AACTE is pleased to open registration for its first in-depth Online Professional Seminar (OPS), Creating a Quality Assurance System, with the first 4-week section launching August 10 and additional sections beginning throughout the fall semester. Participants from AACTE member institutions receive a significant discount on the registration fee, but the seminars are open to the public as part of the Association’s Quality Support Initiative.
Already, hundreds of educators have participated in the two free introductory seminars, OPS #1: Building Quality Assessments and OPS #2: Using Data for Improvement. Additional sections of these two free seminars are still open for registration on a first-come, first-served basis.
Starting this fall, the state of Georgia is strengthening its standards for licensing new teachers by requiring them to pass edTPA, a performance assessment indicating they really are effective and ready for the classroom.
The new requirement, part of a broad overhaul of the state’s structure for evaluating performance of both existing and brand new teachers, will take effect September 1. At that point, teacher candidates emerging from student teaching will receive their initial "induction" certification only after meeting a qualifying score on edTPA. In addition, teachers enrolled in Georgia’s GaTAPP nontraditional preparation program must pass edTPA prior to completing the program.
Last weekend, I was privileged to represent AACTE on a panel at the conference of the International Literacy Association (ILA). Our session, titled “Cultivating Literacy Achievement Through Quality Teacher Preparation,” touched on current program-improvement efforts, revision of the ILA standards for program recognition, variations in licensure requirements across the country, and policy-related challenges.
Joining me for the discussion were William Teale of the University of Illinois at Chicago, Rita Bean of the University of Pittsburgh (PA), Bryan Joffe of the School Superintendents Association, Chris Koch of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, and others.
More than 200 participants from a variety of education settings just completed the first Online Professional Seminar (OPS) in the series being offered by AACTE’s new Quality Support Initiative. With another 250-plus registrants signed up for the second free seminar starting next week, the series is off to a strong start—and there is still space in upcoming cohorts!
The focus of each OPS is a topic relating to quality assessment and/or accreditation. Seminars are 3-week, interactive online courses for current and aspiring professional educators, PK-16. Courses are open to all educators, whether AACTE members or nonmembers, and the first two seminars in the series—Building Quality Assessments and Using Data for Improvement—are offered free of charge. These two introductory OPSs can be taken in any order.
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.
To quote Valerie Strauss in the May 28 edition of The Washington Post, “What the heck is going on with Wisconsin public education?” Efforts in the Wisconsin State Legislature to reform education without the transparency of public debate, or the consultation of educators, resulted in proposed legislation that may erode the basic foundation of Wisconsin’s public school system. Do politicians realize they are proposing a licensure policy that, if approved, would require barbers (yes, you read that right) to have more training at their craft than teachers?
Seriously, what the heck IS going on?
Professional advocacy organizations support their members by helping them advance a collective voice. By articulating a field’s consensus positions, associations empower their members to speak clearly about what they know, identify priorities, invest their energy strategically, and communicate confidently with internal and external audiences.
These unified understandings, which we adjust as research and best practices evolve, help us fulfill our obligation to correct misinformation and to respond to critics—a frequent need in the field of educator preparation. More importantly, though, they provide a foundation for action by the profession and help us recognize areas of need. In educator preparation, we’ve instituted a variety of reforms in recent years that have prompted us to develop new resources to increase our capacity, assess our progress, and inform our knowledge base.
I am delighted to announce AACTE’s new Quality Support Initiative, which is designed to provide resources and support to educators interested in assessment and accreditation. Starting next month, we will offer Online Professional Seminars (OPSs) for faculty at AACTE member and nonmember institutions, undergraduate and graduate students, PK-12 teachers—or anyone involved in educator preparation.
As part of our mission to advocate and build capacity for high-quality educator preparation, AACTE has established this initiative to support the profession’s work in continuous improvement and accreditation. The OPSs provide professional development for individuals and promote organizational development for institutions in a convenient, flexible format.
The AACTE Board of Directors subcommittee formed to engage in conversation with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) convened May 5 for its first meeting. All committee members were present: Chair Renée A. Middleton (Ohio University), Jane Bray (Old Dominion University, VA), David Cherry (Whitworth University, WA), John Jacobson (Ball State University, IN), and Carol Vukelich (University of Delaware), as well as Board Chair Mark Ginsberg (George Mason University, VA) and AACTE Vice President Rodrick Lucero.
To start the meeting, Middleton invited Ginsberg to formally address the committee’s charge and scope of work. Ginsberg stated that AACTE continues to recognize and support CAEP as the single accrediting body for educator preparation programs. He reiterated that the committee was established to engage with the CAEP leadership to address concerns stated in the February AACTE Board of Directors resolution, which reflected ongoing communication from AACTE member institutions with respect to CAEP.
The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) seeks presentation proposals for its fall “CAEPCon” conference in partnership with AACTE, to be held September 17-19 at the Washington (DC) Hilton Hotel. Proposals must be submitted online by Sunday, May 24.
I am honored to assume the role of chair of AACTE’s Board of Directors at such an exciting time for the organization and the profession as a whole. Nine weeks into my yearlong term, I’m eager to share my excitement with you about the work we’re doing together.
Most visible so far is our focus on accreditation, particularly our efforts to initiate a collaborative dialogue with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). This dialogue aims to address concerns expressed by many AACTE members while continuing our support for CAEP as the field’s unified accrediting body.
Although important—in fact, critical—for our field, our work with CAEP is but one of a large portfolio of topics on AACTE’s agenda.
Renée Middleton and I recently (April 14) wrote a blog post updating readers on AACTE’s work related to a resolution passed in February by the AACTE Board of Directors in regard to the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). This resolution reaffirmed our association’s commitment to CAEP and also cited concerns that have been raised by many AACTE members. Our blog provided a context for the work that AACTE seeks to undertake in collaboration with the leadership of CAEP, which AACTE supports as a single unified accrediting system for our field.
AACTE has long supported the role of accreditation in the field and continues to uphold the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) as the profession’s single accreditor. This commitment was reaffirmed by the AACTE Board of Directors at its meeting February 26, 2015. Along with offering this affirmation of support, the resolution passed by the Board also sought to open a conversation with CAEP around persistent concerns raised by the field with respect to CAEP’s standards, process, capacity, and representativeness in its governance structure.
TIME SENSITIVE: Responses due April 24, 2015
The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) seeks input from the higher education community for its work on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). Your feedback is requested by April 24 in these areas:
- Accreditation in higher education
- Risk sharing in student borrowing
- Data transparency and consumer information