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.

Grant to Support Common Core Webinars

AACTE will host two webinars this fall on integrating the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in educator preparation programs, thanks to a grant from the Learning First Alliance’s Get It Right campaign. These 60-minute webinars will highlight AACTE members’ successes and challenges in aligning their programs with CCSS.

Following the recommendations of the National Association of State Boards of Education report Common Themes, Individual Approaches: Six States’ Experiences With New Science Standards, these webinars will focus on four key areas of CCSS implementation: communication strategy, community involvement, policy advancement and alignment, and professional development and capacity building.

Free Online Seminars an Early Hit With Educators

More than 200 participants from a variety of education settings just completed the first Online Professional Seminar (OPS) in the series being offered by AACTE’s new Quality Support Initiative. With another 250-plus registrants signed up for the second free seminar starting next week, the series is off to a strong start—and there is still space in upcoming cohorts!

The focus of each OPS is a topic relating to quality assessment and/or accreditation. Seminars are 3-week, interactive online courses for current and aspiring professional educators, PK-16. Courses are open to all educators, whether AACTE members or nonmembers, and the first two seminars in the series—Building Quality Assessments and Using Data for Improvement—are offered free of charge. These two introductory OPSs can be taken in any order.

AACTE’s Matt Wales to Receive Meeting-Planner Award

Matthew J. Wales, CMP
Matthew J. Wales, CMP

Matthew Wales, AACTE’s senior director of meetings, events, and special projects, will be honored next month with an award from Meeting Professionals International (MPI). Wales will receive the award on behalf of the organization’s Potomac chapter (PMPI), on whose board he has served 5 years, including the past year as president.

The chapter was selected to receive the Recognizing Industry Success and Excellence Award for Community Achievement in Marketplace Excellence, which will be presented August 3 during MPI’s World Education Congress in San Francisco, California. PMPI will receive the RISE award for its Flipped Marketplace program, which in 5 years has helped double the cash sponsorship for its annual Mid-Atlantic Conference and Expo.

Call for Entries: AACTE Outstanding Dissertation Award

AACTE is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Outstanding Dissertation Award. Applications must be uploaded through our online submission system by August 17.

The AACTE Outstanding Dissertation Award recognizes excellence in doctoral dissertation research (or its equivalent) that contributes to the knowledge base of educator preparation or of teaching and learning with implications for educator preparation. For this award, applicants must submit a 10-page narrative answering a series of questions about the dissertation, along with a letter of support from the dissertation adviser/chair. Dissertations with a completion date between January 2014 and June 2015 are eligible for consideration; see the call for entries for other requirements.

AACTE Holmes Scholars Thrive at Dissertation Retreat, Research Symposium

Many of your institutions have championed the AACTE Holmes Scholars® Program by establishing local programs, while others have yet to realize the potential of the program to meet not only individual universities’ needs but the greater goals of the profession—such as AACTE’s strategic goal to launch and sustain systemwide initiatives to promote the diversity of the professional community and to prepare educators who can serve diverse learners. On May 15-16, this trajectory gained steam in Tallahassee, Florida, where officials from Florida A&M University (FAMU), the University of Central Florida (UCF), the National Association of Holmes Scholars Alumni (NASHA), and AACTE gathered with scholars from member institutions for the Holmes Scholars Dissertation Retreat on the FAMU campus.

Fahad Named Scholar of the Month

Congratulations to May Holmes Scholar of the Month Ahmed Fahad!

Fahad is a third-year doctoral student at the University of Cincinnati (OH) in the Second Language Studies Department. His research interests are in second-language acquisition and pedagogy, critical discourse analysis, and computer-mediated communication.

AACTE to Offer Free Online Seminars, New Support Initiative

I am delighted to announce AACTE’s new Quality Support Initiative, which is designed to provide resources and support to educators interested in assessment and accreditation. Starting next month, we will offer Online Professional Seminars (OPSs) for faculty at AACTE member and nonmember institutions, undergraduate and graduate students, PK-12 teachers—or anyone involved in educator preparation.

As part of our mission to advocate and build capacity for high-quality educator preparation, AACTE has established this initiative to support the profession’s work in continuous improvement and accreditation. The OPSs provide professional development for individuals and promote organizational development for institutions in a convenient, flexible format.

AACTE Board Subcommittee on CAEP: May Update

The AACTE Board of Directors subcommittee formed to engage in conversation with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) convened May 5 for its first meeting. All committee members were present: Chair Renée A. Middleton (Ohio University), Jane Bray (Old Dominion University, VA), David Cherry (Whitworth University, WA), John Jacobson (Ball State University, IN), and Carol Vukelich (University of Delaware), as well as Board Chair Mark Ginsberg (George Mason University, VA) and AACTE Vice President Rodrick Lucero.

To start the meeting, Middleton invited Ginsberg to formally address the committee’s charge and scope of work. Ginsberg stated that AACTE continues to recognize and support CAEP as the single accrediting body for educator preparation programs. He reiterated that the committee was established to engage with the CAEP leadership to address concerns stated in the February AACTE Board of Directors resolution, which reflected ongoing communication from AACTE member institutions with respect to CAEP.

Call for Entries: AACTE Outstanding Book Award

AACTE is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Outstanding Book Award. Nominations must be made through our online submission system by June 17.

The Outstanding Book Award recognizes books that make a significant contribution to the knowledge base of educator preparation or of teaching and learning with implications for educator preparation. Eligibility requirements include a publication date within the past 2 years (July 2013–June 2015) and a letter of nomination from a faculty member at an AACTE member institution (who is not an author or editor of the volume); see the call for entries for other requirements.

edTPA Consultants Supporting Implementation Nationwide

Since the launch of the edTPA National Academy consulting service in January, dozens of consultants have been trained and deployed across the country to lead workshops and provide other support for edTPA implementation. In addition, once a consultant is requested through the “Seek Support” feature, a new searchable database is now available to help programs make the right match. AACTE and the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity recently announced the official launch of the service in a press release:

AACTE Celebrates Teacher Appreciation Week

AACTE joins the National Education Association (NEA) and the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) in celebrating terrific teachers during National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 4-8, and National Teacher Day, May 5.

“Teachers work every day to meet the needs of our students, often in the face of significant challenges,” said AACTE President/CEO Sharon P. Robinson. “We are so grateful for their dedication.”

Inspiration From National, State Teachers of the Year

2015 National Teacher of the Year Shanna Peeples
2015 National Teacher of the Year Shanna Peeples

It was my distinct honor and privilege to serve as AACTE’s representative on the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) National Teacher of the Year Selection Committee this year.

Reading through the 56 applications from every U.S. state and territory was such a joy, as every single candidate is truly using amazing talents and hard work to educate students. Programs such as CCSSO’s National Teacher of the Year program are an important reminder that in the midst of policy debates, budget cuts, and constantly increasing scrutiny, teachers are going to work every day and touching the lives of their students in unimaginable ways.

CAEP Board Chair Responds to AACTE Resolution

Renée Middleton and I recently (April 14) wrote a blog post updating readers on AACTE’s work related to a resolution passed in February by the AACTE Board of Directors in regard to the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). This resolution reaffirmed our association’s commitment to CAEP and also cited concerns that have been raised by many AACTE members. Our blog provided a context for the work that AACTE seeks to undertake in collaboration with the leadership of CAEP, which AACTE supports as a single unified accrediting system for our field.

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