Posts Tagged ‘content areas’

Data Advocacy as a Professional Responsibility

Once upon a time, we were challenged to find useful data about education. Not much information was collected, and it was largely inaccessible. In recent years, as public demands for greater transparency and evidence-based accountability have generated an information frenzy, we still face this challenge—but not because data are scant. Now they are overabundant, often difficult to decipher, or of unreliable quality. In this new environment, we must prepare teachers and other education leaders to be not only data literate, but also advocates for effective data use by others.

New MOOC to Help Teachers Design Common Core Performance Assessments

The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

The Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE) is pleased to announce the upcoming launch of an exciting new MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), Designing for Deeper Learning: How to Develop Performance Assessments for the Common Core.

This 9-week course will build educators’ capacity to develop and use curriculum-embedded performance assessments that fit local contexts. Course activities will guide students through the development and implementation of a performance task that is aligned with a specific curricular unit and performance outcomes integral to the Common Core State Standards. The course will use a learning-centered approach in which assessments are not only of learning, but also for learning.

Innovation at Lesley University: Assessment System to Support Continuous Improvement

The Innovations Inventory of AACTE’s Innovation Exchange is an online database highlighting members’ pioneering practices in educator preparation that have shown a positive impact on issues of student learning, preparation program advancement, or educator workforce needs. This blog post is one in a series highlighting entries from the inventory. To request inclusion of your institution’s innovations, contact Kristin McCabe at kmccabe@aacte.org.

Faculty in the Graduate School of Education at Lesley University (MA) have built a comprehensive e-portfolio and assessment system to provide data on candidate performance and support continuous improvement processes. The assessment system aligns key formative assignments in initial, professional license, and advanced professional development programs to standards-based program outcomes. Candidates submit all assignments to an e-portfolio system, where faculty score them based on valid and reliable rubrics. The assessment system also contains data on candidate performance on state exams and summative performances from clinical experiences.

Innovation at Georgia State University: NET-Q

The Innovations Inventory of AACTE’s Innovation Exchange is an online database highlighting members’ pioneering practices in educator preparation that have shown a positive impact on issues of student learning, preparation program advancement, or educator workforce needs. This blog post is one in a series highlighting entries from the inventory. To request inclusion of your institution’s innovations, contact Zachary VanHouten at zvanhouten@aacte.org.

Georgia State University (GSU) is the largest producer of minority educators in the state of Georgia and graduates approximately 500 teachers annually. GSU’s Network for Enhancing Teacher Quality (NET-Q) program aims to increase teacher quality in urban and rural areas in Georgia. The program includes both pre- and postbaccalaureate initiatives for educators serving high-need school districts in these settings.

NET-Q boasts a partnership with at least 15 rural PK-12 schools, local businesses, two historically Black colleges, and the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future.

Innovation at CSU Fullerton: Partnering With Schools to Improve Science and Content Literacy

The Innovations Inventory of AACTE’s Innovation Exchange is an online database highlighting members’ pioneering practices in educator preparation that have shown a positive impact on issues of student learning, preparation program advancement, or educator workforce needs. This blog post is one in a series highlighting entries from the inventory. To request inclusion of your institution’s innovations, contact Jessica Milton at jmilton@aacte.org.

Beginning in 2009, California State University (CSU) Fullerton has enjoyed a partnership with neighboring Placentia Yorba Linda Unified School District to support science instruction in the classroom. The partnership has served not only to improve the practice of teacher candidates in science instruction, but also to improve K-5 student achievement in science and content literacy. Throughout their time in the classroom, candidates jointly plan, teach, and reflect on their lessons.

Since the partnership began, student achievement scores have experienced double-digit gains, and teacher candidates report greater confidence in their science pedagogy. Proficiency levels in one school increased from 25% to 44% in just 1 year of partnership work. Candidates’ confidence to engage students in science increased from 77.5% to 97.5%, and the percentage reporting confidence in their content knowledge in science increased from 57.5% to 90.0%.

Innovation at Bradley University: PDS Partnership

The Innovations Inventory of AACTE’s Innovation Exchange is an online database highlighting members’ pioneering practices in educator preparation that have shown a positive impact on issues of student learning, preparation program advancement, or educator workforce needs. This blog post is one in a series highlighting entries from the inventory. To request inclusion of your institution’s innovations, contact Jessica Milton at jmilton@aacte.org.

The Bradley Professional Development Schools (PDS) Partnership was established in 1995 to address the needs of the eight PDS sites affiliated with Bradley University (IL). Inspired by a full-service community schools model, the partnership extends beyond teacher education to include all five departments in Bradley’s College of Education and Health Sciences.

Innovation at Arizona State University: iTeachAZ

The Innovations Inventory of AACTE’s Innovation Exchange is an online database highlighting members’ pioneering practices in educator preparation that have shown a positive impact on issues of student learning, preparation program advancement, or educator workforce needs. This blog post is one in a series highlighting entries from the inventory. To request inclusion of your institution’s innovations, contact Jessica Milton at jmilton@aacte.org.

In response to the call for increased rigor and effectiveness in teacher preparation, one of the largest teacher preparation programs in the country, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University (ASU), implemented iTeachAZ. The program includes changes in teacher preparation that focus on improvements in candidates’ content knowledge mastery, classroom readiness, and assessment literacy. The program provides a senior-year residency experience that extends student teaching from a single semester to a full school year, enabling students to live the “full life” of a teacher. ASU has also integrated performance assessments throughout the teacher preparation program.

New Reports Heighten Attention to Diversity of Teaching Workforce

A new report from the National Education Association (NEA) is the latest in a recent flood of attention to the lack of diversity among the nation’s teaching workforce.

Earlier this week, NEA released Time for a Change: Diversity in Teaching Revisited, which explores the need to recruit and retain teachers of color and the political context that has diminished interest in and initiatives toward meeting the goal. According to Segun Eubanks, director of NEA’s Teacher Quality Department, “This is not a new concern.” The paper examines the progress—or lack of progress—made to address diversity of the teaching workforce and uses the findings as a basis for recommending change.

Report Shows Need for Better Assessment Literacy

Last week, the Northwest Evaluation Association, in cooperation with Grunwald Associates, released a new report, Make Assessment Matter. The report follows up on a study done by the group 2 years ago of assessment perceptions held by parents, teachers, and district administrators.

In the current landscape where standards, accountability assessments, and use of student value-added measures to evaluate teachers prevail, the researchers expanded survey respondents to include students to better understand their awareness and what value—if any—they perceive in educational testing.

Based on survey data collected from more than 1,000 students in grades 4-12, more than 1,000 PK-12 classroom teachers, and 200 district administrators, the report highlights six key findings:

AACTE ‘Research-to-Practice Spotlight’ Looks at Impact of Clinical Practice

Clinically based educator preparation is the focus of the first installment of AACTE’s new Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series, now available on the Innovation Exchange web site.

This series, part of AACTE’s Innovation Exchange, connects research on educator preparation with practice in the field. Each installment in the series contains videos of interviews with researchers, teacher educators, and practitioners on relevant topics in educator preparation, as well as a set of accompanying resources such as research articles and studies and examples of related innovative practices in the field.

AACTE Names NIC Participants for ‘Changing the Demographic Makeup of the Teaching Workforce’

AACTE has selected 10 institutions to participate in the Association’s first Networked Improvement Community (NIC), aimed at increasing the diversity of our nation’s teacher candidate pool by focusing on recruitment of more Black and Hispanic men into teacher preparation programs.

More than 50 AACTE member institutions in 25 states applied to be a part of this NIC, known as Changing the Demographic Makeup of the Teaching Workforce. Following a rigorous review by the AACTE Committee on Professional Preparation and Accountabilty, AACTE congratulates the following institutions on their selection:

Lock Haven University Hosts Pennsylvania Core Summit

Last week, I participated in a summit at Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania on implementing and preparing for the Pennsylvania Core Standards. In attendance were the institution’s president and vice provost along with faculty, deans, and other administrators from throughout the university. Administrators and teachers from nearby PK-12 school districts as well as representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Education also joined us.

Following my keynote presentation discussing the fundamental instructional shifts of the Pennsylvania Core, all vested stakeholder groups took part in a conversations addressing the impact of the standards on their programs and the supplemental changes necessary to enact to support implementation. Among the suggested changes were strengthening ties with the PK-12 districts to provide necessary clinical experiences for candidates and deepening core content knowledge of both in-service and preservice teachers. One great idea was for the university to host academies throughout the summer to provide training for PK-12 teachers and administrators.

Flood of Applications Received for AACTE’s New Research Fellowship

The deadline to apply for AACTE’s new research fellowship was March 28, and we are ecstatic about the number of submissions we received! Nearly 80 research teams from a variety of member institutions submitted applications to study educator preparation pedagogy and/or educator workforce development.

The AACTE Research Fellowship for Educator Preparation is a new program established under the Innovation Exchange that aims to cultivate emerging scholars and support high-quality research in the area of educator preparation. Aligned with AACTE’s mission and strategic goals, the research fellowship will engage education scholars in collecting, documenting, and disseminating research on innovative educator preparation practices to fuel program improvement and influence policy decisions.

Collaboration of Professional Community Required to Address Shameful Issue of Hard-to-Staff Schools

This post was originally published on the Learning First Alliance’s Public School Insights blog.

The teaching profession is well known for losing almost 50% of its novices in the first 5 years. This churn is concentrated in high-need schools, which have a hard time attracting teachers in the first place. Not only does this “revolving door” phenomenon increase the chance that students with the greatest educational needs will be taught by an inexperienced teacher, but it is also financially costly in recruitment, staffing, and induction burdens.

New Carnegie Report Examines Effects of Teacher Turnover

On March 19, I attended the release event of Beginners in the Classroom: What the Changing Demographics of Teaching Mean for Schools, Students, and Society, a report that examines the causes, conditions, and consequences of the rise of less-experienced teachers in the classroom.

Issued by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the report cites research showing that the shift toward greater numbers of inexperienced teachers has “serious financial, structural, and educational consequences for American public education—straining budgets, disrupting school cultures, and, most significantly, depressing student achievement.” (AACTE, too, seeks to address these problems through its Educator Workforce Advisory Task Force, an initiative of the new Innovation Exchange.)

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