Ed Prep Matters is pleased to bring you this special feature on state policy and AACTE state chapter activity. For a summary of the year prior to the summer, see this article.
Overview of State Policy Activity
Only a handful of state legislatures actively met in July, as over 40 state legislative sessions had adjourned for the year. No educator preparation-related bills were introduced, although Illinois enacted two bills into law. One of them modifies the professional development requirements for educator license renewal. The other law allows a principal endorsement to be added to an existing professional educator license if the individual meets certain requirements, such as having taught for at least 4 years.
Wondering where to go for the latest information on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)? Here are some key resources and opportunities from the U.S. Department of Education:
Comment on Proposed Regulations
Make your voice heard in the three separate proposed regulations currently open for comment:
Editor’s note: This is the last blog in our series exploring data on program entry and exit requirements from the 2014 federal collection mandated by Title II of the Higher Education Act. The data include 1,497 providers of “traditional” programs based in institutions of higher education (IHEs), 472 providers of IHE-based alternative programs, and 201 providers of non-IHE-based alternative programs.
Despite the questionable validity of using students’ grade-point averages (GPAs) to predict their future success on the job as classroom teachers, GPA is one of the most common requirements for admission to and graduation from many colleges and professional schools.
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.
At Ohio’s Miami University, a partnership program is providing clinical experiences to teacher candidates while supporting at-risk secondary students through highly individualized instruction and mentoring. With a successful track record that mutually benefits all participants, the program’s low price tag and high regard in the community are like icing on the cake.
The latest report from the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) Center for International Education Benchmarking analyzes how four high-performing systems around the world develop elementary teachers with deep content and pedagogical understanding. An accompanying policy brief makes a case for employing these practices in order to strengthen primary education, setting students up for success in high school and beyond.
The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
Like other programs, our teacher preparation program at the University of Connecticut Neag School of Education has long struggled to recruit as many students of color as we’d like. That’s why we joined AACTE’s networked improvement community (NIC) in 2014 to collaborate with other institutions on strategies to bring more Black and Latino men into our programs. Already, we have nearly doubled the percentage of students of color in our program, going from roughly 12% of students to 20% of our entering cohort this fall.
We are excited to announce the second webinar in the AACTE clinical practice series: “Advancing Educator Preparation Through Clinical Practice: The Dean’s Perspective,” to be held August 19, 2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT.
Please join AACTE moderators Tim Finklea and Amanda Lester for a conversation with deans and directors representing five diverse universities as they explore the role clinical practice has played at their institutions through the lens of leadership. The panelists:
Assessment matters for teachers. Teachers target and differentiate instruction based on evidence gathered in classroom assessments. Teams of teachers in schools review assessment evidence to understand student needs and to guide curriculum development. Parents, teachers, and students themselves make use of assessment results to make the most of learning opportunities. Assessment and interpretation of assessment results is also sometimes a particular challenge for novice teachers, and it is often the subject of school and district professional development efforts. With so many tests, so many strategies, and so much evidence, assessment is a wide and sometimes confusing topic.
Do you know any Holmes Scholar alumni? Or perhaps you were once a Holmes Scholar yourself? Then we want to hear from you!
In an effort to better connect with Holmes Program alumni positioned across the nation and the world, AACTE and the National Association of Holmes Scholars Alumni (NAHSA) have developed a brief survey to update our existing records. The organizations also hope to learn more about the program’s impact to inform improvements going forward.
A dynamic group of 80 leaders from educator preparation programs nationwide gathered in Portland, Oregon, for AACTE’s annual Leadership Academy June 26-30. This year’s participants came from all types of institutions, some on their own and others in pairs or teams. Many had just accepted a new role as a chair or dean, others were experienced in their positions, and some were enhancing their skills in preparation for future career opportunities.
The 5-day event featured several general sessions addressing such topics as establishing authority, building consensus, assembling a team, and managing change. Two guest sessions on inclusive education were added this year, one presented by the Ohio Deans Compact on Exceptional Children and the other by the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform Center. Based on the positive response to these offerings, AACTE plans to continue including special topics at future Leadership Academies.
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations marked up the FY17 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-H) funding bill. This was the last of the 12 appropriations bills to be marked up by the full committee prior to the congressional recess.
During the markup, members of the committee submitted 32 amendments seeking to restore or increase funding to programs, clarify language, or repeal policy riders. Of key interest to educator preparation is an amendment offered by Representative David Price (D-NC) to restore funding for the Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grants, the only federal grant program designed to reform and strengthen teacher preparation across the nation. (See our fact sheet for an overview of the TQP grant program.) The son of two teachers, Price spoke passionately of his support for the TQP program and the work of grantees to strengthen teacher preparation. Unfortunately, this amendment failed, but the chairman of the subcommittee, Representative Tom Cole (R-OK), committed to further conversations on the matter as the appropriations process unfolds.
The annual AACTE call for award nominations is currently open. As members of the AACTE Committee on Professional Preparation and Accountability, we have the honor of overseeing the three Professional Achievement Awards. Please take a moment to nominate someone deserving for the 2017 Margaret B. Lindsey Award, David G. Imig Award, or Edward C. Pomeroy Award.
These awards honor individuals who have made a meaningful contribution to our profession with their research, policy leadership, or other service to the community. Certainly, you know someone whose tremendous impact on educator preparation deserves recognition. We hope you will take a moment to help us develop a robust pool of nominees for these awards:
Congratulations to July Holmes Scholar of the Month Adrianne Taylor! Taylor is a third-year doctoral candidate at Florida A&M University (FAMU). She is also a reading coach at Griffin Middle School, a Title I information technology school in Tallahassee, Florida. Her research interests include principal leadership at Title I schools, student achievement at high-poverty schools, and cross-curricular reading.
Taylor exudes the qualities of a Holmes Scholar not only within the organization (including writing for the Scholars Report newsletter) but also within her university and her school district. As vice president of the FAMU Holmes chapter, she facilitates professional development with preservice teachers focused on building capacity in using technology to enhance instruction. Most recently, Taylor was a presenter at the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers Annual Meeting.
A new report on international approaches to developing elementary teachers will be released next week at a webcast event featuring AACTE President/CEO Sharon P. Robinson. Register at this link to tune in for the event, which will be held Tuesday, July 19, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. EDT.
The report, Not So Elementary: Primary School Teacher Quality in Top-Performing Education Systems, is authored by Australian researcher Ben Jensen on behalf of the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE). It looks at international practices in elementary teacher preparation and their effects on student achievement. Recommendations for U.S. policy and practice are included.
Ask any new teacher what part of their preparation was most important, and the answer will almost always be the final clinical component—the student teaching, internship, or residency experience. But while everyone seems to agree that high-quality clinical experience is critical to high-quality preparation, a persistent set of challenges have stood in the way of widespread implementation: identifying excellent clinical faculty, providing adequate time in clinical placements, and helping candidates, particularly those of limited means, navigate the full-time demands of unpaid student teaching or internships.