oregon!

AACTE’s Leadership Academy is held each summer as a professional development training for new deans, department chairs, and other academic administrators. The academy covers the essentials of leadership, from managing finite resources to effective development and public relations, while helping attendees cultivate a supportive network of peers.

Resources Available on Using AACTE Policy Tracker

Last week, I hosted a webinar demonstrating the AACTE State Policy Tracker, an online tool that provides an interactive and user-friendly way for member institutions and state chapters to be more informed on state legislation and regulations related to educator preparation.

The webinar’s video recording and presentation slides are now available here.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the online policy tracker, contact me at or (202) 478-4504.

New Principles to Help Secure Student, Teacher Privacy in Performance Assessment

A set of principles released this month gives educators and policy makers new guidance on the secure and ethical use of video and other classroom materials gathered as part of preservice teacher preparation. A task force of educators led by AACTE created the principles to ensure the privacy of those whose images and work are captured in the performance assessment of aspiring teachers.

The 27-member task force began convening last fall, meeting several times to develop the principles and supporting documents. Their brief brochure, “Securing Personal Information in Performance Assessment of Teacher Candidates,” explains the importance of videos and other artifacts in teacher performance assessment and introduces nine principles to guide those involved in creating or reviewing materials that include student images or identifying information.

Global Learning Colloquia Coming to Denver

AACTE is proud to support two daylong colloquia at the annual conference of NAFSA: Association of International Educators in Denver, Colorado, May 31 and June 3.

On Tuesday, May 31, the Global Learning Colloquium on Teacher Education will focus on the theme “High-Impact Global Learning Experiences and Curricular Design.” The program runs 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. and will address how to prepare preservice teachers to work with diverse populations, understand how their practice affects both local and global communities, and be culturally responsive in pedagogy and curriculum choices. Participants will hear from global education organizations as well as from teacher educators from California State University, Kent State University (OH), Southern Connecticut State University, the University of Connecticut, the University of Missouri, and the University of Nevada-Reno.

Free Webinar April 26 to Discuss Curriculum, Assessment for Educator Ethics

Please join educators from Georgia in an interactive webinar where they will share how they incorporated  professional ethics training and assessments in their curriculum and used the resulting data to inform program improvements.

Preparing Preservice Educators in Ethical Decision Making Using Innovative Strategies
Tuesday, April 26, 2016, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EDT


  • Anne Marie Fenton, Director, Assessment, Georgia Professional Standards Commission
  • Sarah Hallstein, Teacher, Glenwood Primary School, Rome, Georgia
  • Edward Hill, Dean and Associate Professor, College of Education, Fort Valley State University
  • Troy Hutchings, Senior Strategic Advisor – Educator Ethics, Educational Testing Service
  • Jack Parish, Associate Dean, Outreach and Engagement, College of Education, University of Georgia
  • Francis Roe, Director of Field Experiences and Clinical Practice, Charter School of Education and Human Sciences, Berry College
  • Paul Shaw, Division Director, Ethics, Georgia Professional Standards Commission

Hear from these industry leaders as they walk you through their state’s work, in collaboration with Educational Testing Service, to deploy innovative strategies to prepare their state’s candidates in educator ethics.

Webinar, Template Letter Available for Responding to Teacher Prep Regulations

Did you miss my webinar last week on the U.S. Department of Education’s latest action on the proposed regulations for teacher preparation programs? Don’t worry—you can view the archived slides and webinar recording online. You’ll get an overview of the supplemental notice of proposed rule making (NPRM) released April 1, along with some of the concerns and unintended consequences that could unfold. The webinar also reviews how to submit to the Federal Register.

In addition, we have posted a template letter for you to personalize and submit in response to the request for comment from the Department by the May 2 deadline.

North Dakota Chapter Uses AACTE Grant to Implement Statewide Surveys

The North Dakota Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NDACTE) received an AACTE State Chapter Support Grant last year to assist with the development and administration of a set of common assessments to be used by all North Dakota teacher preparation programs to improve the effectiveness of programs and quality of graduates.

During this school year, members of NDACTE have engaged in meetings and training workshops to learn how to effectively implement four common assessments: the Preservice Teacher Exit Survey, the Transition to Teaching Survey, the Supervisor Survey, and the Preservice Teacher Observational Assessment.

Research-to-Practice Spotlight to Feature Ohio University

It is my pleasure to introduce the Patton College of Education at Ohio University as the next institution to be featured in AACTE’s Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series. Continuing our focus on effective models of clinical practice, this series highlights the award-winning work of Ohio University’s Patton College and its network of PK-12 partner schools to continuously improve their preparation of teachers in an active interchange of theory and practice.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting videos and blog articles to share what AACTE staff learned during our recent visit to picturesque Athens, Ohio, where we met with a broad selection of program leaders and participants. It was clear that the clinical practice model resonates with candidates, mentor teachers, PK-12 administrators, and those on the campus because those involved can see the benefits and have a clear understanding of the processes supporting them. The tone of this partnership is one of infinite possibility as all members of the community find themselves involved.

To help introduce this series, I invited Patton College Dean Renée Middleton to reflect on the program’s success and development. Here’s what she had to say:

Recruiting More Teachers for Rural Schools: What South Carolina Is Doing Right

It is no secret that South Carolina has faced many challenges related to education. Most recently, a shortage of teachers has been severely affecting the most vulnerable regions of South Carolina: our rural and poverty-stricken regions. In a state where most students live below the poverty level, there are some unsung heroes doing their best with the lowest of means, but we desperately need to improve our recruitment and retention of professional educators.

One way the state is supporting this goal is through Proviso 1A.73, also known as the Rural Teacher Recruiting Incentive. The FY16 budget allows for $1.5 million to be spent on this plan. The Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA) at Winthrop University along with the South Carolina Department of Education and the Education Oversight Committee has been charged with the responsibility to develop the initiative, and CERRA Executive Director Jane Turner submitted the plan for the first year in January 2016 with multiple components:

Second Lady Calls for More Research on Military-Connected Students

Dr. Biden at AERA
From left to right: Jeannie Oakes, University of California – Los Angeles; Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden; Mary Keller, Military Child Education Coalition; Catherine Bradshaw, University of Virginia; Ron Avi Astor, University of Southern California

During the American Education Research Association (AERA) 2016 annual meeting last week, Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden was a featured panelist in a session on military-connected students in PK-12 schools. Stressing the need for more research and additional support for these students, Biden reflected on her visits with military families around the world and the commonly overlooked needs of military-connected students.

Other panelists discussed their research on military-connected students as well as the need to ensure teachers are prepared to address the needs of these students. Mary Keller, president and CEO of the Military Child Education Coalition, joined Biden in discussing some of the transformative work that colleges of education have embarked on through the Operation Educate the Educators partnership with AACTE to ensure teachers are prepared to meet the needs of military-connected students.

Collaboration Across State Lines Transforms Educator Preparation

In February, the Louisiana Department of Education hosted representatives from six states in the Council of Chief State School Officers’ Network for Transforming Educator Preparation (NTEP). Formed in 2013, this aligned action network brings together state chiefs and their education agency staff who are committed to activating key policy levers around licensure, program approval, and data as they transform educator preparation in their respective states. As a representative from the Missouri NTEP team, I joined colleagues from five states—Georgia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Washington—on the visit to Baton Rouge to attend Louisiana’s Believe and Prepare Community Meeting and learn from the work of practitioners, programs, and districts across Louisiana leading efforts to improve educator preparation.

AACTE to Support Members Using ETS Assessments

A new agreement between AACTE and Educational Testing Service (ETS) will bring support to AACTE member programs as they implement performance assessments with their students. Under the agreement, AACTE will develop various events, online platforms, and communications related to the assessments PPAT, NOTE, and ProEthica.

AACTE is assisting ETS with the development of a curriculum clinic for member institutions that are using the PPAT and piloting NOTE. The clinic aims to guide programs through curriculum redesign based on the reports generated through the performance assessments. AACTE is working on a curriculum matrix template to be used with participating educator preparation providers (EPPs) in a review of their data with ETS. AACTE also will coordinate the creation of case studies with volunteer EPPs to build out the clinic process, to be followed by an interactive curriculum clinic that will guide teams from the EPPs through the redesign process.

Please Join Me in June at AACTE’s Day on the Hill

I am so fortunate to have an opportunity to share my experiences in advocacy leadership at AACTE as chair of the Committee on Government Relations and Advocacy. It is my goal as chair to facilitate educator preparation advocacy at the state and national levels. The upcoming AACTE Day on the Hill, to be held June 7-8 as part of AACTE’s 2016 Washington Week, is an excellent opportunity for us all to develop and practice our advocacy skills together.

This 2-day event includes time to learn an effective advocacy strategy and then apply the strategy in scheduled visits with elected officials from our home states. Before the culminating congressional visits, participants will engage in a day of professional development focused on the knowledge and skills needed in advocacy efforts. We will hear from AACTE experts on what’s happening in Washington related to teacher preparation and discuss key issues that need the profession’s voice on the Hill.