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ACSR State Policy Priorities

ACSR State Policy Priorities

Postby Sarah R. Pinsky » July 18th, 2013, 9:55 am

Thank you for taking the time to participate in the AACTE online community for State Policy Priorities. An AACTE State Policy Taskforce was established as a result of dialogue among ACSR members at the 2013 AACTE Annual Meeting to develop a set of recommendations for sound state-level educator preparation policies. Special thanks go out to Sylvia Brooks, Cindi Chance, Marci Greene, Virginia Keil, Ray Lorion, Kim Paulsen, Tracy Schuster-Matlock, Eugene Sheehan, Ena Shelley, Joelle Tutela, and Karen Verbeke for serving on this taskforce.

As mentioned in the invitation email, AACTE staff will be making a presentation at the National Conference of State Legislatures in mid-August and would like to take advantage of the opportunity to share the profession’s views on state policy with a captive audience. As such, please provide your feedback on the document before Tuesday, July 30.

Please keep in mind that all comments should be geared toward recommendations at the state level rather than at the program level because this document is designed for state policymakers. After the Online Community closes, AACTE staff will incorporate your comments into the document and submit the final draft to the full ACSR membership for a vote in early August.

This document is intended to be a resource for state chapters to support their state advocacy work. This document (in its entirety or specific sections) could be circulated to state policymakers as a primer on the professional consensus around educator preparation issues. Then, as specific issues arise in states, chapters could dig deep into the issue and develop more tailored policy recommendations for their state contexts.

These recommendations will also serve as a foundation for ACSR and AACTE’s work on state policy. For example, in the future ACSR and AACTE will develop model legislation and other resources based on the recommendations set out in the document.

There is no expectation that every state chapter will agree with every point made in this document. If your state chapter decides to take a different direction with respect to a policy issue addressed in this document, you can still expect support and technical assistance from AACTE and the ACSR community. That being said, the document will be stronger and more beneficial to both AACTE and State Chapters if it reflects a genuine consensus in the professional community.

As you review this document, please consider the following questions and provide feedback as able.


Are there other policy issue that should be included? Are there concerns about any of the various policy parts? What is missing that you need from this document to help with drafting state legislation or teacher education policy?

Data Systems

Given the discussion at SLI and the disagreement about what metrics can capture indicators of program quality, we removed examples of specific metrics. Are there certain metrics ACSR should encourage states to include in their state data systems?


Given that there does not seem to be much professional consensus around this issue, should we delete this section? On the other hand, many governors and policymakers are moving in this direction so perhaps it would be good for the profession to take a stance on this issue? What do you think?

Again, thank-you for your commitment to this work.
Sarah R. Pinsky
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
Posts: 2

Re: ACSR State Policy Priorities

Postby Sarah R. Pinsky » July 18th, 2013, 9:57 am

Click Attachment to read the document

State Policy Priorities Document Latest Version.docx
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Sarah R. Pinsky
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
Posts: 2

Re: ACSR State Policy Priorities

Postby Tracy J. Schuster-Matlock » July 18th, 2013, 3:22 pm

Very excited to see this document continue to evolve into a much-needed tool!

- Regarding program accountability - can we change the language in the first sentence to include the concept of continuous improvement? In some states, there is a perception of over-producing teachers and thus a need to close a few doors...we kind of set this section up to allow for this when we don't also include continuous improvement. So yes...same standards of evaluation, same opportunity to improve, and of course, when failed...same opportunity to close.

- Regarding something missing...do we want to discuss the need for mentoring and/or on-boarding in the profession? I suspect specific policy around this issue will be coming forward in many states...or perhaps a desire to re-write existing rules on the topic.
Tracy J. Schuster-Matlock
Saint Ambrose University
Posts: 1

Re: ACSR State Policy Priorities

Postby Nadene Davidson » July 19th, 2013, 12:10 am

Thanks for your continued work to develop a framework for state level policy work.

A couple of thoughts....in the first section on investments in the educational workforce there are a couple of references to student achievement. Later in the document there are questions about VAM. The reference to student achievement might suggest that we are supportive of using VAM and the corresponding student testing data. Could we talk about student learning and multiple measures of student growth or........?

We also talk about teacher retention as a data point for program evaluation. I'm interested in the research on the millennials and their perceptions of "work". There are projections that they will make 12 to 15 career changes - how does this factor into evaluating programs on retention/staying in the profession. We should focus our emphasis on strengthening our mentoring programs to more clearly target the needs of the new educator and the changing roles of educators in general.

We know what the major point is for each of the sections. Will the "non-higher ed - educator" or policy maker clearly understand our message? Is there an "elevator speech" summary statement for each section or is that the next step?
Nadene Davidson
University of Northern Iowa
Posts: 1

Re: ACSR State Policy Priorities

Postby Jane S. Bray » July 19th, 2013, 3:38 pm

State Policy Principles - Great document and one that will be a strong piece to share outside of the educational community and into the legislative arena. I offer two comments regarding two sections in the document.

The first comment is in regards to the section on Investments in the Education Workforce. I was wondering if there should be specific mention of state support for school leaders. The beginning addresses educators which school leaders fall under but then the paragraph continues with a strong focus for teachers only.

The second comment is about the section on Program Accountability as compared to the section about Equitable Pathways. The one on Equitable Pathways clearly includes alternative routes. I believe the language about pathways would be helpful to be clarified in the section about Program Accountability so that this section does not end up focusing only on university-based programs. While it does not state that, it does imply that to the reader.
Jane S. Bray
Old Dominion University
Posts: 1

Re: ACSR State Policy Priorities

Postby Jill D. Shedd » July 22nd, 2013, 12:01 pm

Overall, I would agree with the five themes noted. With respect to "investment in workforce", I would suggest that it is more than about better recruitment strategies. As a nation and professional community, we need to build up, strengthen the value of the profession. Teaching needs to become one of the honored professions in our country. The finger-pointing at teachers recently as "the problem" has done more to counteract the best recruitment strategies. States need to work with schools and preparation programs to promote honestly the value and honor of the profession.

The suggestion to promote pilot efforts in several instances is a good one. Along with the encouragement of pilots, consideration might be given to the notion of policies and/or funding allowing for various strategies, rather than only one strategy. For example, in imagining incentives for both school corporations and teacher preparation programs to partner in the offering of valuable clinical experiences, states should be encouraged to set general guidelines or expectations or goals against which individual partnerships might develop unique approaches, rather than be prescriptive with specific structures, formats, etc. This notion of providing for a range of approaches versus prescribing "the" approach can be applied to several of the themes and should be one promoted.
Jill D. Shedd
Indiana University Bloomington
Posts: 1

Re: ACSR State Policy Priorities

Postby Karen A. Verbeke » July 24th, 2013, 12:55 pm

I would like to see the issue of retaining institutional identity and mission in the selectivity section or other appropriate area. I believe we had discussed that within the task force as well as at the State Leadership Training. I was unable to find it within the document. Teacher education represents varied institutions and individual uniqueness should be embraced and celebrated, not reduced to total uniformity. Thank you.
Karen Verbeke
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Karen A. Verbeke
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Posts: 1

Re: ACSR State Policy Priorities

Postby Kathryn Moran » July 25th, 2013, 10:23 am

Just lost everything by saving my draft xx***##! I agree with Jill Shedd that we would want the states to support various pilots for partnership/mentoring and not be too prescriptive there.

Re: equitable pathways: Let's say something about teachers-in-training experimenting on at risk kids. I think that argument has worked well when made in CA courts.
Do we actually want to call for teacher performance assessment, e.g. edTPA in this document? I think that paragraph does that.

Re: Program accountability: Let's say that program evaluation to be DESIGNED and conducted in a transparent manner.... I would also put the 3rd paragraph before the second as the second is more explanation of the position taken in the 3rd.

Re: Data systems: As new teacher evaluation systems are being incorporated do we want to ask that this type of data be available to us, through collaboration with collective bargaining or somehow? I think those systems, at least from what we are seeing in Indiana will more closely align with our preparation objectives than straight student achievement data and thus will tell us more.

Re: Selectivity: I agree with Tracy that we have to acknowledge this discussion. I wonder if the last sentence could include language like: "...who will be able to exercise professional judgement as they admit individuals they deem......? I don't favor the idea of cohort averages as CAEP is suggesting so I would prefer not to see that option here. Thanks for the opportunity to weigh in.
Kathryn Moran
University of Indianapolis
Posts: 3

Re: ACSR State Policy Priorities

Postby Michelle Johnston » July 29th, 2013, 3:35 pm

I commend the staff at AACTE for writing such a complete and professional document because the document recognizes the need for a teaching force that is well-developed through rigorous experiences in clinical settings. Novice educators need support to mature and develop into excellent teachers who can improve outcomes. However, this support means dynamic and strong partnerships which work together to support the novice teachers.

I also agree with the cautionary note about linking performance to high stakes testing. Multiple, authentic assessments have the potential to provider more meaningful pictures of teacher performances.

Michelle Johnston
Michelle Johnston
Ferris State University
Posts: 1

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