Author Archive

Zachary VanHouten

Manager of Programs and Advocacy, AACTE

Looking Ahead to 2016, NCTQ Continues Data Collection Efforts

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) has re-engaged its data collection efforts in preparation for its 2016 Teacher Prep Review—scheduled for an October 2016 release. In an e-mail message to programs throughout the country, NCTQ has sent both an overview of the changes for the 2016 review and an itemized data request for each program, requesting that institutions notify NCTQ if they plan to comply with the request by April 20.

USED Offers Insight, Guidance on TQP Grants

Attendees of the 67th AACTE Annual Meeting in Atlanta were offered an opportunity to meet with a U.S. Department of Education official to discuss the Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grants and how they may explore applying for them in the future.

In a concurrent session presentation, Mia Howerton of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Innovation and Improvement provided attendees with an overview of the TQP grants and what the profile of a successful grantee applicant typically looks like. With the TQP program now in its third grant cycle, Howerton reviewed the successes and challenges of the program and shared its lessons with audience members.

Panel: Proposed Federal Regulations Could Have Negative Impact on Teacher Diversity

On Tuesday, January 27, the American Federation of Teachers and Howard University (DC) convened a panel at the National Press Club to discuss the potential impact of the proposed federal teacher preparation regulations on minority-serving institutions (MSIs) and their teacher pipelines. AACTE President/CEO Sharon P. Robinson was among the panelists who shared their concerns and urged the U.S. Department of Education to withdraw the regulations.

Third Way Report on TEACH Grants Comes Up Short

A recent report by the think tank Third Way claims that the federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grant program is failing to meet its aims, instead burdening nearly 40% of recipients to date with converted unsubsidized loans after they failed to complete all program requirements.

The report calls for changes to the program, either through “short-term fixes” such as reducing reporting requirements and limiting grant use to “high-performing” programs (as proposed in the new federal regulations for teacher preparation programs) or, preferably, in a thorough overhaul that streamlines all federal assistance for teachers into a simple loan-forgiveness program.

NCTQ Reignites Document-Collection Efforts, Now Through PK-12 Partners

As the National Council on Teaching Quality (NCTQ) steps up its document collection by communicating directly with teacher preparation programs’ PK-12 partners, AACTE encourages programs to reach out to their partner schools to raise awareness and build mutual understanding around the requests, including connecting legal counsel from both parties if appropriate.

Innovation at Rutgers: Preparing Effective Physics Teachers

The Innovations Inventory of AACTE’s Innovation Exchange is an online database highlighting members’ pioneering practices in educator preparation that have shown a positive impact on issues of student learning, preparation program advancement, or educator workforce needs. This blog post is one in a series highlighting entries from the inventory. To request inclusion of your institution’s innovations, contact Zach VanHouten at zvanhouten@aacte.org.  

Rutgers University (NJ) is making a big impact on physics education through an innovative program housed in the Graduate School of Education.

Innovation at Montclair State University: Preparing Teachers for High-Need STEM Fields

The Innovations Inventory of AACTE’s Innovation Exchange is an online database highlighting members’ pioneering practices in educator preparation that have shown a positive impact on issues of student learning, preparation program advancement, or educator workforce needs. This blog post is one in a series highlighting entries from the inventory. To request inclusion of your institution’s innovations, contact Zach VanHouten at zvanhouten@aacte.org

Over the past few years, Montclair State University has developed a series of programs geared toward increasing the supply of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers. Programs including the Newark-Montclair Urban Teacher Residency (NMUTR) and the Integrative Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (iSTEM) program are contributing to the national initiative “100Kin10,” which seeks to prepare 100,000 new STEM teachers by 2021.

Innovation at CSU Fullerton: Partnering With Schools to Improve Science and Content Literacy

The Innovations Inventory of AACTE’s Innovation Exchange is an online database highlighting members’ pioneering practices in educator preparation that have shown a positive impact on issues of student learning, preparation program advancement, or educator workforce needs. This blog post is one in a series highlighting entries from the inventory. To request inclusion of your institution’s innovations, contact Jessica Milton at jmilton@aacte.org.

Beginning in 2009, California State University (CSU) Fullerton has enjoyed a partnership with neighboring Placentia Yorba Linda Unified School District to support science instruction in the classroom. The partnership has served not only to improve the practice of teacher candidates in science instruction, but also to improve K-5 student achievement in science and content literacy. Throughout their time in the classroom, candidates jointly plan, teach, and reflect on their lessons.

Since the partnership began, student achievement scores have experienced double-digit gains, and teacher candidates report greater confidence in their science pedagogy. Proficiency levels in one school increased from 25% to 44% in just 1 year of partnership work. Candidates’ confidence to engage students in science increased from 77.5% to 97.5%, and the percentage reporting confidence in their content knowledge in science increased from 57.5% to 90.0%.

2014 Washington Week Registration Now Open

Next week’s AACTE Annual Meeting calls on us to “take charge of change.” Heed the call by signing up now to join your peers this June in Washington, DC, for action in advocacy!

With federal education programs facing budget cuts, potential teacher preparation regulations on the horizon, reauthorization looming for the Higher Education Act and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and partisan gridlock, now is a crucial time to learn how you can become an effective advocate for the profession. AACTE’s signature advocacy conference, Washington Week, offers three key events to assist in building members’ capacity for advocacy: Day on the Hill, the State Leaders Institute, and the Holmes Scholars Summer Policy Institute.

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