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Caitlin Wilson

Director of Programs & Professional Learning, AACTE

AACTE Convenes First Special Education Teacher Shortage NIC

Teacher helping a disabled pupil at the elementary school

Faculty from 10 of AACTE’s member institutions convened in Washington, DC on November 22-23 for the first in-person meeting of the Networked Improvement Community (NIC) focused on reducing the shortage of the special education teachers. During the 2-day convening, nearly 40 NIC members came together to share and discuss the work happening at their institutions and their goals for recruiting more teacher candidates into their special education programs in the next 6 months.

Following the NIC model of the Carnegie Foundation’s for Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the institutions set individual targets connected to the network’s collective aim statement and driver diagram, which serves as the NIC’s working theory of action. Over the summer, faculty from each institution were invited to participate in a book club lead by AACTE staff: Learning to Improve: How America’s Schools Can Get Better at Getting Better. This book serves as a foundational text for the NIC members in understanding improvement science and how to apply it to their work at their institutions.

Join Us for AACTE’s Upcoming Webinar on High-Quality Principal Preparation

What Should High-Quality Principal Preparation Programs Look Like?The role of today’s principal is changing. Now, more than ever, school leaders need to be prepared from day one to succeed in a complex and ever-evolving school context. But what does quality principal preparation look like? How can principal preparation programs ensure that school leaders are ready to meet the demands of the job? Join us for our final webinar in the four-part series on principal preparation, a collaboration with the Wallace Foundation, to hear a panel of researchers and practitioners dig into the answers to both of these questions.

Attend the Upcoming Webinar on Leader Tracking Systems

Teacher to Principal: Educational Leadership Tracking Systems

Join AACTE for a webinar, Teacher to Principal: Educational Leadership Tracking Systems, which will take a closer look at the leader tracking systems created as part of the Wallace Foundation’s Principal Pipeline Initiative. Nicholas Pelzer, program officer from the Wallace Foundation will provide an overview on how the leader tracking systems were developed. Leslie Anderson, managing director of Policy Studies Associates and Tricia McManus, assistant superintendent of leadership, professional development, and school transformation, Hillsborough County Public Schools, will share their perspectives and experiences on how data-driven decision making can inform the recruitment, preparation, and placement of principals.

Please register and attend this webinar on November 6 at 1:00 p.m. to consider how leader tracking systems can strengthen both teacher and leadership pipelines through partnerships with local school districts.

Join the Webinar: Partnerships for Preparing Principals

Last week, AACTE and National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) kicked off National Principals Month with the first webinar in a four-part series highlighting principal preparation, titled The Challenges and Success of Principal Recruitment and Retention. The webinar series is developed in partnership with the Wallace Foundation. The premier webinar focused on the challenges and successes of principal recruitment and retention. Three panelists shared their experiences and research related to principal preparation and retention: Ed Fuller from Pennsylvania State University, David Wick, president of NAESP, and Jamon Flowers, currently a doctoral student at William & Mary and former principal.

Collectively, the panelists stressed that context matters when it comes to principal preparation, placement, and retention. One size does not fit all when it comes to recruiting and retaining principals. In addition to leadership best practices, principal preparation programs should be helping principals to understand what it means to lead in specific settings and provide them with the necessary skills to be successful. Furthermore, the turnover rate for principals is high, especially in high-poverty schools. For insights into the potential causes contributing to this high turnover rate and for additional recommendations for principal preparation, watch the webinar recording.

Upcoming Webinar Series Highlights Principal Preparation

Webinar words on laptopResearch has shown high-quality principals play a key role in the effectiveness of public schools and are second only to teachers in their impact on student achievement. The development of a principal’s leadership skills and disposition is critical to their effectiveness as a school leader. Educational leadership programs across the country are working to improve their programs and prepare principals for the challenges school leaders face today. AACTE invites you participate in an upcoming webinar series, developed in partnership with the Wallace Foundation and focused on research that highlights the role of building the principal pipeline, university and district partnerships, educational leadership tracking systems, and standards for ensuring high-quality preparation programs. Each webinar will be followed by a corresponding Twitter chat for a chance to ask more in-depth questions of the presenters and keep the conversation going.

The first webinar in the series will kick off in October to coincide with National Principals Month. It will focus on the challenges and successes of principal recruitment and retention. Recruiting and retaining highly effective principals is an ever-growing

Register for Free Preconference: Overcoming Challenges to Developing a Quality Assurance System

As you are making plans for the 2019 Annual Meeting in Louisville, KY next month, please consider joining us for a free preconference workshop focused on Overcoming Challenges to Developing a Quality Assurance System that will take place Thursday, February 21 from 1:00-5:00pm. Given the iterative nature of continuous improvement work, it is critical to develop a quality assurance system (QAS) that is sustained beyond an external review and provides meaningful data upon which evidence-based actions can be made.

Attend Preconference Workshop: Enhance Principal Preparation through P-12 Partnerships

The challenges educational leaders face in today’s school environment are ever evolving. With concerns related to school safety, the social emotional well-being of students and staff, and the pressures related to the role of instructional leader, school leaders are expected to have a wider variety of expertise in order to be successful. Several universities, and their district partners, are tackling these challenges and taking steps to ensure their candidates are prepared to meet the real-world demands of the job.

Attend the free Enhancing Principal Preparation through P-12 Partnerships preconference session at the AACTE Annual Meeting to hear about how university based principal preparation programs have redesigned their programs to better align with the challenges facing school leaders. Presenters will highlight the important role that P-12 partnerships play in building a pipeline of school leaders that have the tools and experiences they need to be successful in their new roles.

Watch Livestream Recording: Improving Principal Preparation Programs Panel Discussion

In December, the Wallace Foundation hosted a livestreamed discussion on Improving Principal Preparation Programs as the culmination of a two-day event for members of its University Principal Preparation Initiative Professional Learning Community (UPPI PLC). This initiative focuses on redesigning university principal preparation programs at seven universities in an effort to resolve the disconnect between what was happening in the universities to prepare educational leaders and the real-world demands of the job. The panel discussion highlighted the experiences of one UPPI university, Florida Atlantic University, and their district partners.

During this engaging discussion, panelists highlighted the importance of maintaining routines of collaboration so partnerships can advance and how those partnerships played a key role in the success of realigning the experience for educational leaders moving from preparation to school leadership roles. “Relationships and having the right people on the bus makes the difference,” said Ted Toomer of Broward County Schools. Panelists also spoke about the importance of tracking systems to better learn from the data to improve programs and cited that superintendent support for the work is critical.

Join a National Conversation on University Principal Preparation Redesign

AACTE invites you to view a livestreamed panel discussion on preliminary findings from The Wallace Foundation’s University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI) at 10:30-11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, December 12, 2018. Register here.

Many district and university leaders agree that most university-based programs do not prepare principals to reflect the real-world demands of the job according to a 2016 survey. Consequently, seven universities participating in the Wallace initiative set out to redesign their programs to be more effective. A 2018 independent study by the RAND Corporation, Launching a Redesign of University Principal Preparation Programs, now suggests that the universities’ complex redesign efforts are beginning to pay off—through comprehensive, interdependent partnerships with local districts and the state.

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