By Katrina Norfleet
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.
By Jane E. West
This blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide update information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
It’s been quite a week in DC. The most impressive news is having our home team—the Nationals—win the World Series, despite their substantial underdog status. Other than that, the House voted to proceed officially with the impeachment process on a totally partisan basis—and that promises to suck the oxygen out of any sort of Congressional agenda for months.
Are we Headed to a Government Shutdown … Again?
While the Senate made progress on funding bills this week, big hurdles remain. The Senate passed a package of four appropriations bill with a bipartisan vote of 84-9, the first funding bills to pass the Senate. However, Senate Democrats blocked movement on the package of two large spending bills: Defense and Labor/HHS/Education. They are not happy that President Trump is insisting on funding for his border wall and that the Labor/HHS/Education bill’s spending level is so low.
By Preston Thorne
This op-ed article originally appeared in The State and is reprinted with permission.
I was wasting time on Twitter when I came across a post that stopped me mid-scroll. The original post posed a question: How many black male educators did you have in kindergarten through 12th grade.
One of my former students chimed in with a shocking number: 1…Coach Thorne.
That’s me; that’s who I was. I taught social studies at Blythewood High School for 11 years and was an assistant football coach.
At first glance, the number 1 seems to be an indictment and a referendum on what we in education circles have known forever—we need more black men in the classroom. But upon further inspection, with a little critical analysis, I believe there is power in one.
Statistics tell us that having just one African American teacher in elementary school reduces drop-out rates among black boys by nearly 40% and increases their recognition as gifted students.
But stats don’t tell the story.
By Emily Stembridge
The IMPACT-PD grant—Improving Preschoolers’ Acquisition of Language through Coaching Teachers and Professional Development—is playing an integral role in providing preschool educators the tools they need to help their students develop proficiency in English as a second language.
The United States Department of Education National Professional grant, funded by the Office of English Language Acquisition, aims to provide educators with professional development opportunities for improving instruction of dual-language learners in preschool.
The IMPACT-PD program, a partnership between the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education, focuses on four goals to further training and education to children learning English early in life:
One in 5 students in the United States have learning and attention issues. This includes those with identified specific learning disabilities, diagnosed attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, or related disorders that impact learning. Despite often having above average or average intelligence, the majority of these students are achieving below grade level. This equates to millions of students across the nation whose strengths and potential are going untapped.
The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) and Understood set out to unpack and address this problem. We partnered with teachers—often the most consistent touchpoint for students after their caregivers—to understand their experiences and insights. We rooted these experiences in rigorous research focused on general education classrooms, where the majority of the “1 in 5” spend most of their time. The culmination of this work is found in “Forward Together,” a new report from Understood and the NCLD.
AACTE is joining several other education organizations to develop Forward Together Toolkits for our teachers and teacher educators. Stay tuned for more information on the dissemination of those toolkits!
By Jacqueline Rodriguez
I recently represented AACTE at the Next Educator Workforce: Asking the right questions conference, joining educators from across the country at the Arizona State University (ASU) Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College (MLFTC).
The ASU conference organizers asked the question: Why convene around the idea of the next education Workforce? The response included the following:
- Fewer people are entering the profession.
- More educators are leaving the profession early.
- Educators need more of the sustaining rewards of adult collaboration and efficacy.
Our challenge, according to ASU, is to build broad-based, multilateral partnerships that include colleges of education, schools, districts, and communities committed to designing and fielding new workforce models that make education work better for both educators and learners.
By Hanna Melnick
Social and emotional skills, habits, and mindsets—such as being able to manage emotions, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions—can set students up for academic and life success. Decades of research show that incorporating social and emotional learning (SEL) into instruction can lead to positive outcomes, from increased test scores and graduation rates to positive behaviors that support student success in school and beyond.
What can teacher preparation programs do to prepare teachers to integrate SEL into everyday classroom learning? A new case study from the Learning Policy Institute (LPI), Preparing Teachers to Support Social and Emotional Learning: A Case Study of San Jose State University and Lakewood Elementary, provides rich examples of how a publicly funded university in California integrates social and emotional dimensions of teaching and learning into its program, from courses on foundational theory and academic curriculum to fieldwork.
By Jerrica Thurman
Did you know AACTE produces a mini-documentary series called AACTE InTouch? These brief videos inform the public about educator preparation and ways to advocate for, get involved in, and support the education profession.
The series educates viewers on how effective teachers are prepared and showcases successes and challenges in educator preparation. The video content is designed to align with the Association’s key messages focused on quality, advocacy, partnerships, and innovation. Featuring a variety of topics and layered storytelling, the series helps viewers understand the critical issues in educator preparation, feel connected to AACTE’s mission, and learn about innovations in the field.
By Kristin McCabe
Data, data everywhere – so now what do you do? When you are awash in student test scores, survey responses, or research results, how do you determine what they mean – and what actions to take as a result?
For a concise and engaging introduction to data sources, uses, and improvement processes, try AACTE’s online professional seminar Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes, opening July 17 for a 3-week run on the FutureLearn social-learning platform. It requires only 3 hours per week and costs nothing! (Or you may choose to upgrade your enrollment, for a fee, to participate in tests, obtain a completion certificate, and gain unlimited access to course materials in the future. A completion certificate is required if you plan to become an AACTE consultant.)
By Jolanda M. Westerhof
The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) invites applications by April 21 for the 2017 Christa McAuliffe Excellence in Teacher Education Award. Only public colleges and universities that are members of AASCU are eligible to apply for the award, which honors exemplary teacher preparation and professional development programs.
To win this award, teacher education and professional development programs must –
By Jerrica Thurman
AACTE’s enhanced online professional seminars, offered through the Quality Support Center on the FutureLearn social-learning platform, are well under way! More than 5,000 registrants signed up for the first run of our introductory assessment course, which just concluded, and the second course, Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes, opens March 20. (Please note this start date is a change from the original schedule.)
In this free 3-week course, you will discover how to apply data science to deliver better outcomes for students. Led by Linda McKee, AACTE’s senior director for quality support initiatives, you’ll learn to identify a range of data sources, analyze the data, and present your findings, then select indicators and establish actions to achieve continuous improvement.
By Jolanda M. Westerhof
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.
By Kristin McCabe
A new policy brief out of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) reviews the evidentiary base underlying four national initiatives for teacher preparation program accountability and finds that only one of them—the beginning-teacher performance assessment edTPA—is founded on claims supported by research. The other three mechanisms included in the study are the state and institutional reporting requirements under the Higher Education Act (HEA), the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) standards and system, and the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) Teacher Prep Review.
Holding Teacher Preparation Accountable: A Review of Claims and Evidence, conducted by Marilyn Cochran-Smith and colleagues at Boston College (MA), investigated two primary questions: What claims does each initiative make about how it contributes to the preparation of high-quality teachers? And is there evidence that supports these claims? In addition, researchers looked at the initiatives’ potential to meet their shared goal of reducing educational inequity.
By Kristin McCabe
Two new studies commissioned by the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) credit the collaborative professional learning of teachers in British Columbia, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Singapore with their students’ strong performance on international assessments. NCEE’s Center on International Education Benchmarking organized a half-day forum last month featuring panel discussions of these countries’ policies that support such systems—and what lessons the United States should draw from them.
Rather than treating professional development as an add-on program such as monthly workshops, the studies say, successful education systems embed it broadly. Teacher-led collaborative learning is deliberately planned into structures such as well-defined career ladders, mentorship programs, and schools’ daily schedules. Although some of these features can be found in U.S. districts, none is widely used or as robust as described in the reports, and panelists advocated for a stronger systems approach.
By Sharon Robinson
This post also appears on the Public School Insights blog of the Learning First Alliance.
Educators from PK-12 schools and higher education share the goal of preparing preservice teachers in a way that develops candidates’ skills, contributes positively to student growth, and stimulates mutual renewal of schools and collegiate preparation programs. The conception of clinical experience as a few weeks of student teaching not only is antiquated but runs counter to our professional commitment to quality. Instead, today’s preparation programs are nurturing complex clinical partnerships with yearlong residencies or internships that both produce beginning teachers who are practice-ready and support a process that strengthens the schools’ capacity to deliver high-quality education for their students.