Thanks to heavy involvement by the Oklahoma Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (OACTE), Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin recently signed HB 2885 into law, restoring the state’s teacher induction program.
The Oklahoma Teacher Induction Program (OTIP), which had been suspended since 2010, provides professional support, mentorship, and coaching for beginning teachers. Under the new law, school districts can voluntarily offer the induction program during the 2014-15 academic year; it becomes mandatory in the 2015-16 academic year. Furthermore, the bill permits teacher mentors to support more than one beginning teacher, and it establishes a paid teacher internship program at teacher preparation institutions.
AACTE has awarded funding to state chapters in California, Delaware, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Wisconsin in the 2014 State Chapter Support Grant competition.
The grant program, now in its 4th year, directs $50,000 of member dues toward strengthening the capacity of state chapters to operate as an organization and to advocate on behalf of the interests of teacher preparation in the state, as well as toward bolstering the relationship between the state chapters and AACTE. This year, chapter leaders were invited to apply for funds for support of the following priority areas: Policy and Advocacy, Professional Issues, and Chapter Development and Capacity.
AACTE is pleased to offer the State Chapter Support Grant Program for a 4th year, directing member dues toward strengthening the relationship between the state chapters and AACTE and supporting the development of state chapters through their initiatives. Since the creation of the program, AACTE has dispensed $150,000 in grants to 26 states to support chapters’ advocacy, professional development, and capacity-building efforts.
The AACTE Board of Directors met February 28 immediately prior to the Annual Meeting in Indianapolis. The meeting agenda, led by outgoing Chair Fayneese Miller (University of Vermont), ranged from Innovation Exchange projects and state chapter relations to the awards program and various governance issues, including election of a new Executive Committee.
Effective March 1, the new Executive Committee of the Board includes Chair Julie Underwood (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Past Chair Fayneese Miller, and Secretary Tim Wall (Northwest Missouri State University) along with the newly elected Chair-Elect Mark Ginsberg (George Mason University) and at-large representatives Jane Bray (Old Dominion University, with a 2-year term) and Dwight Watson (University of Northern Iowa, with a 1-year term).
Next week’s AACTE Annual Meeting calls on us to “take charge of change.” Heed the call by signing up now to join your peers this June in Washington, DC, for action in advocacy!
With federal education programs facing budget cuts, potential teacher preparation regulations on the horizon, reauthorization looming for the Higher Education Act and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and partisan gridlock, now is a crucial time to learn how you can become an effective advocate for the profession. AACTE’s signature advocacy conference, Washington Week, offers three key events to assist in building members’ capacity for advocacy: Day on the Hill, the State Leaders Institute, and the Holmes Scholars Summer Policy Institute.
A major forum at AACTE’s 2014 Annual Meeting will examine current efforts to redesign secondary mathematics teacher preparation programs so that they correspond to the pedagogical shifts demanded by the Common Core State Standards.
As states and districts across the country are transitioning to the Common Core, understanding the distinct pedagogical and content-specific shifts is a critical element to implementation and teaching practices—which holds significant implications for educator preparation programs. The Common Core math standards, for example, call for significant deep focus in the early grades and eliminate the vast majority of topics covered in current state standards. The secondary grades are restructured in grade bands rather than in content-specific subjects, requiring secondary math courses to be completely redesigned.
AACTE’s Advisory Council of State Representatives (ACSR) will sponsor a major forum at AACTE’s 2014 Annual Meeting focused on “Clinical Preparation, From Policy to Research to Practice: Strengthening the Programs.”
Research and practice have demonstrated for decades that sustained and high-quality clinical experiences positively contribute to the effectiveness of new teachers and to the likelihood that they will stay in the classroom longer. Unfortunately, preparation providers encounter myriad constraints in developing clinical programming, particularly stemming from challenges facing their PK-12 partners. Today’s school systems are being pressured to implement new teacher evaluation systems amidst new standards, new assessments, and changes to tenure laws—all within the context of significant economic hardships. Despite these challenges, many preparation providers are exploring multiple partnerships and intensive clinical programs, such as a full-year internship or residency, with local districts to ensure that their candidates have high-quality experiences.
This year, the Wisconsin Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (WACTE) received an AACTE State Chapter Support Grant to continue building its advocacy efforts and presence at the state level and to further develop its relationship with AACTE. In addition to utilizing funds to send its members to AACTE’s Annual Meeting and State Leaders Institute, WACTE will host its second Day on the Hill in Madison in conjunction with its 2014 spring conference, which will include an expanded symposium focusing on state and national education issues.
The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
Thanks to an AACTE State Chapter Support Grant, the Michigan Association for Colleges for Teacher Education (MACTE) brought together university leaders in educator preparation and the Michigan Department of Education for a 4-day retreat in June on the campus of Northern Michigan University (NMU). The Pine Tower Retreat was an invigorating experience for all of us and helped us create tangible outcomes for the academic year.
On Tuesday, November 12, AACTE and the Kentucky Association of Colleges for Teacher Education present “Developing the Dispositions of Preservice Teachers for a Culture of Continuous Professional Learning,” from 3:00 to 4:15 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
This is the second webinar in a two-part series sponsored by a grant from Learning Forward, making registration free for AACTE members. The series addresses how educator preparation programs can develop professional learning-ready teachers and school leaders.
FACTE President Marci Greene with AACTE’s Jane E. West
On October 24, I had the great pleasure of joining the Florida Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (FACTE) for its fall conference. With 130 people in attendance and the announcement of a new executive director, FACTE is going strong.
After years of outstanding service, Bob Shockley (Florida Atlantic University) retired as executive director, and FACTE welcomed Terry Osborn (University of South Florida) as its new head. AACTE’s membership ambassador, former FACTE chair Jennifer Platt, shared with FACTE the many benefits of joining AACTE. And we all welcomed Flagler College into the AACTE family as a new member.
In October, I was excited to head south to participate in the fall convening of the Mississippi Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (MACTE).
Mississippi had received national attention last spring when its legislature passed a law raising entry requirements into teacher preparation programs. Over the last year, the chapter has been working on strengthening its advocacy efforts and ensuring its members a seat at the table when the state is deliberating on laws such as this one and other regulations that impact educator preparation.
Last month, I attended the North Carolina Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NC-ACTE) Fall Forum, “Embracing the Future: Living and Learning in the Context of Globalization.” The conference had strands on technology, curriculum development, globalization, partnerships, and recruiting educators, as well as presentations from the state Department of Public Instruction and the North Carolina Teacher of the Year.
One of the highlights of the conference was a keynote presentation from Yong Zhao, who spoke about the importance of the educator preparation profession to our democracy and to our economy. Zhao urged teacher educators to think bigger than scores on standardized tests—to prepare teachers who do more than train their students on employable skills, but who embrace diversity, curiosity, passion, and creativity. In Zhao’s words, “Without interest, you can get good science test scores, but you can’t get great scientists.”