This post also appears in the Public School Insights blog of the Learning First Alliance.
It’s an insidious message embedded in the American psyche: Those who can’t, teach. For years, report after report has banged the drum for raising admission standards into teacher preparation programs, citing international comparisons and championing cost-prohibitive recruitment policies.
In reality, the talent pool now entering teacher preparation programs is rich. Our programs are, in fact, attracting their share of high achievers—defined by any number of criteria.
A study of 30 teacher residency programs funded through the federal Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) Program finds that graduates of the residencies feel more prepared at the start of their careers and more supported during their time in the classroom than their same-district peers from other pathways.
Editor’s Note: In this opinion piece written for his local newspaper, Gonzalez provides his perspective on the enrollment decline in his state’s teacher preparation programs. This post originally appeared in the Indianapolis Star and is reposted with permission. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE. See also Sharon P. Robinson’s recent post calling national attention to the same topic.
I was pleased to see Tim Swarens’ Oct. 26 column making the point that education reform in Indiana needs a conversation not confrontation. That conversation should start with an honest assessment of the impact of reform efforts to date.
Over the last decade, teacher salaries in constant dollars in Indiana have decreased by more than 10%. Outpaced only by North Carolina, which experienced teacher salary decreases of 14%, Indiana had the second largest decrease in the country.
Each year, our nation’s PK-12 schools rely on colleges of teacher education to prepare thousands of new teachers. Between 2010 and 2019, the number of students enrolled in public elementary and secondary schools is expected to grow from 55 to 58 million. Already, schools in high-need urban and rural areas struggle to recruit and retain enough qualified teachers, and many districts do not have sufficient special education or STEM specialists to serve student needs. Amidst these growing needs, however, enrollment in teacher preparation programs nationwide is falling, and data from AACTE’s 800 member institutions show reductions over the last decade in both undergraduate and graduate programs. What’s at the root of this worrisome decline, and how can we start to turn the tide?
Joelle Tutela, President, NJACTE
Teacher quality and professional practice in New Jersey just got an enthusiastic shot in the arm, thanks to a new coalition of the state’s teacher educators, teachers’ unions, and other education groups.
Leaders of this coalition, the Garden State Alliance for Strengthening Education, held a high-profile symposium “Taking Back the Profession” September 27 to release a report chock-full of ideas to improve the continuum of teacher development in the state. The event was attended by several key state education officials and featured nationally known speakers including Stephanie Hirsch of Learning Forward, Marilyn Cochran-Smith of Boston College (MA), and Susan Headden of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. In addition, the report was featured at a press conference October 2 and will be the subject of a state hearing later this month.
With the school year now in full swing, we know it’s a challenge to stay on top of your professional reading. Here are a few hot assignments you won’t want to miss:
1. Journal of Teacher Education
The latest issue of AACTE’s journal offers fascinating insights into the professional development and practice of teacher educators. Based on the premise that “while research on teaching informs research on teacher education, the latter needs a specialized knowledge base of its own” (see the issue’s editorial), articles address general and specific elements of that knowledge base, professional identity, core practices, and more.
Extra credit:Read the latest research to be published in future issues of the journal! It’s posted on a rolling basis in Sage’s Online First system.
Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued a statement responding to widespread concerns about standardized testing—saying that “testing issues today are sucking the oxygen out of the room in a lot of schools” and offering to delay by a year the federal requirement that teacher evaluations include some “significant” influence from students’ performance on state assessments.
The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
Last month, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) announced Angela Duckworth as the first keynote speaker for the 2014 Fall CAEP Conference in Washington, DC. We are equally excited to announce that civil rights scholar Christopher Edley will keynote on Day 2 of the conference.
Edley, former dean of the University of California-Berkeley School of Law, is currently faculty director of the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy, which he cofounded. He also was cofounder of the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, where he taught law for 23 years.
The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
The University of Pennsylvania’s Angela Duckworth, whose top-rated Ted Talk on “grit” has received more than 4.6 million views, will be the keynote speaker at the 2014 Fall CAEP Conference (CAEPCon) Tuesday, September 30. The conference is being held in partnership with AACTE.
Duckworth’s research on non-IQ competencies that predict achievement influenced the development of CAEP Standard 3: Recruitment and Selectivity. The topic of Duckworth’s keynote will be “True Grit.”
A new report from the National Education Association (NEA) is the latest in a recent flood of attention to the lack of diversity among the nation’s teaching workforce.
Earlier this week, NEA released Time for a Change: Diversity in Teaching Revisited, which explores the need to recruit and retain teachers of color and the political context that has diminished interest in and initiatives toward meeting the goal. According to Segun Eubanks, director of NEA’s Teacher Quality Department, “This is not a new concern.” The paper examines the progress—or lack of progress—made to address diversity of the teaching workforce and uses the findings as a basis for recommending change.
AACTE has selected 10 institutions to participate in the Association’s first Networked Improvement Community (NIC), aimed at increasing the diversity of our nation’s teacher candidate pool by focusing on recruitment of more Black and Hispanic men into teacher preparation programs.
More than 50 AACTE member institutions in 25 states applied to be a part of this NIC, known as Changing the Demographic Makeup of the Teaching Workforce. Following a rigorous review by the AACTE Committee on Professional Preparation and Accountabilty, AACTE congratulates the following institutions on their selection:
This post was originally published on the Learning First Alliance’s Public School Insights blog.
The teaching profession is well known for losing almost 50% of its novices in the first 5 years. This churn is concentrated in high-need schools, which have a hard time attracting teachers in the first place. Not only does this “revolving door” phenomenon increase the chance that students with the greatest educational needs will be taught by an inexperienced teacher, but it is also financially costly in recruitment, staffing, and induction burdens.
On March 19, I attended the release event of Beginners in the Classroom: What the Changing Demographics of Teaching Mean for Schools, Students, and Society, a report that examines the causes, conditions, and consequences of the rise of less-experienced teachers in the classroom.
Issued by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the report cites research showing that the shift toward greater numbers of inexperienced teachers has “serious financial, structural, and educational consequences for American public education—straining budgets, disrupting school cultures, and, most significantly, depressing student achievement.” (AACTE, too, seeks to address these problems through its Educator Workforce Advisory Task Force, an initiative of the new Innovation Exchange.)
AACTE and the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE) are pleased to announce the availability of new video interviews about edTPA, a nationally available teacher performance assessment created to ensure new teachers are effective from Day 1.
The first set of video interviews comes from New York State. As of May 1, 2014, New York State will require teacher candidates to pass edTPA as a requirement for initial certification, and many institutions in that state have been piloting edTPA. For the videos, we set up a roundtable discussion with teacher candidates from some of these institutions to talk about their experiences using the assessment. The video series Candidate to Candidate: Reflections on Taking edTPA shows teacher candidates discussing the challenges of edTPA, sharing advice and major takeaways they learned from the program, and offering many other valuable insights on teaching and teacher preparation. Click here to see for yourself!
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.