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.
As another ambitious teacher preparation innovation captures national attention, I invite you to join me in taking stock of how widespread creative change has become in this field. The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently announced the launch of their brand-new research laboratory and graduate program to prepare teachers and school leaders. The educator preparation field, already rife with innovation, welcomes the new Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning as the latest partner in a robust entrepreneurial environment.
While I do not embrace the negative rhetoric that accompanied the new program’s announcement, I am keenly interested in the work. In fact, the Academy’s goals are quite aligned with those being addressed by many other educator preparation providers and organizations. Foundation President Arthur Levine and his partners at MIT will find themselves in good company as they pursue their particular reform interests and share their findings.
I want to congratulate the organizers of the recent Mid-Atlantic edTPA Implementation Conference at Towson University (MD) for doing something that should be standard at educator preparation conferences: They included PK-12 partners in the conversation and created a high-profile opportunity for them to tell their stories. To accomplish this goal, the National Education Association worked with conference organizers to set up a panel discussion, inviting teacher candidates and teachers to participate and asking me to facilitate.
The conversation at the conference provided authentic educator perspectives on recent experiences with edTPA. Here are my five top takeaways from the conversation.
A new ethics framework from the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) aims to guide PK-12 educators in their decision making—and assist their preparation programs in nurturing their ability to make ethical decisions. NASDTEC unveiled the Model Code of Ethics for Educators at a press conference June 25 in Washington, DC.
The code was developed over the past year in a joint effort with Educational Testing Service, the University of Phoenix, and the National Association of State Teachers of the Year. Once the draft was ready, a public comment period last winter provided feedback before the language was finalized. NASDTEC considers the result to be a fluid document that will continue to adjust to conditions in the field. Its board even created a new National Council for the Advancement of Educator Ethics to oversee modifications to the framework on an ongoing basis, and comments are still welcome on the document.
I recently had the pleasure and honor of delivering the keynote address for the 2015 edTPA Mid-Atlantic Implementation Conference in Towson, Maryland. As a longtime supporter and champion of observation- and performance-based educator preparation and assessment, I was eager to share with peers from across the nation who are at different places on their journey with edTPA.
First, I wanted to commend each person for being there. By the virtue of their attendance and leadership, participants were helping shift the negative tone of dialogue around teacher preparation by highlighting innovative practices and committing to positive change. At the core of the narrative is a shared rallying call to ensure each teacher candidate enters tomorrow’s classroom ready to teach.
Congratulations to June Holmes Scholar of the Month Terrance McNeil!
McNeil is a doctoral student at Florida A&M University (FAMU). His research interests include education policy, education technology, distance learning, professional development, and charter schools.
McNeil’s nominator had this to say about him: “Terrance has maintained an unwavering standard of excellence in his academic endeavors and is always willing to assist his cohort members to ensure that we all excel in our classes.”
The model standards of the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC), developed in 1996 by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and last revised in 2008, generated controversy in the field during their most recent revision effort last fall and this spring. The National Policy Board for Education Administration (NPBEA), which convenes an array of stakeholder groups, is partnering with CCSSO to consider the feedback received from the field and make final adjustments to the new standards, now planned for release this fall.
NPBEA was among the groups that approved the original standards nearly 20 years ago and has been involved to some degree in subsequent revisions. Its constituent organizations* all have close connections to the work addressed in the standards, but some of these constituents felt their voices were not heard in the recent standards update.
AACTE issued a press release June 24 announcing a new Clinical Practice Commission, which has already begun working on an ambitious agenda to better define what constitutes high-quality clinical teacher preparation. Read on to learn more, or contact Vice President Rodrick Lucero, who chairs the commission, for more information.
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations completed its work on the Labor, Health & Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill June 24. In the full committee markup, Representative David Price (D-NC) offered an amendment to restore funding for the Teacher Quality Partnerships and other programs supporting teachers and administrators, but the amendment was defeated on a party-line vote. The bill does retain the policy rider prohibiting the promulgation or enforcement of the proposed teacher preparation program regulations.
A new partnership between the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) launched last week to “transform policy and practice” in educator preparation. Announced June 16, the new Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning will be a graduate school of education based at MIT that conducts research and offers competency-based master’s programs in teaching and school leadership.
Foundation President Arthur Levine, former president of Teachers College at Columbia University (NY), touted the academy’s plan to “throw out the clock”—focusing on its students’ mastery of competencies rather than on credit hours—and to produce open-source course modules for ease of replication nationwide.