NCTQ Collecting Data for 2014 Review

In the last couple of weeks, many AACTE members have been contacted by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) inviting them to submit new materials by December 15 for the council’s 2014 review of education schools.

Of note in NCTQ’s communication with members is that the 2014 review will be a ranking, rather than a rating, of programs, and that programs that don’t set a minimum GPA entry requirement can meet the selectivity standard by showing that the average GPA of admitted candidates is a 3.3 or higher.

AACTE will continue to support members’ decision-making regarding their engagement with NCTQ and to represent members’ concerns about the organization and the work it produces. Members can find materials, including AACTE’s statement on the release of NCTQ’s 2013 review, in the NCTQ-U.S. News resource section of AACTE’s web site.

Department of Education Solicits Comments on Highly Qualified Teacher Data Collection

In response to a recent solicitation from the U.S. Department of Education, AACTE will be submitting comments on a proposed data collection regarding “highly qualified teachers.” We also sent an action alert November 4 to members of our Grassroots Action Network, encouraging members to send their own comments as well.

In September 2012—more than a year ago—AACTE and the 90+ other members of the Coalition for Teaching Quality won a significant victory when Congress passed a law requiring the Department of Education to collect data regarding the number of teachers-in-training currently serving as teachers of record. Specifically, the Department of Education is required to submit a report to Congress on the extent to which students with disabilities, English learners, students in rural areas, and students from low-income families are taught by teachers-in-training. For more background on this issue, see this article from AACTE’s Advisor.

Robust Florida State Chapter Expanding Membership, Advocacy

FACTE President Marci Greene with AACTE’s Jane E. West

On October 24, I had the great pleasure of joining the Florida Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (FACTE) for its fall conference. With 130 people in attendance and the announcement of a new executive director, FACTE is going strong.

After years of outstanding service, Bob Shockley (Florida Atlantic University) retired as executive director, and FACTE welcomed Terry Osborn (University of South Florida) as its new head. AACTE’s membership ambassador, former FACTE chair Jennifer Platt, shared with FACTE the many benefits of joining AACTE. And we all welcomed Flagler College into the AACTE family as a new member.

Find and Be Found With AACTE’s New Profile Tool

Do you long to share your reams of research with the press? Are you eager to present insights from your years of practical experience in an AACTE panel? Or perhaps you’re looking for peers in your state who are researching Response to Intervention? AACTE wants to know about your areas of research and practical expertise so we can help you find others in your field, pass your information along for press inquiries, and invite you to present at AACTE events.

Free Webinar to Address Preservice Preparation for Online Teaching

Making Connections: Teaching Preservice Teachers to Teach OnlineThe Midwest Regional Educational Laboratory at American Institutes for Research will host a free webinar Wednesday, November 20, 1:30-3:00 p.m. CST, to address the question of how we prepare preservice teachers to work in online and blended settings.

“Making Connections: Teaching Preservice Teachers to Teach Online” will feature Kathryn Kennedy, director of research at the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, and Leanna Archambault, assistant professor at Arizona State University, who coauthored the 2012 study Offering Preservice Teachers Field Experiences in K-12 Online Learning: A National Survey of Teacher Education Programs.

Announcing AACTE’s New Blog!

AACTE is excited to announce its new blog: Ed Prep Matters.

Ed Prep Matters offers news and insights on educator preparation from AACTE and guest bloggers in the field. Combining the best elements of AACTE’s former weekly NewsStream service and monthly Advisor newsletter in one convenient, up-to-date site, Ed Prep Matters is your new trusted source for professional information—without the wait!

Key Features:

  • Instant access to the latest information by visiting EdPrepMatters.net (no login required!) or by adding Ed Prep Matters to your RSS feed.
  • Weekly e-mails every Tuesday that highlight the past week’s posts, in case you missed anything.
  • Faster delivery of outside news articles and commentary through the AACTE Twitter feed, which is featured in the blog’s sidebar.
  • A dedicated Member News section to share your and fellow AACTE members’ updates and achievements.

We invite you to read and interact with us through this exciting new AACTE resource—and please let us know how we’re doing!

Advocacy Efforts Showing Results in Mississippi

In October, I was excited to head south to participate in the fall convening of the Mississippi Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (MACTE).

Mississippi had received national attention last spring when its legislature passed a law raising entry requirements into teacher preparation programs. Over the last year, the chapter has been working on strengthening its advocacy efforts and ensuring its members a seat at the table when the state is deliberating on laws such as this one and other regulations that impact educator preparation.

Valuing Dispositions for Effective Teaching

Feyneese Miller headshotAs I witnessed this summer’s commemorative 50th anniversary celebrations of major U.S. civil rights events, I was reminded of my personal experiences from those times—and thought in particular of my high school English teacher, Mrs. Ruby Archie.

My city, Danville (VA), was one of the last in the country to fully desegregate its elementary and secondary schools. Before its desegregation, Danville had one high school for White students and another one for Black students. My first day at the consolidated high school is one that I will never forget. My Black classmates and I were met at the entrance of the school by police officers, belts off and buckles down and at the ready, holding dogs tethered to a leash. As our first day progressed and tension remained high, all Black students were sent to the gym and the doors closed behind us. Mrs. Archie forced her way into the gym and made it clear that none of us would remain in that gym without her, our teacher, present. She cared and was willing to risk her employment to protect us.

Zhao Offers Inspiration at NC-ACTE Forum

Yong Zhao headshotLast month, I attended the North Carolina Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NC-ACTE) Fall Forum, “Embracing the Future: Living and Learning in the Context of Globalization.” The conference had strands on technology, curriculum development, globalization, partnerships, and recruiting educators, as well as presentations from the state Department of Public Instruction and the North Carolina Teacher of the Year.

One of the highlights of the conference was a keynote presentation from Yong Zhao, who spoke about the importance of the educator preparation profession to our democracy and to our economy. Zhao urged teacher educators to think bigger than scores on standardized tests—to prepare teachers who do more than train their students on employable skills, but who embrace diversity, curiosity, passion, and creativity. In Zhao’s words, “Without interest, you can get good science test scores, but you can’t get great scientists.”

AACTE to Serve as National Partner in New Network for Transforming Educator Preparation

On October 23, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) announced the creation of the Network for Transforming Educator Preparation (NTEP) to implement recommendations from Our Responsibility, Our Promise: CCSSO Task Force Report on Transforming Educator Preparation and Entry into the Profession. AACTE is pleased to be one of 17 partner organizations that will support this important work alongside CCSSO and the seven states participating in NTEP.

New NAEd Report on Program Evaluations Underscores Validity, Multi-Measure Assessments

On October 25, the National Academy of Education (NAEd) released Evaluation of Teacher Preparation Programs: Purposes, Methods, and Policy Options, a report that aims to provide clearer information and direction around evaluation measures and systems in educator preparation.

AACTE commends the emphasis in the report on validity and agrees with the authors’ conclusions that program evaluation should be adaptable and part of a multiple-measure system.

Diane Ravitch to Keynote AACTE Welcoming Session

Diane Ravitch headshot

This post also appeared on the AACTE Annual Meeting site.

AACTE’s 66th Annual Meeting will kick off March 1, 2014, with a Welcoming Session featuring Diane Ravitch.

A research professor of education at New York University, Ravitch recently published a book, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools—which argues that the crisis in American education is not a crisis of academic achievement, but of the destruction of public schools across the country—that landed in the number 10 spot on the New York Times Best Seller list.

Shutdown Ends, Highly Qualified Teacher Provision Extended

As you have surely heard, late Wednesday night lawmakers reached a deal to end the federal government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling. The shutdown lasted 16 days, and in the end Republicans agreed to a bill that looked almost identical to what they had rejected three weeks earlier: a debt-limit increase until February 7 and an extension of federal funding through January 15. The Republicans won only one minor victory—a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on the processes used for verifying the income of subsidy recipients under the newly established health-care exchanges.

FY 2014 Appropriations: Funding for Educator Preparation, ‘Highly Qualified’ Update

Although the Senate appropriations committee approved a funding bill for education programs in mid-July, the House did not follow suit; thus there is no education funding bill for the 2014 fiscal year. Education programs, along with many other federal programs, instead will be funded through a continuing resolution (CR).

In recent years, policy makers have also used CRs to extend a provision to allow teachers-in-training to be designated highly qualified. Last year the Coalition for Teaching Quality (CTQ), of which AACTE is an active member, was successful in limiting the extension of this provision to only 1 year and also in inserting a requirement on data collection and reporting.

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