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Ball State Wins AASCU Award for Community-Based Program

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) has selected the “Schools Within the Context of Community” (SCC) program at Ball State University (IN) to receive the 2016 Christa McAuliffe Excellence in Teacher Education Award. The award will be presented October 30 at the AASCU Annual Meeting and recognized again at the AACTE Annual Meeting in March 2017.

Launched in 2009 as a partnership between Ball State University’s Department of Elementary Education and the Whitely neighborhood of Muncie, Indiana, the SCC program takes a unique approach to teacher education. It immerses preservice candidates in a low-income, African-American community where they are carefully matched with mentors who serve as cultural ambassadors and impart the strengths and values of the community.

Celebrate National Principals Month This October

The month of October is known for colorful trees, last-minute election campaigning, and ubiquitous pumpkin-spice flavoring. But it’s also National Principals Month, a time designated to recognize school leaders in your programs, in your neighborhood, and around the country. Please join AACTE in celebrating their leadership and partnership on behalf of student and teacher development!

National Principals Month gives us the opportunity to honor and reflect on the contributions of principals and the importance of preparing them well. Marked by national and state resolutions, formal awards and recognitions, and other official acknowledgments, this celebration allows us to say “thank you” to principals across the nation.

International Lessons for Developing Elementary Teachers

The latest report from the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) Center for International Education Benchmarking analyzes how four high-performing systems around the world develop elementary teachers with deep content and pedagogical understanding. An accompanying policy brief makes a case for employing these practices in order to strengthen primary education, setting students up for success in high school and beyond.

Sharon Robinson to Join NCEE Webcast for New Elementary Education Report

A new report on international approaches to developing elementary teachers will be released next week at a webcast event featuring AACTE President/CEO Sharon P. Robinson. Register at this link to tune in for the event, which will be held Tuesday, July 19, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. EDT.

The report, Not So Elementary: Primary School Teacher Quality in Top-Performing Education Systems, is authored by Australian researcher Ben Jensen on behalf of the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE). It looks at international practices in elementary teacher preparation and their effects on student achievement. Recommendations for U.S. policy and practice are included.

Stories of Impact: University of Nevada, Reno Responds to Local Workforce Needs

Ed Prep Matters is featuring “Stories of Impact” to showcase AACTE member institutions with educator preparation programs that are making a positive impact in their communities and beyond through innovative practices. We are committed to sharing members’ success stories and encourage you to do the same.

Teacher shortage is an issue nationwide but especially in Nevada, where 955 classrooms were without licensed teachers at the start of the 2015-16 school year. Now with engineering and technology giants Tesla and Switch establishing a strong presence in northern Nevada, top-quality teachers are in more demand than ever in our community.

U.S. Department of Education Starts Implementing ESSA

On December 18, the U.S. Department of Education published a notice in the Federal Register announcing its consideration of conducting negotiated rule making for the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The secretary invites advice and recommendations on standards and assessments as well as on the requirement that Title I, Part A funds “supplement, not supplant” state and local funds. The Department seeks feedback from stakeholders on other areas of Title I that could benefit from either guidance or regulation as the nation moves from No Child Left Behind (NCLB) to ESSA.

The Department also sent a “Dear Colleague” letter to states addressing pending transitions, including from current NCLB waivers to the new law. In the letter, the Department notes that it will not renew waivers or accept waiver applications from states that do not already have one.

Stories of Impact: A Different Approach to Learning at Butler’s Lab School

Ed Prep Matters is featuring “Stories of Impact” to showcase AACTE member institutions with educator preparation programs that are making a positive impact in their communities and beyond through innovative practices. We are committed to sharing members’ success stories and encourage you to do the same.

Schools of education across the country take a variety of innovative approaches to improving the preparation of teachers in partnership with local schools. One example that recently won the attention of a local news channel is a lab school of Butler University (IN), which is part of the state’s largest school district, Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS). Providing its elementary students a unique opportunity to guide their own learning, this school is centered on the Reggio Emilia approach—a project-based style of teaching and learning designed to build students’ critical thinking and democratic ideas.

AACTE Applauds Committee Passage of Every Child Achieves Act

AACTE applauds the leadership of U.S. Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) on the unanimous, bipartisan passage of the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 (ECA). AACTE is pleased with the committee’s progress on the long overdue reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

The bill moves away from the "test and punish" strategy that evolved from the implementation of the current version of ESEA, known as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. While the bill retains the requirement for annual assessments disaggregated by subgroups, it leaves states, schools, teachers, and parents to determine what to do about the results of those assessments. AACTE believes students would benefit from stronger accountability for subgroup results, but overall, the bill makes important bipartisan progress toward fixing a broken law.

Preparing Teachers for Practice at AACTE’s Annual Meeting

This post also appears on the AACTE Annual Meeting site.

AACTE and TeachingWorks are collaborating on a strand of sessions at the 66th Annual Meeting that will examine the challenges of preparing novice teachers for practice and explore potential solutions. This strand will provide a forum for sharing ideas and learning from programs that are taking on the challenges of building practice-based teacher education. It will also address implications of the Common Core State Standards for teacher preparation.

Major Forum Preview: Redesigning Elementary Preparation Programs

A major forum at AACTE’s 2014 Annual Meeting will feature efforts to redesign elementary preparation programs so that they are aligned with current PK-12 school expectations, provide deeper content engagement, and offer pedagogical practices with a greater impact.

Preparing elementary school teachers can be challenging, as they need to be well-versed in many subject areas and particularly attuned to the developmental needs of young learners. Indeed, many preparation programs have struggled to produce coherent curriculum to effectively prepare teacher candidates for the early grades.

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