The U.S. federal government, states, and school districts collectively spend between $26 and $41 billion per year on education technology materials, according to a new analysis released today by a coalition of education nonprofits led by the EdTech Evidence Exchange. These estimates reflect a troubling lack of understanding about how much the country actually spends on edtech, and also suggest that even according to the lowest estimates, the country spends at least twice the $13 billion figure often previously cited by industry analysts and policymakers.
“We are spending billions of dollars on technology with almost no information about which tools actually work, where, and why,” said Bart Epstein, CEO of the EdTech Evidence Exchange and a research associate professor at the University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development. “We know that technology can have a profound impact on educational outcomes, but thousands of tools and programs used by schools are creating confusion for educators and administrators, not to mention students and parents. When poorly selected or implemented, they waste teacher time and energy and rob students of learning opportunities. Making good on the transformative potential of education technology starts with listening to, and learning from, people who are actually using it.”
The 73rd AACTE Annual Meeting held a Deeper Dive session focusing on the edTPA teacher performance assessment. This session illuminated a variety of ways edTPA is being used and the multiple goals it is intended to achieve, including, a standardized measure of program quality, a high stakes teacher assessment for licensure, a performance screen for teacher quality, a professionalization tool, and a curriculum development framework for teacher preparation programs (TPPs).
AACTE’s new Board Chair Robert Floden, from Michigan State University, served as the moderator for the session and began by acknowledging outcome measures—such as edTPA—are used to measure teacher preparation quality for a variety of purposes including accountability, teacher learning, and program improvement. Further, he provided meaningful background about edTPA and how it was developed as an outcome measure that was closely related to teacher practice. Since 2013, edTPA has grown and been implemented in 41 states and the District of Columbia. This session pulled on the expertise of five researchers and highlights some of the affordances and barriers this performance assessment has for TPPs, teacher educators, and teacher candidates.
Cap Peck of the University of Washington began the session by recognizing there are both risks and opportunities associated with edTPA. In particular, he discussed the opportunity and value of using edTPA as a resource for program evaluation and improvement because it provides a common language to discuss practice, make comparisons, and see differences to make improvements within TPPs. He emphasized that in order to foster continuous improvement, organizational policies and practices need to support collective and collaborative program improvement.
Next, Drew Gitomer of Rutgers University discussed the need for a moratorium on the use of edTPA in the context of a high stake’s licensure exam. He drew on the failure to meet several key measurement expectations during his explanation for why edTPA should not be used for licensure. The three key components included
- Reliability is not reported
- Precision is not estimated in an acceptable manner
- Passing scores and passing rates are substantially different across licensure areas
Then Julie Cohen of the University of Virginia continued the conversation as she focused on the degree to which licensure tests, such as edTPA, inform teacher preparation curriculum. She discussed the complexity of this work, with a specific focus on implementation at the program
level and not at the institutional level. Further, she discussed equity implementations for candidates and the consequential ways variation between programs effects candidates in their programs and for licensure.
As the discussion progressed, Craig De Voto of the University of Illinois at Chicago discussed how TPPs have made sense of and responded to varied edTPA policy designs and contexts. He and his colleagues found that edTPA became a tool used for inquiry or compliance across teacher preparation programs. He proceeded to talk about the good, bad, and ugly findings from implementation of this tool. First, the good results they found were cross departmental collaboration, continuous program improvement, coherent foundation for field (e.g., academic language, teaching pedagogy, differentiation and assessment), and external legitimacy as a professionalization tool. The bad results they found were implementation challenges, particularly when mandated and philosophical challenges with equity and social justice. Finally, the ugly they found were divergent views of edTPA as a professionalization tool across the field with some teacher educators viewing it at as a de-professionalization tool.
To conclude the panel, Beth Kubitskey of Eastern Michigan University reflected on her experience implementing edTPA. She discussed her view of edTPA as a process that helped novice teachers provide a commentary linking their learning to their classes. Additionally, she and her colleagues were able to implement and use edTPA in a way that was educative for their students.
Overall, during the discussion, the panelists reiterated the many uses of edTPA and how it is being used across states and institutions. They further acknowledged the complexity of this work and the divergent responses and reactions by teacher educators and teacher candidates within institutions and organizations. At the end of the panel discussion, one participant asked, “Do you think this policy is a good or bad thing?” Fittingly, a panelist replied, “Well, it depends.”
Ann Marie Wernick, is a Ph.D. student at Southern Methodist University and AACTE research, policy, and advocacy intern.
Congratulations to Ayan Mitra on being named the March Holmes Scholar of the Month. Mitra recently defended his dissertation, titled “Exploring Neurocognitive Processes that Underline Reading Performance in Children: A Foundational Study.” His other research agenda attempts to bridge the gap between education and neuroscience. Mitra strives to understand how connectivity across different regions of the brain (coherence) is predictive of reading measures in widely used cognitive reading assessments. With rapidly evolving neuroimaging techniques providing better spatial and temporal resolution to brain imaging, it is increasingly important for literacy scholars to theorize the neural basis of reading.
Do know someone who has written an exemplary book that makes a significant contribution to the knowledge base of educator preparation or of teaching and learning with implications for educator preparation? Applications for AACTE’s 2022 Outstanding Book Award are being accepted in our online submission system now through May 14, 2021.
This award is reviewed by the AACTE Committee on Research and Dissemination. The award-winning book and its author/editor(s) will receive special recognition at AACTE’s 74th Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, March 4-6, 2022.
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) released today its new video series featuring promising practices for recruiting and retaining male teachers of color. AACTE created the Black and Hispanic/Latino Male Teacher Initiative Networked Improvement Community (NIC), which included a 5-year study by 10 AACTE member institutions that implemented improvement science to address the shortage crisis of Black and Hispanic/Latino profession-ready male teachers. Key findings from their research are featured in the video case studies, where the NIC participants present their experiences and lessons learned. NIC members describe effective ways for reducing barriers, developing partnerships, building recruitment pathways, providing mentorship, and offering faculty training to diversify the profession.
This article originally appeared in the University of Hawai’i News and is reprinted with permission.
A University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Education professor is the recipient of the 2021 Southwest Conference on Language Teaching (SWCOLT) Excellence in Teaching Post-Secondary Award.
With more than 30 years of experience teaching Hawaiian language and developing programs in public and charter schools throughout the state of Hawaiʻi, Alohilani Okamura said she developed a deep respect for learning the language as a graduate student at UH Mānoa.
SWCOLT is a regional world language teachers’ organization in partnership with state teacher associations from Hawaiʻi, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah. Okamura, who is in the Institute for Teacher Education (ITE) Secondary World Languages, was selected for her exceptional commitment to language education.
The Center of Innovation, Design, and Digital Learning (CIDDL) is requesting AACTE members’ participation in the strategic planning efforts by completing a needs assessment survey. All members are invited and encouraged to participate.
This data will inform CIDDL to better understand current technology use and practices of teacher education faculty in special education, early intervention/early childhood special education, and leadership preparation. The outcome report generated will provide valuable national insights and trends and an electronic version of. This report will be provided to all respondents in Summer 2021 at no cost.
Howard University is pleased to announce its recent endorsement by the College Board to host an Advanced Placement Summer Institute in 2021. The Howard University School of Education is committed to increasing the diversity of AP educators and high school students enrolled in these courses. APSI@Howard will offer 2 cohorts for new and experienced AP teachers during the weeks of July 19-23, 2021 and July 26-30, 2021.
Our virtual AP Summer Institute will bring part of the Howard experience to AP teachers worldwide. Throughout the institute, educators will receive intensive training on the curriculum and teaching methods of AP courses while also being exposed to modules around implicit bias and anti-racist teaching and pedagogical approaches. Each workshop will include an experiential learning opportunity related to the field with the intent of modeling instruction. The workshops will allow teachers the opportunity to interact with colleagues and discuss concerns surrounding the AP courses they will teach. Please feel free to pass this information along to school and district leaders as well as high school teachers.
APSI @ Howard University is now accepting registrations.
July 19-23, 2021 Week 1 registration
July 26-30, 2021 Week 2 registration
Dawn Williams is the Dean of the Howard University School of Education.
The AACTE 2021 Deeper Dive session “Critical Race Theory and Countering Political Culture” brought together experts in education, law, and history to discuss how taking a critical approach can help educators engage in courageous action. The panel included Khiara Bridges, professor of law at University of California Berkeley; Sonya Ramsey, associate professor of history at University of North Carolina Charlotte; and Alfredo Artiles, Lee L. Jacks Professor of Education at Stanford University.
What is critical race theory?
Khiara Bridges began by acknowledging that although there is no single definition or enactment of critical race theory (CRT), CRT scholars all stand in opposition to oppression. Bridges defined CRT as an intellectual movement, a body of scholarship, and an analytical toolset for interrogating the relationship between inequality and education, law, history, health, or any other school of thought. She discussed four common tenants to CRT:
Happy spring! As PK-12 and higher education institutions proceed with reopening post-pandemic, AACTE continues its work to build education back better. We recently published new research on both AACTE’s vision to “revolutionize education for all learners” and promising solutions to recruiting and retaining male teachers of color. Please take a few minutes to watch the video
and learn more about these and other initiatives.
Stay connected with AACTE for the latest resources, tools, and information to address the issues facing our profession today. Visit aacte.org
to access these benefits and renew your AACTE membership by the extended deadline.
Cheers to doing what matters,
AACTE is pleased to welcome new Holmes Scholars from the University of Louisville and the University of North Florida. These institutions’ expansion of their Holmes Program signals their continued commitment to investing in initiatives that seek to advance equity in the education profession.
Easter Brown is in her second year in the pursuit of her Ed.D. Brown served as a classroom teacher for six years and three years as resident clinical faculty for a professional development school in partnership with the University of North Florida (UNF) before becoming an elementary school administrator. In continued efforts to bridge the gap between higher education and K-12 education, Brown serves as a member of the Business and Industry Leadership Team for Education and Human Services at Florida State College at Jacksonvilleand UNF’s Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum Advisory Board. Brown is passionate in culturally responsive pedagogy in elementary school curriculum and the leadership journeys of Black female educators in predominantly white institutions, specifically K-12 education.
The Longview Foundation is seeking candidates for the GTE Fellows Program. The program is a year-long mentored virtual fellowship that focuses on integrating global learning outcomes into coursework for preservice educators.
Under the mentorship of experts in the field of global learning, each of the selected fellows will revise an undergraduate or graduate course that they teach in an initial teacher preparation program. The revised course will include global learning outcomes that will be enacted through engaging activities, resources and assessments aimed at promoting global learning. Fellows will then pilot and assess the revised course with a class of their own teacher candidates during the academic year. Applications are due April 7, 2021.
There is no doubt the COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges in education. At the University of Illinois (U of I) in Urbana-Champaign, we are facing a lot of those challenges. However, I am trying to be the glass-half-full girl by saying there are a few things we have implemented in these past 12 months that I would like to see us put in place to stay.
When this pandemic is behind us, what best practices should we keep?
Technology for Collaboration, Engagement and Assessment
As we gradually move back into face-to-face classrooms, I know many teachers are ready to put the Chromebooks away! However, some teachers are continuing—and will continue—to apply the new technology skills and tools they discovered during online learning as they return to in-person teaching.
There are so many options for collaboration with creative uses of tools like Jamboard, Google Workspace, Padlet, and so many more. Technologies such as these have helped students who might not contribute when everyone is face-to-face actively participate in online activities. Quick online formative assessment tools have also made it easier for teachers to “take the temperature of the room” and make informed instructional decisions based on individual student learning.
The widespread prevalence of trauma and subsequent impacts on student learning and behavior is well known and documented. PK-12 schools across the nation are integrating trauma-informed practices (TIP) to better respond to the needs of children who have experienced trauma. Furthermore, there are an increasing number of educator preparation programs that offer trauma training to their teacher candidates. This blog outlines one educator preparation program’s efforts to prepare its students in TIP.
The Metropolitan State University of Denver School of Education (SOE) in partnership with local non-profit Resilient Futures is integrating TIP into its entire curriculum. TIP is merged seamlessly with existing course learning objectives, ensuring that all students graduate competent to recognize and address the needs of children who have experienced trauma in their future classrooms and school settings. It is important for novice educators to have TIP integrated into their overall teacher preparation rather than required as an additional class or training to their already-crowded programs of study. With TIP integrated into course learning objectives, students understand how TIP is fundamental to all aspects of teaching and classes and not supplemental or add-on.
This blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide updated information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
The Biden Agenda Continues to Unfold
The Biden Administration is on the brink of distributing the nearly $122 billion in new COVID relief funding for the nation’s K-12 schools, which the Education Department said would be made available to states “this month.” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona notified state officials on Wednesday about the share of funding they would receive from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) that President Biden signed last week. States and school districts “should plan to expend these funds to safely reopen schools as expeditiously as possible this spring, sustain their healthy operations, and address the significant academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of their students,” Cardona wrote in the letter to state school chiefs.
Cardona joined White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki for her daily press briefing on Wednesday. During the Q&A with the press pool, Cardona touched on COVID-19 relief, school reopening, and standardized testing. The Secretary told reporters he didn’t plan to change the Education Department’s decision on standardized testing, which was announced in February before he was confirmed by the Senate. “The guidance that we provided at the agency last month is the guidance that we’re going with moving forward on assessments to see where students are after this pandemic,” Cardona said.