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Archive for 2019

Explore AACTE Gallery at 2020 Annual Meeting

Come make your voice heard at the AACTE Studio—the latest addition in the AACTE Gallery during the 2020 Annual Meeting. Share your perspectives on important issues in educator preparation and the Association’s new strategic direction during short video interviews. This is your chance to elevate what’s happening in education at your institution and in your local communities. The AACTE Gallery also offers opportunities to engage and learn about promising innovations in educator preparation from AACTE members and partners through interactive presentations. Morning and afternoon sessions will be held on Friday, February 28, and Saturday, February 29. Presentations will include
  • AACTE Holmes Program Poster Sessions
  • National Association of Community College Teacher Education Programs (NACCTEP) Poster Sessions
  • AACTE Membership and Programs Updates

Learn How to Collaborate with Your AACTE Colleagues

Arrows | Initiate. Collaborate. DiscussAre you interested in connecting with colleagues that share your interests and have similar areas of expertise? If so, AACTE encourages you to join one of our Topical Action Groups (TAGs). TAGs are AACTE action-oriented working groups that focus on areas such as accreditation, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), elementary education, research in teacher preparation, international education, and women in leadership–just to name a few. In addition to collaborating with your peers, AACTE provides TAGs with operational funds, marketing and staff support, and complimentary meeting space at the AACTE Annual Meeting.

Walk the integration walk, New York

Classroom of young white surents with a white teacher.

Students of color are not the only winners when our school populations are diverse. Statistics show that white students also benefit substantially from attending integrated schools as diverse classrooms promote increased critical thinking and problem solving among students who work alongside students with differing perspectives and backgrounds than their own. (Getty Images)

This article, written by AACTE Director of Government Relations K. Ward Cummings, originally appeared in the Daily News Opinion section and is reprinted with permission.

The civil rights leader Malcolm X once famously said that the most segregated hour in American life is high noon on Sunday. If he were alive today, he might also include those weekday hours between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. when our children are in school.

This past May was the 65th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education. The occasion inspired numerous panel discussions, seminars and reports about how much or how little the state of education has changed in the last half-century. Sadly, considerable attention also was paid to the subject of how segregated American schools remain 65 years later.

Readers of a certain age might be surprised to learn that the most segregated schools in America are not in the South, but in the North. Segregation persists nationwide despite persuasive arguments against it and clear evidence that the benefits of a racially and culturally diverse student body flow in both directions.

It has been proven that students of color attending integrated schools have higher average test scores and are less likely to drop out. In the 1970s and 1980s, when school integration was at its zenith, dropout rates decreased significantly for minority students. The decline was greatest in the most integrated districts.

Reminder: Vote in the AACTE Board Election Underway Through Nov. 29

You may think that the next big election will occur in a few months in Iowa. Actually, an important election is underway and, regardless of where you live, now is the time to vote! The 2019 election for the AACTE Board of Directors is underway through November 29. All AACTE Institutional and Chief Representatives are eligible to vote. Four new seats will be selected via online voting:
  • two at-large seats
  • one seat representing the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education (AILACTE)
  • one seat representing the Council of Academic Deans from Research Education Institutions (CADREI)

Open Science and Education Research

The motto of the Royal Society, “Nullius in verba” translates as “Take nobody’s word for it.” However, when educators read journal articles reporting research findings, transparency is limited. For example, educators only see authors’ reports of findings, and do not have access to data (to verify reported findings) or to the details of the research procedures (to examine, for example, whether researchers developed their hypotheses after knowing the results). This lack of transparency is potentially problematic, because researchers may be driven to find and report positive and significant findings to enhance the odds of publication. Indeed, many educational researchers report engaging in questionable research practices that might help generate positive, but potentially biased, research findings (Makel, Hodges, Cook, & Plucker, 2019). Open science is an umbrella term, encompassing diverse initiatives that aim to increase transparency in research. We briefly describe three open-science practices here: pre-registration, Registered Reports, and open data.

Pre-registration involves researchers publicly posting (e.g., on the Registry of Efficacy and Effectiveness Studies) their hypotheses, research plans, and planned data analysis beforeconducting the study. In this way, changes made to a study’s hypotheses, research methods, and data analyses are discoverable by research consumers. Pre-registration does not mean that researchers cannot make changes to their studies. Rather, pre-registration encourages researchers to only make justifiable changes and to be transparent about them. Presumably because it minimizes the occurrence of questionable research practices, pre-registration has been shown to increase the likelihood of researchers reporting null findings (Kaplan & Irving, 2015).

Registered Reportstakes the idea of pre-registration and uses it as the basis for peer review. With Registered Reports, researchers submit their research plans to a journal before a study is conducted. The decision whether to accept the study for publication, then, rests on the quality of study design and the importance of the research questions, not the direction of the findings (because findings are not yet known). Reviewers of Registered Reports are able to give prospective feedback to improve a study, rather than simply critiquing a study after it is completed. After a Registered Report is granted in-principle acceptance, researchers conduct the study, write it up, and submit it for a second round of review, which simply involves reviewers ensuring that the study was conducted as designed (or any changes were clearly described and justified). Like pre-registration, Registered Reports are associated with a higher prevalence of null findings than traditional research (Schijen, Scheel, & Lakens, 2019).

Finally, open data involves researchers sharing, to the degree that it is ethically feasible, study data (with any potentially identifying information masked) on repositories such as the ICPSR. Sharing data allows others to (a) reproduce and verify study analyses, (b) extend the study by analyzing data to explore new research questions, and (c) combine data with that from other studies in research syntheses. Without shared data, research consumers are forced to take the researcher’s word for their findings, in contrast to the Royal Society’s motto.

Open-science reforms are not without obstacles. However, they may help increase the transparency and trustworthiness of the research that guide policy and practice in education and teacher preparation. As such, we hope that researchers will engage in open practices, and that professional organizations—such as AACTE—will encourage and reward open practices.

Author Interview: Educators Perspectives of Controversial Children’s Literature

Read the latest JTE Insider blog interview by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team. This blog is available to the public, and AACTE members have free access to the articles in the JTE online archives—just log in with your AACTE profile.

In this interview, The JTE editorial team shares insights from the Sue C. Kimmel and Danielle E. Hartsfield, co-authors of the article “It Was . . . the Word ‘Scrotum’ on the First Page”: Educators’ Perspectives of Controversial Literature, published in the September/October 2019 issues of the Journal of Teacher Education.

What motivated you to pursue this particular research topic?

Sue: We both teach children’s literature, and we were interested in how our students who were pre-service educators reacted to controversy in children’s literature. We believe in the power of literature to promote empathy and positive inquiry into social issues. We were concerned with the willingness of pre-service educators to avoid “controversy” in the classroom and library with little critical thought about what it meant to withhold quality literature about difficult topics from their students. 

2019 Nation’s Report Card Shows Growing Disparity between High and Low Achievers in Math and Reading

2019 Nation's Report CardThe recent release of the 2019 Nation’s Report Cards for mathematics and reading in grades 4 and 8 illustrates a growing disparity in achievement between the highest and lowest achieving students. The results show the divergence is happening across the nation, across states, and for student groups by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), widely known as the Nation’s Report Card, provides data from the nation, states/jurisdictions, and urban school districts that volunteer to participate in the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA).  Approximately 296,900 fourth- and eighth-grade students across the nation participated in the 2019 mathematics assessment and nearly 294,000 fourth- and eighth-grade students across the nation participated in the 2019 reading assessment.  Results are available for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Department of Defense schools, as well as for the 27 participating large urban districts.

Teacher Leadership Through Advocacy: The World Languages Advocacy Project

PowtoonThis article originally appeared in the Language Educator and is reprinted with permission from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

The ability to collaborate and advocate beyond the classroom and across stakeholders, from department chairs to administrators to parents, is a crucial teacher leadership skill. Moreover, the critical shortage of world language teachers, combined with the diminishing number of U.S. students taking world language courses, means that teacher candidates in this content area must be strong advocates for their own profession from the moment they step into the classroom.

During my time as the world language advisor and methods instructor at the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education, I have become increasingly preoccupied with the scarcity of world language teacher candidates, especially as compared to other content areas. I have wondered how our current candidates could apply their emerging leadership roles in ways that would encourage K–12 students to both continue learning languages and to also consider careers in world language education.

Vanderbilt Peeks At Creek: From the Smokies to the Rockies, Creative Partnership and Commitment

Peabody College of Education   and Cherry Creek School District

The Cherry Creek School District (CCSD) is working with the Peabody College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University to build bridges for the educators and counselors of the future. Cherry Creek chose Vanderbilt Peabody because of their commitment to excellence in developing transformative educators. You can learn more about Vanderbilt Peabody or refer aspiring educational leaders by visiting the website.

Beginning in 2020, the district will host five to eight students from Vanderbilt Peabody for an immersive, 6-day exploratory visit through a new partnership, “Vanderbilt Peabody Peeks at Creek.” Students pursuing their master’s degree in education and those enrolled in counseling programs at the university will be welcomed to the Cherry Creek School District, which spans 108 square miles across the Denver metro area. These students will have the chance to attend an interactive job fair, meet directly with principals and administrators, and tour a district that comprises 42 elementary schools, 11 middle schools, 8 high schools, 1 magnet school, and 3 charter schools. The district also includes the Cherry Creek Innovation Campus, a state-of-the-art facility designed to connect high school students with career and technical education for the 21st century. At the end of their visit to CCSD, Vanderbilt Peabody students will have skills, experience, and personal connections that will help pave the way to a career in education. What’s more, they will head back to the Peabody campus as ambassadors for the Cherry Creek School District and firsthand witnesses to its dedication to excellence.

Do Americans Understand Immigration? Here’s a Pop Quiz to Test Your Knowledge

“The Problem We All Live With" (Painting by Norman Rockwell)This article, written by AACTE Dean of Residence Leslie T. Fenwick, originally appeared in the Washington Post Valerie Strauss column and is reprinted with permission.

“The Problem We All Live With” is the title of the famed Norman Rockwell painting inspired by the story of Ruby Bridges and school integration. In 1964, Rockwell created the painting for the 10th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education legal decision that declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students were unconstitutional. The subject of Rockwell’s painting was inspired by Ruby Bridges, who was just 6 years old (born four months after the May 1954 Brown decision) when she integrated the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans.

The rabid violence hurled at young Ruby (mainly that day by white women on the scene) is represented in Rockwell’s painting by a racial slur, the letters KKK and a splattered tomato — all appearing on the wall behind Ruby as she marches forward. Despite this terrorism, innocent Ruby walks close on the heels of the front two guards into an undeterrable future. The painting is triumphant. Ruby’s right to attend an American public school unshackled by segregation was ensured by the federal government and, that day, warranted the protection of U.S. federal marshals.

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