Congratulations to July Holmes Scholar of the Month Adrianne Taylor! Taylor is a third-year doctoral candidate at Florida A&M University (FAMU). She is also a reading coach at Griffin Middle School, a Title I information technology school in Tallahassee, Florida. Her research interests include principal leadership at Title I schools, student achievement at high-poverty schools, and cross-curricular reading.
Taylor exudes the qualities of a Holmes Scholar not only within the organization (including writing for the Scholars Report newsletter) but also within her university and her school district. As vice president of the FAMU Holmes chapter, she facilitates professional development with preservice teachers focused on building capacity in using technology to enhance instruction. Most recently, Taylor was a presenter at the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers Annual Meeting.
A new report on international approaches to developing elementary teachers will be released next week at a webcast event featuring AACTE President/CEO Sharon P. Robinson. Register at this link to tune in for the event, which will be held Tuesday, July 19, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. EDT.
The report, Not So Elementary: Primary School Teacher Quality in Top-Performing Education Systems, is authored by Australian researcher Ben Jensen on behalf of the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE). It looks at international practices in elementary teacher preparation and their effects on student achievement. Recommendations for U.S. policy and practice are included.
Ask any new teacher what part of their preparation was most important, and the answer will almost always be the final clinical component—the student teaching, internship, or residency experience. But while everyone seems to agree that high-quality clinical experience is critical to high-quality preparation, a persistent set of challenges have stood in the way of widespread implementation: identifying excellent clinical faculty, providing adequate time in clinical placements, and helping candidates, particularly those of limited means, navigate the full-time demands of unpaid student teaching or internships.
Ed Prep Matters is featuring “Stories of Impact” to showcase AACTE member institutions with educator preparation programs that are making a positive impact in their communities and beyond through innovative practices. We are committed to sharing members’ success stories and encourage you to do the same.
The importance of clinical practice in teacher preparation is well known. Increasingly, preparation programs are getting teacher candidates into PK-12 settings earlier and more often to enhance their readiness to enter the field. At Minnesota’s Winona State University, that means building a clinical practice model supported by a state-of-the-art “Education Village” slated to open in spring 2018, pending final state funding.
Last week the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released a new report offering the council’s assessment of how well teacher preparation programs are preparing preschool educators. Again relying on course descriptions and syllabi for its evidence, NCTQ paints a predictably bleak picture, saying the “review of these programs shows little evidence of quality training focused on the needs of the preschool classroom.”
For this report, NCTQ reviewed 100 programs in 29 states and chose not to identify which programs were included in the review. Accompanying the report is a set of resources that include policy recommendations for states and school districts, outlining what NCTQ calls “essentials for a great preschool teacher prep program,” and a guide for would-be teachers, outlining what NCTQ believes they should look for in a teacher prep program.
Last week the Coalition for Teaching Quality (CTQ) held a congressional briefing, “Strengthening Educator Recruitment, Development, and Support Through ESSA Implementation,” hosted by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Glenn Thompson (R-PA). At the briefing, CTQ released a series of new policy papers for supporting the educator pipeline and held a panel discussion that examined ways that the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) can support states and districts in improving the pipeline.
The briefing featured a former teacher residency student, Alexander Diaz from the Newark Montclair Urban Teacher Residency (NMUTR) Program, a federal Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grantee. Stressing the importance of the residency experience in the NMUTR program, Diaz said the program prepared him thoroughly, requiring students to apply their learning under the supervision of a master teacher.
New standards developed by Educators Rising to “define what high school students exploring teaching need to know and be able to do to take their first steps on the path to accomplished teaching” were released last week during a launch event at the National Education Association headquarters in Washington, DC.
Educators Rising, launched in August 2015 and powered by PDK International, sought feedback from a variety of community stakeholders before releasing the final standards that aim to embolden the “grow-your-own-teacher” movement emerging in communities and states throughout the country. The standards address understanding the profession, developing strategic relationships and content for students, planning and implementing instruction to meet students’ needs, and using assessments and reflection constructively.
At its biannual meeting this month, the Board of Directors of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) adopted language to clarify and refine the academic achievement component required in Standard 3: Candidate Quality, Recruitment, and Selectivity. Other board action included approving revisions to the CAEP Standards for Advanced Programs, bylaw updates, budgetary work, and other business.
For Standard 3, Component 2—which addresses candidates’ academic achievement—the following actions were approved, according to a statement from the CAEP board:
Last month, the National Assessment Governing Board released its first-ever Nation’s Report Card for Technology and Engineering Literacy via a webcast from the Michigan Science Center. The event presented not only test results but also perspectives from educators and from a panel of students who had participated in the interactive, digital-based assessment, which was administered to more than 20,000 eighth-graders nationwide in 2014.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly known as the “nation’s report card,” was developed in 1969 to measure how students in America compare with students of other countries in the areas of reading and math. Other subjects have been added over the years, and 2014 marked the first assessment targeting technology and engineering skills. The new test is also the first fully computer-based NAEP assessment.
The National Commission on Financing 21st Century Higher Education released a set of white papers earlier this month exploring aspects of the fiscal issues facing higher education. Designed to guide policy and funding decisions, these papers (and another six still in development) provide a revealing look at the state and national funding landscape for institutions.
The commission, a project of the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, has been working since 2014 on policy and funding recommendations for the United States to reach the goal of 60% of the labor workforce having a postsecondary degree or credential by 2025. Currently, the nation is not on target to meet this goal and faces numerous related challenges, from high school graduation rates and access to higher education to workforce underdevelopment. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, other nations are meeting or surpassing the United States in postsecondary degree and credentialing rates.