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Amanda Lester

Director, Programs & Professional Learning, AACTE

School-University Partners Discuss Clinical Principal Preparation and Partnerships at Preconference Event

Wallace PreCon
Facilitator Angela Sewall talks with participants in the Wallace-sponsored preconference event

Prior to the start of the 68th Annual Meeting, AACTE hosted a daylong workshop titled “Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders Through School-University Partnerships Educational Leaders Preconference,” sponsored by The Wallace Foundation. The event was attended by more than 125 PK-12 and higher education leaders from across the nation, including school-university partners who attended together with the goal of strengthening their collaboration in principal preparation programs.

The event agenda featured a series of presentations and interactive PK-24 “table talk” discussions, focused on examining aspects of clinical practice and effective partnerships to advance principal preparation. Participants explored topics such as these:

AACTE Major Forum Explores Pathways Needed to Advance Diversity Through Recruitment, Retention Strategies

Holmes/NIC Major Forum
Holmes Scholar Whitney Watkins shares a student’s perspective during a major forum at the AACTE 68th Annual Meeting

Over the past few years, AACTE has been leading efforts to advance teacher diversity in the education workforce through the establishment of the AACTE Black and Hispanic/Latino Male Teachers Initiative Networked Improvement Community (NIC) and the expansion of the AACTE Holmes Program. Both initiatives are dedicated to increasing the recruitment and retention of educators from historically underrepresented groups into the education profession. The NIC’s work is identifying and testing strategies to increase the recruitment and retention of Black, Hispanic, and Latino males in the teaching workforce, and the Holmes Program supports aspiring educators at various points in their education careers to enter teaching, administration, policy, and the professoriate.  

Wallace Report Advises State Policy Makers on Strengthening Principal Preparation

On November 3, the Wallace Foundation hosted a policy briefing in Washington, DC, to highlight findings from its recently released report, Developing Excellent School Principals to Advance Teaching and Learning: Considerations for State Policy. Commissioned by the Wallace Foundation and authored by Paul Manna, professor of government and policy at the College of William and Mary (VA), the report addresses the question What can state policy makers do to help ensure that schools have excellent principals who advance teaching and learning in their schools?

During the briefing, Manna presented findings from the report with a focus on the changing role of the principalship, the principal’s position as multiplier of effective teaching and leadership practice, and the impact of state policy making on principal effectiveness. Wallace Foundation President Will Miller underscored these perspectives in his introductory remarks: “There’s growing recognition that principals should no longer mainly be thought of as managers of buildings and bus schedules,” he said. “Indeed, effective leaders are their schools’ chief improvement officers—strengthening instruction, building a culture of high achievement, and supporting teachers and other educators to boost student performance.”

Learn How Teacher Educators Are Advancing Diversity in Teacher Workforce

Please join AACTE November 17 for a free webinar highlighting three AACTE member and partner initiatives that are developing strategies and action to increase diversity in the teaching workforce.

A recent report by the Albert Shanker Institute, The State of Teacher Diversity in American Education, identifies teacher diversity in our nation’s schools as “an educational civil right for students” that is not adequately represented in the current educator workforce. In AACTE’s webinar, “Advancing Diversity in the Teaching Workforce: Three Initiatives Working Toward Solutions,” participants in three initiatives will “tell the story” of their work, providing the background for their initiative, the key issues and challenges they are addressing, and the progress they have made to identify solutions.

Faculty, Teacher Candidates Explore Solutions to Improve Teacher Diversity at Project LEAD Summit

Project Lead
Participants in the inaugural Project LEAD Summit of the Associated Colleges of Illinois

On September 25, AACTE staff had the privilege of taking part in the inaugural Project LEAD (Leaders in Education Advocating for Diversity) Summit in Chicago, Illinois. The summit was a daylong conference conducted by the Associated Colleges of Illinois Center for Success in High-Need Schools to engage teacher candidates and faculty in interactive discussions focused on increasing diversity in the teacher workforce.

AACTE to Survey Principal Preparation Programs

Principals’ leadership is a critical factor in schools’ success, and school leader preparation programs play a key role in facilitating that success. But what are the components of programs that effectively prepare emerging principals to serve as leaders of learning in 21st-century schools?

AACTE, in cooperation with a national foundation, is conducting a brief survey of its members to better understand the landscape of university-based principal preparation programs: the context in which they operate; the challenges they face; and the degree to which improvements are seen as important. A report is planned for early 2016 summarizing the findings from this survey as well as others under way.

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