Experts discuss emergency waivers and their potential impact
This article originally appeared on the Education Writers Association website and is reprinted with permission.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of new teachers are licensed in the United States. With the shuttering of schools and colleges due to the coronavirus pandemic, states are using emergency waivers to certify teacher candidates who are unable to complete preparation requirements such as coursework, student teaching, and certification exams.
Along with these swift changes come new questions about the teacher workforce and what will happen to the educator pipeline in the midst of a public health emergency and economic recession.
This interview features insights on the article, “Sense Making and Professional Identity in the Implementation of edTPA,” by Julie Cohen, Ethan Hutt, Rebekah L. Berlin, Hannah M. Mathews, Jillian P. McGraw, and Jessica Gottlieb. The article was published in the January/February 2020 issue of the Journal of Teacher Education.
edTPA is designed to strengthen teacher professionalization and provide a framework for program redesign. However, using a national assessment to shift the content of local programs is challenging because of their inherent organizational complexity. In this article, we focus on this complexity, using a systems lens to analyze edTPA implementation at a large, public university. Employing a mixed-methods case study design, we survey 250 teacher educators and candidates to understand how they interpret the demands of edTPA and how their varied perspectives impact each other. We interview a stratified, purposive subset of participants to explore mechanisms underlying quantitative findings. We find substantial internal variation in edTPA implementation that translates into differential support for candidates. This variation could not be explained by duration of implementation of edTPA. Varied perspectives may stem from distinct perceptions of teacher educators’ professional roles and the role they see edTPA playing in teacher professionalization.
AACTE is excited to work in partnership with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards on several initiatives that contribute to a vision of a coherent career trajectory that supports teachers from initial preparation through teacher leadership opportunities and beyond. The mission of the National Board is to advance the quality of teaching and learning through a voluntary advanced certification. By doing so, the National Board aims to align the teaching profession with other professions such as medicine. Through this collaboration, AACTE, National Board, and other teacher professional organizations seek to elevate the teaching profession and ensure each student is taught by a fully prepared and accomplished teacher.
The work of the National Board, the National Board Standards, and the certification process is founded on five core propositions that describe what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do to effectively support student learning. The five core propositions and National Board Standards are developed and revised by educators based on research and their expertise as practitioners.
The recent release of the 2019 Nation’s Report Cards for mathematics and reading in grades 4 and 8 illustrates a growing disparity in achievement between the highest and lowest achieving students. The results show the divergence is happening across the nation, across states, and for student groups by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), widely known as the Nation’s Report Card, provides data from the nation, states/jurisdictions, and urban school districts that volunteer to participate in the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA). Approximately 296,900 fourth- and eighth-grade students across the nation participated in the 2019 mathematics assessment and nearly 294,000 fourth- and eighth-grade students across the nation participated in the 2019 reading assessment. Results are available for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Department of Defense schools, as well as for the 27 participating large urban districts.
Read the latest JTE Insider blog interview by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team member Lauren Snead. This blog is available to the public, and AACTE members have free access to the articles in the JTE online archives—just log in with your AACTE profile.
This interview features insights from the article “Rethinking Student Teacher Feedback: Using a Self-Assessment Resource With Student Teachers” by Lauren Oropeza Snead and H. Jerome Freiberg. The article was published in the March/April 2019 issue of the JTE.
Q1. What motivated you to pursue this particular research topic?
As a doctoral student in Dr. Jerome Freiberg’s graduate class, I was challenged to self-assess my own teaching by using student feedback. This was an area of growth I had not previously explored and it completely changed the way I looked at my teaching. As I briefly discuss in the article, I had spent many years as a K-12 teacher, where I focused on what administrators thought of me. Up until this point, my teaching evaluations dictated how I taught my class. I based any areas of growth or changes on what the administrators said about my classroom. Now that I look back, I cannot believe how blind I was to all of the potential feedback perspectives in classrooms. Using Dr. Freiberg’s self-assessment resource, the Person-Centered Learning Assessment (PCLA), I realized for the first time that the power for change started with my students. Accessing student feedback gave me a fresh perspective into areas of growth. It was an empowering experience. That experience spurred on my curiosity to dive further into the PCLA.
Greetings from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2025 Mathematics Framework team at WestEd. NAEP, also known as the Nation’s Report Card, measures student achievement in elementary and secondary schools. Public review of the Mathematics Framework draft is underway, and we would like you to be aware of the offerings for stakeholder groups to become informed and, if you haven’t already, provide input on this important document.
First, the Mathematics Framework draft, along with further information about NAEP, can be accessed at FNAEPFrameworkUpdate.org. By clicking the “Framework Draft” tab, interested parties can receive directions on how to download, comment on, and upload the draft. AACTE has reviewed the draft framework and provided feedback to NAEP. The draft was available for comment through June 7, 2019.
Additional background information on this work can be found on our website. For example, on April 25, 2019, Suzanne Wilson from the University of Connecticut and Mike Shaughnessy from Portland State University discussed their work on the NAEP Mathematics Assessment Framework on the Math Ed podcast. Also, upcoming opportunities to engage with the draft Framework, such as webinars with members of the Council of Great City Schools, are located on the Outreach Events tab.
Opening keynote speakers Marilyn Cochran-Smith of Boston College and Marvin Lynn of Portland State University, explored the challenges with accountability in teacher education in a provocative discussion on Friday, February 22.
Cochran-Smith is the Cawthorne Professor of Teacher Education for Urban Schools in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College. A teacher educator for more than 40 years, she stressed that teacher educators are passionate about accountability for the learning and development of the teacher candidates they work with, as well as the students, families, and communities the future teachers will serve.
“I have never met a teacher educator who didn’t feel accountable and who didn’t want to be accountable for his/her work,” said Cochran-Smith. “The trouble with teacher education accountability is not with accountability itself; it’s what teacher education has been held accountable for.”
AACTE is pleased to share excerpts from a testimonial by one of the 2019 Annual Meeting attendees, Tracy Spesia of the University of Saint Francis in Joliet, IL. In a letter to AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone, Spesia shared how the AACTE Annual Meeting has consistently influenced and brought value to her work as the edTPA coordinator at her institution:
“It was a professional and personal pleasure to attend the 71st AACTE Annual Meeting in Louisville. This annual conference’s tremendous impact on me, and the ripple impact it has had on my college and community, is clear. I actually have the documentation to prove it!
In 2010, I accepted the full-time position of Field Experience Coordinator (and Partnership Liaison) at the University of St. Francis. In 2012, my dean asked me to assume the edTPA coordinator position. The toolbox needed some new tools. By a stroke of luck, the AACTE annual conference was in nearby Chicago in spring 2013, and the dean suggested I attend to learn more about edTPA. I had never heard of AACTE. I had no idea what edTPA was about. I had never really attended a professional conference. This opportunity marks such a turning point in my career.
As you are making plans for the 2019 Annual Meeting in Louisville, KY next month, please consider joining us for a free preconference workshop focused on Overcoming Challenges to Developing a Quality Assurance System that will take place Thursday, February 21 from 1:00-5:00pm. Given the iterative nature of continuous improvement work, it is critical to develop a quality assurance system (QAS) that is sustained beyond an external review and provides meaningful data upon which evidence-based actions can be made.
This column originally appeared in Chatanoogan.com and is reposted with permission.
With education on the forefront of conversations in our community, it is now more urgent than ever that we send passionate teachers into the classroom with the knowledge, resources, and drive to lead our schools through this transformation.
As director of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga School of Education, I am charged with providing our students with a high-quality education and preparing them for the classroom. Our program trains and prepares the bulk of teachers entering Hamilton County Schools from high school to their own classrooms and beyond.
Check out the September/October 2018 issue of the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE). It is now available online and hitting desks around the country. See what Volume 69 Number 4 has to offer!
The North Dakota Association of Colleges for Teacher Education received a 2017-2018 AACTE State Chapter Support Grant for work on supervisor training modules to enhance the reliability and utility of the state’s new student teacher observation tool. Other AACTE chapters have also recently pursued collaborative work around assessment instruments, including those in Kansas and Ohio.
In 2016, the 12 member institutions of the North Dakota state chapter of AACTE collaborated to develop a student teacher observation tool (STOT). We were seeking a high-quality instrument to facilitate program improvement through meaningful, valid, and reliable data. We also knew that working together decreased the workload for all and leveraged resources and expertise across campuses. Finally, we were interested in adding to the common metrics used statewide to enable continued collaboration to improve teacher preparation in North Dakota.
East Carolina University (ECU) has been named the new institutional home of the North Carolina New Teacher Support Program (NC NTSP), which provides university-based professional development and on-site instructional coaching for new teachers throughout the state.
The NC NTSP aims to boost the effectiveness and reduce attrition among early-career teachers in order to raise student achievement, especially in historically disadvantaged and underserved school districts.
Originally launched with federal Race to the Top grant funds in 2012, the program now operates with funding from the state legislature, which allows districts to enroll teachers in the program at a subsidized rate. Nine universities in the UNC System provide the instructional support in partnership with 53 school districts around the state.
This event is cancelled until further notice.
“I don’t know where to start,” “it’s too hard,” “it’s too expensive,” or “it takes too much time” are among some of the comments that are often heard in conversations around the country as the push for more clinically rich teacher preparation is discussed. While it certainly can be challenging to reimagine longstanding practices, the shift to strong clinical models has become something of a national imperative for high-quality teacher preparation.
This event is cancelled until further notice.
The authors will be leading the “Track A” (introductory) strand of quality assurance sessions during the 2018 AACTE Quality Support Workshop in Columbus, Ohio. For details and to register, visit aacte.org, and download the full agenda here.
The quality of educator preparation programs matters, as they develop the professionals who will have the most influence on our children–and continuously shaping programs to excel in this charge is important work. This work requires calculated risk taking, established processes for critiquing the work, and a culture that fosters honest feedback focused on improvement.