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Three New TAGs Approved, Open for Membership

AACTE is pleased to announce that three new topical action groups (TAGs) have been established and are accepting new members:

The Research in Teacher Preparation TAG is dedicated to identifying current research gaps in teacher preparation literature to guide collaborative research projects among TAG members.

The Assessment of and for Student Learning TAG is dedicated to determining which national and local assessment standards and tools are most valuable to establish “core assessment principals” and developing a paradigm of PK-12 student performance assessment that is appropriate for the 21st century.

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.

Major Forum Preview: Bridging the STEM Achievement Gap

A major forum at AACTE’s 2014 Annual Meeting will highlight lessons for transforming education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and for bridging the STEM achievement gap. To advance STEM education in PK-12 and improve access for disadvantaged students, educator preparation programs will have to produce career-ready teachers who have deep content knowledge in mathematics and science and pedagogical skills to teach to the differing needs of students to improve their achievement.

At the forum, a panel of education researchers, teacher educators, and practitioners will identify social and cultural barriers that contribute to persistent education inequities. Additionally, they will discuss effective education policies and innovative initiatives that promote progress in narrowing educational disparities in STEM.

Article: How to Choose an Effective Teacher Preparation Program

The editors of Go Teach magazine recently turned to AACTE to help prospective teacher candidates navigate the proliferation of conflicting visions of what constitutes effective teacher preparation. In response, my colleague Saroja Barnes and I coauthored an article for the magazine that ran in the November/December issue as the cover story, “How to Choose an Effective Teacher Preparation Program.”  

Based on relevant research on teacher preparation, the article points to several key components of high-quality programs that potential teacher candidates should consider. Structured by seven key questions, the article guides prospective candidates to think through the following issues when exploring teacher preparation pathways:

New Report Finds Success in Transfers of High-Performing Teachers to Low-Achieving Schools

Good news: A new study shows that transferring highly effective teachers to low-performing elementary schools improves the achievement of students in those schools. The impact of the transferred teachers in this study was greater than the impact of Teach For America (TFA) teachers found in studies with similar student populations.

Mathematica conducted the multisite experimental study, in which highly effective teachers were offered $20,000 over 2 years to transfer into and remain in elementary and middle schools that had low average test scores.

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