October is National Principals Month —a month to honor our nation’s principals and the important work they do leading schools. Led by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), and the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA), this annual celebration recognizes our nation’s principals for their tireless dedication to their students and the schools they serve.
To effectively lead a school, today’s principal must fulfill the role of instructional leader and create the learning conditions to support teaching and learning. To do this, principals are in classrooms, observing instruction, engaging with teachers in the nuts-and-bolts of leading learning communities, and connecting teachers with professional learning opportunities. Thus, principals are now more than ever multipliers of effective teaching and possess an enormous capacity to impact student achievement.
Simply put: You can’t have a great school without a great principal. Whether it’s supporting their teachers, ensuring students have access to nutritious meals, or making parents and families feel engaged and welcome their child’s school, principals make it happen.
Despite the many rewarding aspects of the principalship and its importance in improving teaching quality and boosting student outcomes,
AACTE is partnering with the College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation program, Extra Yard for Teachers, a platform to elevate the teaching profession using the high profile of college football through four pillars: resources, recognition, recruitment, and professional development.
Through the four pillars, the CFP Foundation supports early childhood through secondary education across the country by sponsoring a number of activities. These activities include donating money directly into classrooms for supplies; sponsoring “Extra Yard for Teachers Week” during which universities, conferences, and the ESPN sports channel come together to celebrate teachers across the country; and convening the Extra Yard for Teachers Summit to empower and inspire educators.
To keep up to date on the ongoing CFP Foundation programs and special events that support teachers, AACTE members can subscribe to The Extra Yard official eNewsletter. Learn more about the organization and how it impacts positive educational outcomes, visit cfp-foundation.org.
The just released 2019 Data Quality Campaign (DQC) National Poll reports that those closest to students—parents and teachers—are eager for leaders to take actions that reflect a bold vision of data use to improve student outcomes in K–12 and beyond. The findings, released on September 10, show that 90% of parents say they need data to understand their child’s progress and help them do their best. Of the teachers who were polled, 86% believe using data is an important part of being an effective teacher.
In the brief, Parents are Ready for the Next Generation of Education Data, data show that parents believe student journeys don’t end with K–12. Parents see
This article and photo originally were originally published in SmartBrief Education and are reprinted with permission.
We all know the numbers are sobering. A 2018 brief from the Council for Exceptional Children showed critical shortages of special education teachers in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Fifty-one percent of all school districts and 90% of high-poverty school districts report difficulty recruiting highly qualified special education teachers. The exit rate for special education teachers is nearly twice that of general education teachers and enrollment in teacher training programs has declined by 35% over the previous five years.
It seems a dismal picture, but there is light at the end of the tunnel — one that prepares teachers to enter this dynamic field and equips them with tools to help them skillfully and confidently persist in the profession.
While serving on this year’s (Phi Delta Kappan) PDK Poll Advisory Board, I listened and collaborated with scores of thought leaders in the education ecosystem—The National Education Association, The Learning Policy Institute, The Learning First Alliance, The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, among others. We determined what approaches to take to quantify, understand, and disseminate the vast amount of information and data garnered from this extremely worthwhile and useful poll. We discussed the results and how they could be utilized to advance 21st century classrooms, its students, and those who lead them.
What is the importance of the PDK Poll?
This year’s PDK Poll was entitled, “Frustration in The Schools: Teachers Speak Out on Pay, Funding, and Feeling Valued.” The new release is one of several polls PDK has conducted to examine opinions on public education for more than 50 years. The poll, according to PDK, is “a steady reflection of U.S. opinion about public education.” Its results are meaningful because they offer an annual review of one of the most important parts of our society—public schools, and focuses on of some our nation’s most crucial people—teachers. The poll measures opinions on the value of a public-school education and its teachers while giving us a sense of how our schools are supported, or more importantly, how they are not supported. It gives us a hypothetical picture of what the future of the educational world might hold and enlightens us about current issues from the perspective of the public. It informs and helps us contemplate how students are changing and what we, as educators, need to do to support and foster
This article and photo originally appeared on the Advancing Research & Innovation in the STEM Education of Preservice Teachers in High-Need School Districts (ARISE) website and are reprinted with permission.
Despite heavy investment in STEM (e.g., STEM for ALL), most PK-20 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics instruction remains heavily siloed. To date, educators have not agreed on a clear definition of STEM. Is it curriculum or a teaching technique/pedagogy? Can a science lesson be called STEM, even if the other domains are not fully represented? As technology advocates, we think STEM curricula should have a strong representation from all four domains.
The STEM movement was intended to address science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in order to produce students who are prepared for the unique needs of today’s workforce. With regard to the “T” component of STEM, the only way to develop teacher candidates who fully embrace the power of technology for P12 is to infuse technology throughout their preparation.
A “technology infusion” approach
As the student population has diversified so has our understanding of the general education classroom, specifically who we serve in an inclusive setting. Our students with special education services are learning the majority of their grade level curriculum in general education classrooms. This paradigm shift requires effective collaboration between service providers and teachers as well as a deep understanding and application of differentiation to meet the needs of all students.
For years, the two fields of general education and special education have been siloed. Persistence and partnership is how
The key to developing the Bowling Green State University (BGSU) dual licensure program is reaching out to the local area to ensure the program is built with the local needs at the forefront. “The local data is how the university can drive change,” recalls a district leader. Faculty also believe collaboration with the district is central to their mission and their success with candidates. Making connections with the field office and the supervising teachers ensured faculty could relate what candidates were seeing in the field to what they were learning in their coursework.
University systems must also be taken into consideration, especially when working across colleges and across departments. Two questions drove the BGSU program leadership as they developed their dual licensure program: What is best for our students in this program? An what is best for this program? One significant concern was finding strong clinical placements for each teacher candidate. The success of a program with hundreds of teacher candidates rested with strong clinical partnerships.
Finally, serving all students that walk into the classroom was the priority when developing the dual licensure program at BGSU. “This wasn’t an experiment, this is the way BGSU does business,” reflected a faculty member. It was a choice to move away from single licensure that, over time, changes the makeup of the district teaching population, which is why district leaders were involved at every step in the program development.
To learn more, watch the Advice to Others video highlighting BGSU’s Models of Inclusive Clinical Teacher Preparation, part of AACTE’s Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series.
Half of public school teachers have seriously considered leaving the profession in the past few years. Only about half say their community values them a great deal or a good amount, and a majority says that, given the opportunity, they’d vote to go on strike for higher pay, according to the 51st edition of the annual PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools released on August 5.
The full results of the PDK Poll are compiled in a report titled Frustration in the schools: Teachers speak out on pay, funding, and feeling valued. This year’s poll has several new features: For the first time in 20 years, PDK included a survey of public school teachers alongside the survey of the general population. They also expanded its sample size by breaking out Asian adults in addition to Black, White, and Hispanic adults. This year, online focus groups of public school parents and public school teachers were included to better understand why Americans responded as they did to the poll questions.
Other notable poll results include the following:
ACTE joins the Learning First Alliance (LFA) and other national education groups in planning for Public Schools Week 2020, February 24 – 28. Next year will mark the third annual LFA Public Schools Week, designated for administrators, teachers, specialists, teacher educators, parents and school board members to host events for their communities and reach out to lawmakers, businesses, and other community members to discuss the importance of public education.
As a partnering organization, AACTE recognizes that teachers, principals, and support staff who serve in public schools are key to helping students succeed and our nation thrive, and invites members to