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NNSTOY Releases Report on Teacher Leadership

A new study from the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) introduces compelling research on the characteristics of teacher leaders and factors that challenge or support them. The report, Great to Influential: Teacher Leaders’ Roles in Supporting Instruction, follows up on the 2014 study From Good to Great: Exemplary Teachers Share Perspectives on Increasing Teacher Effectiveness Across the Career Continuum. In light of the new study’s findings, the report suggests strategies for school districts to capitalize on the assets presented by teacher leaders, ranging from providing broader career path options to increasing their interaction with preservice and novice educators.

AASCU Invites Applications for Christa McAuliffe Excellence in Teacher Education Award

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) invites applications for the Christa McAuliffe Excellence in Teacher Education Award, which honors exemplary teacher education and professional development programs at AASCU-member public colleges and universities. The submission deadline for this year’s award is April 22.

To win this award, teacher education and professional development programs at AASCU institutions must not only demonstrate effectiveness in producing PK-12 learning outcomes; award winners must also demonstrate and explain how they have redesigned their programs as a result of these PK-12 learning outcomes (including, but not limited to, state data—when and where this is available).

Stories of Impact: Valuing Diversity at Ohio University’s Patton College

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.

As America and its school-age population grow increasingly diverse, educator preparation programs are striving to recruit and prepare more teachers from historically underrepresented groups. Statistics show that by 2050, the United States will have no clear racial or ethnic majority, yet the educator workforce remains largely White—a mismatch decried as violating students’ educational civil rights.

Ohio School Leader Named National Superintendent of the Year

Congratulations to Thomas S. Tucker, superintendent of Princeton City Schools in Cincinnati, Ohio, who has been named 2016 AASA National Superintendent of the Year!

Tucker’s selection was announced February 11 at the National Conference on Education hosted by AASA, The School Superintendents Association. He was one of four finalists for the honor; others included Pamela Moran of Charlottesville, Virginia; Steven Webb of Vancouver, Washington; and Freddie Williamson of Raeford, North Carolina.

Portland’s Concordia to Relocate Ed School in ‘3 to PhD’ Initiative

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.

In one of the most impoverished neighborhoods of Portland, Oregon, a flourishing partnership between Concordia University and the PK-8 Faubion School has spawned ambitious plans for a new model of education to help disenfranchised students and the whole community.

Countries With High-Performing Students Have Strong Teacher Professional Learning

Two new studies commissioned by the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) credit the collaborative professional learning of teachers in British Columbia, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Singapore with their students’ strong performance on international assessments. NCEE’s Center on International Education Benchmarking organized a half-day forum last month featuring panel discussions of these countries’ policies that support such systems—and what lessons the United States should draw from them.

Rather than treating professional development as an add-on program such as monthly workshops, the studies say, successful education systems embed it broadly. Teacher-led collaborative learning is deliberately planned into structures such as well-defined career ladders, mentorship programs, and schools’ daily schedules. Although some of these features can be found in U.S. districts, none is widely used or as robust as described in the reports, and panelists advocated for a stronger systems approach.

Volunteer for CAEP Service

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) seeks reviewers and other volunteers for various roles in the agency’s work. Applications are open through March 18.

It is important for teacher educators to be represented in the CAEP Volunteer Corps, and this can be achieved if you volunteer! Please note that the call for service seeks a diverse population of educators, not only faculty from programs holding CAEP accreditation.

Volunteers are needed for the following roles (note that governance committee volunteers will not be solicited until next year):

NCTQ Says Textbooks Neglect Student Learning Strategies, Adds Related Standard for 2016 ‘Review’

In a report released last week, Learning About Learning: What Every New Teacher Needs to Know, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) evaluates four dozen teacher preparation textbooks for their content of specific student learning strategies. As an offshoot of the exercise, NCTQ will include a new standard, “Fundamentals of Instruction,” for secondary programs in its 2016 Teacher Prep Review.

For Learning About Learning, NCTQ reviewed 48 “relevant textbooks” used at just 28 institutions of higher education to determine whether they include six of the strategies identified as effective by the Institute of Education Sciences’ Organizing Instruction and Study to Improve Student Learning: A Practice Guide (2007). Finding little of what NCTQ sought, the report contends that textbook authors and publishers (and the preparation programs that assign the texts) are “failing the teaching profession, students, and the public by neglecting to provide our next generation of teachers with the fundamental knowledge they need to make learning ‘stick.’” See also Education Week’s coverage of the new report.

NNSTOY to Hold Congressional Briefing on Teacher Career Continuums, ESSA Implementation

Editor’s Note: This briefing has been postponed due to weather challenges. Please stay tuned for an announcement of the new date.

On Wednesday, January 27, the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) will hold a congressional briefing to release its new study Teacher Advancement Initiatives: Lessons Learned From Eight Case Studies. Completed in conjunction with Pearson, the report is the product of a 3-year study of schools and districts with established career advancement initiatives. The study identifies components of successful, sustainable teacher career continuums with positive impacts on teacher recruitment, retention, and job satisfaction.

The eight case studies include schools and districts in urban and rural areas of Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Iowa, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington. The report identifies key elements of effective career continuums such as structured roles for teacher leaders, opportunities for release time and collaboration, compensation differentiation, peer coaching and evaluation, embedded professional development, and structured opportunities for teacher voice in decision making.

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