When I was advising prospective teachers at my former institution, I encountered many candidates who had strong potential as educators but struggled to pass the licensure tests. For some of these students, it was helpful to offer practice tests, with feedback, to help combat their test anxiety, but it was challenging for me to find time for this work.
So when I recently met Stephanie Shapiro, the partnerships manager of a test-prep company that offers just this kind of service to teacher candidates–some of it for free–I was intrigued and persuaded her to join AACTE as a new affiliate member. I asked her to share how her organization, Teachers Test Prep, is helping teacher candidates pass their exams. Here’s her response:
AACTE and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities are working collaboratively with the U.S. Department of Education to put together a dynamic Teach to Lead summit this fall related to teacher preparation in the United States. We invite you to apply by September 15 to participate in this event, which will be held November 3-4 in Washington, DC.
The summit will convene teams of educators to focus on the successes and challenges in teacher preparation. If you are developing or currently have partnerships with your local community colleges and school districts, then this event is especially for you. This summit is particularly timely given the presidential election this fall and the implementation/interpretation of the Every Student Succeeds Act. It will be an opportunity to explore our narrative prior to the new administration, which is critical to enable us to spotlight the high-quality work we do with teacher candidates and the children they will serve.
Are your teacher candidates prepared to work with LGBTQ students? We’d like to learn about your perspectives and practices in our joint survey with the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE), which closes September 15.
In educator preparation, we continually strive to prepare teachers to be more inclusive of and responsive to the range of human diversity their students bring. To help inform this work, it’s useful to survey the field periodically to monitor trends in practice and define a course for moving forward.
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:
AACTE’s Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series on the Patton College of Education at Ohio University is coming to a close. We’ve enjoyed sharing the successful partnership work of the college and its network of professional development schools (PDSs) in a series of videos and blogs over the past 2 months, and now we’ve posted one final video – a longer clip with some great insights from the college’s leaders about their clinical practice model.
Last week, the AACTE Clinical Practice Commission met with members of the former CAEP State Alliance for Clinical Preparation and Partnerships for a summit that began merging the outcomes from the alliance’s work into the ongoing efforts of the commission. Summit participants from the alliance were invited to join the commission, which is now in Round 2 of its quest to better define clinical practice and related best practices for the field.
The synergy in the room when these two groups got together was palpable. They began as if they had been working together forever. Each group has been studying clinical practice with an eye to advancing the recommendations of the 2010 NCATE Blue Ribbon Panel report, but tackling the work from different angles. The alliance’s findings, produced by state-based teams through work cycles grounded in improvement science, provide a valuable complement to the commission’s national effort. (CAEP, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, allowed the alliance to sunset this spring.)
I am excited to announce that this year’s Leadership Academy will feature new programming related to preparing teachers for exceptional learners. Enhancing an already robust leadership curriculum being offered June 26-30 in Portland, Oregon, we’ve planned a special set of new sessions to engage participants on how to lead programs that prepare teachers to educate every child.
Members of the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center at the University of Florida and the Ohio Deans Compact on Exceptional Children are collaborating with AACTE to bring this new dimension to the Leadership Academy. Together, we hope to elevate awareness and interest in serving exceptional learners among decision-makers in teacher preparation. The presentations and conversations with guest experts will create a space in which new and aspiring leaders can learn and gather ideas that can be operationalized in their home colleges and programs.
The National Policy Board for Education Administration (NPBEA) seeks comment by May 22 on new draft standards for leadership preparation programs. Once approved, these preparation standards will replace the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) standards and be used to guide the educational leadership program design, accreditation review, and state approval of preparation programs for principals and superintendents.
The proposed National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) Standards specify what novice leaders should know and be able to do, at the building and district level, after completing a high-quality educational leadership preparation program. The new draft aligns the standards for preparation programs with the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) approved by NPBEA last fall. Formerly known as the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) standards, the PSEL standards articulate the knowledge and skills expected of school leaders broadly.
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:
Educators Rising, the national network supporting high school students who are interested in the education profession, seeks comment on its brand-new draft standards by April 24.
In partnership with the National Education Association, Educators Rising is coordinating an effort to back-map the road to accomplished teaching into the “pre-preservice” secondary space. Using a committee process modeled after the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Educators Rising brought together accomplished practitioners to draft strong standards for what teenagers should know and be able to do to demonstrate they are developing the skills and dispositions of effective educators.
AACTE is excited to collaborate with the Association of Teacher Educators and the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network in a national outreach effort to determine how we can best support teacher preparation programs in training future educators to work with LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) students. Working together, we have created a survey that we now invite you to complete.
We recognize that there is little information about how to best support teacher educators in this arena and many educators, for numerous reasons, may not be addressing these issues. Although there are pockets of excellence leading this work, few teacher preparation programs require LGBTQ issues to be included in their overall diversity initiatives. Through this survey, we hope to learn more about how LGBTQ issues are (or are not) being addressed across the country, raise models of excellence, and provide guidance for programs that are asking for support. As a token of appreciation, survey takers will be entered into a lottery to win Amazon.com gift certificates or free AACTE Annual Meeting registration!
I recently had the opportunity to visit St. John’s University in New York City at the invitation of Dean Michael Sampson. Witnessing a high-functioning clinical partnership in action was both inspiring and reassuring, providing a concrete glimpse into the terrific work being done around the country to prepare high-quality teachers.
My visit began at P.S. 101 in Queens, a St. John’s partner school. There, I met with university-based instructor Liz Chase, Department Chair Judith McVarish, Assistant Principals Laura Fahey and Irtis Gonzalez, and Principal Monique Paniagua. The school was bustling with youngsters greeting friends and teachers exuberantly as we made our way to the principal’s office. The joy and laughter filling the hallways showed that the students were excited about being at school.
The AACTE Board of Directors subcommittee formed to engage in conversation with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) has concluded surveying AACTE members regarding their perspectives related to CAEP, standards, and accreditation in general. Thanks to all who responded to our survey!
The survey, which invited feedback last fall, received responses from 176 respondents in 46 states. Members of the subcommittee met with AACTE President/CEO Sharon Robinson on January 21 to begin an initial review of the responses. This month, we will finalize our review of the data and present our findings and recommendations to the AACTE Board of Directors, which commissioned the work last spring. At this point, we can report that the standards that garnered the most desire for continued dialogue and attention were Standards 3 and 4. Following the February Board meeting, we will share more specific themes from the survey.
You spoke, and we listened! Many of you have asked AACTE to add programming to the Annual Meeting for education deans. This year, we are pleased to do just that when we host a Deans Academy for education administrators during the Annual Meeting in Las Vegas.
This set of sessions, scheduled for 1:45-4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 24, has been put together by member deans and staff at AACTE for the purpose of providing meaningful information, space for dialogue, and an opportunity to explore solutions to the problems of practice inherent in leading schools, colleges, and departments of education.
Last month, we were honored to participate and speak at a convening to support teacher educators in their work to prepare teachers to educate all learners, including students with disabilities. At the meeting in Indianapolis in August, the University of Florida’s Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center convened educator preparation leaders from the center’s partner states to support their shared reform agenda.