This article was originally published by Syracuse University News.
Syracuse University’s relationship with its close neighbor, the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, has been a long and fruitful one. After all, SUNY-ESF was founded as a unit of SU in 1911, and today the two universities share resources, their professors collaborate, and students mingle across the two campuses, take classes together, join cross-campus organizations, and—sometimes—graduate from one college and into the other.
That last scenario is certainly the case for six SUNY-ESF graduates who, in summer 2022, enrolled in the School of Education’s (SOE) 13-month master’s degree program in science education (Grades 7-12).
AACTE recently sent a letter to all members of Congress urging them to cosponsor the EDUCATORS for America Act (S 3360/HR 6205), which would invest in and revitalize federal educator preparation programs. These programs are critical to addressing the shortage of profession-ready, fully licensed teachers in our nation’s classrooms. The letter was cosigned by 41 other education groups.
A Snapshot of a Teacher Preparation Program in America’s Most Diverse Small City
New Jersey City University, a minority serving institution, is home to the innovative “Teacher Intern Program” (TIP) — a preservice collaboration that supports the preparation, placement, and retention of diverse educators. TIP includes vital elements that address financial and pre-professional learning needs, graduating educators that often return to teach in their home communities.
In 2021, Indiana joined the Consortium for Research Based and Equitable Assessments (CREA), an initiative by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education to examine state-level certification assessment scores and their impact on promoting a diverse educator workforce. Our state team consisted of faculty from Indiana University’s School of Education, representatives from the Indiana Department of Education, and school district administrators from Indiana’s public schools. Together, we looked at our state-level data on entrance and content area licensure exams and reached the same conclusion many have reached for decades in Indiana and across the United States: significant pass rate gaps between white and Black teacher candidates.
As school districts prepare for the 2022-23 school year, policymakers are determined to prioritize comprehensive solutions to address staffing shortages, a long-standing issue exacerbated during the pandemic.
AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone recently shared insight on this topic at a virtual session hosted by the National Governor Association’s (NGA) Community Renewal Task Force. Led by Co-chair and Missouri Governor Mike Parson, the discussion also included Penny Schwinn, Tennessee commissioner of education, and Roberto Rodriquez, assistant secretary of planning, evaluation, and policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education.
The National Education Association (NEA) and Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) announced today significant steps to strengthen their partnership to ensure every P-12 student in the Nation has access to a great teacher and opportunities for learning success. This partnership will continue to inspire middle and high school students who reflect the demographics of their communities to serve as the next generation of highly effective educators. Students will have opportunities to explore programs, curricula and additional resources to prepare them for a career in education through Educators Rising, an ongoing project of PDK developed with the support of NEA.
AACTE participated in this past spring’s National Educator Shortage Summit, to promote conversations across traditional silos, hosted by the American Association of School Personnel Administrators (AASPA). The Summit convened PK-20 stakeholders to discuss educator workforce and pipeline shortages with a culminating report, Shortage to Surplus: 5 Shifts to Address the National Educator Shortage.
$2 Million Will Be Dispersed to Educator Preparation Programs Over the Next Two Years
Governor Ned Lamont and Connecticut Education Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker today announced new investments to defray certification-related testing costs for aspiring educators in Connecticut.
A total of $2 million dollars of federal, state-level reserve American Rescue Plan Act, Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP-ESSER) funding is being dedicated over a two-year period, which includes $750,000 in year one and $750,000 in year two. The remaining $500,000 is being set aside for educators of color and other educators who will be completing their student teaching in urban school districts.
On June 9, Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona released a vision to support and elevate the teaching profession. AACTE applauds the vision to recruit, develop, and retain future educators in a time when extreme educator shortages are afflicting the country, and looks forward to working with the secretary to realize each strategy. The secretary’s vision, announced during a fireside chat at AACTE member institution, Bank Street College of New York, arrived on the heels of AACTE’s premier advocacy event, Washington Week, as AACTE members and its state affiliates met with their federal legislators to promote comprehensive educator preparation.
Michael Darmas, a Teach For America instructor, gives his student a high five in this 2011 photo taken at Holmes Elementary School in Miami.
J Pat Carter/AP
This article originally appeared in Ed Week.
Alternative-certification programs have long been thought of as one solution to teacher shortages, but a new analysis shows that the number of candidates completing those programs has declined over the past decade, despite a boom in enrollments and new offerings.
The findings underscore the complex and changing nature of the teacher hiring pipeline: Alternative programs are typically cheaper and faster than traditional teacher-preparation programs based at colleges and universities. They are bringing in new and more diverse talent to the teaching workforce. But as the authors of the new report warn, their candidates don’t always finish, and quality control remains an issue.
Throughout Alabama, rural school systems are experiencing teacher shortages that the University of Montevallo is stepping up to try and fill.
UM’s College of Education and Human Development has committed to increasing the number of highly qualified teachers to serve in targeted rural public schools by offering the new Rural Recruitment Scholarship to support and prepare students to teach in rural schools.
“Although Alabama is experiencing a statewide teacher shortage, vacancies disproportionately impact rural schools,” said Dr. Courtney C. Bentley, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “The College of Education and Human Development is extremely grateful for these generous funds that will help us prepare highly qualified teachers to serve students in these rural communities.”
As program director for early childhood education in the School of Education, Barnhart received several inquiries from working adults who were hoping for an online degree option.
“Our traditional face-to-face, four-year program didn’t meet the needs of these individuals,” she said. “UW-Stout’s new online early childhood education degree was created specifically for working adults with an associate degree, coursework completed at another institution, a degree in another field or currently licensed teachers in another area.”
The program was approved by the Provost’s Office on March 4. Applications are open, and classes begin this fall semester.
PNC Bank, N.A. has awarded AACTE with a charitable sponsorship to support the Holmes Program with the goal of helping to diversify the nation’s education workforce. This program provides mentorship, professional development and support to students who self-identify as racially and ethnically diverse and are pursuing graduate degrees in education at AACTE member institutions. More specifically, the PNC funding will support the Holmes Scholars’ Research and Dissertation Retreat, and the Career Expo.
The Research and Dissertation Retreat brings together Holmes Scholars for an intensive, in-person professional development opportunity focused on research methods, academic writing, and scholarship while the Career Expo will connect these Holmes Scholars with AACTE member institutions to learn about opportunities and the faculty job search process. Scholars will have an opportunity to meet with faculty and search committee representatives face-to-face. Both the Retreat and Expo offer our diverse Holmes Scholars with unprecedented academic and career development.
Performance assessments that serve as a gateway to teacher preparation programs (i.e., Praxis Core, similar state-developed assessments) are intended to measure students’ basic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics. While these skills have no correlation to a candidate’s ability to be successful in a preparation program or relationship to effective teaching, many states require educator preparation programs (EPPs) to ascribe to the use of entrance assessments as a perquisite for program admissions.
The AACTE Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments (CREA) is examining how cut scores are being set for these assessments and its impact on aspiring teachers and the teacher-of-color pipeline. In its recent infographic, The Impact of Program Entrance Assessments on Aspiring Teachers and the Teacher of Color Pipeline, AACTE highlights key themes and findings from focus groups held with in-service teachers, teacher candidates of color at various institutions, and faculty of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
I serve as the legislative liaison for the Minnesota Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (MACTE), a consortium of over 20 public and private institutions of higher education. We represent both urban and rural geographic regions and we range in size. In Minnesota, we are unique in that the governor is a democrat, the house is majority democrat, and the senate is majority republican.
Prior to the launch of the Minnesota legislative session, MACTE developed collaborative legislative priorities that guide our work with the legislature. This year our four main goals are 1) to maintain high quality teacher preparation standards and support initiatives that reflect the research base around teaching methodologies; 2) increase the diversity of the Minnesota teaching force through strategies to recruit, support, prepare, and retain teachers of color; 3) to improve the retention of teachers; and 4) to support high-quality research-based E-12 instructional practices. In my work as the liaison, I attend committee meetings and advocate our support (or opposition) to proposed legislation through written or oral testimony. I am often supported by our MACTE leadership, our faculty who are content area experts, and our teacher candidates.