Colorado Bill to Expand Mental Health First Aid Training for Teachers Moves Forward

The Senate Education Committee on Thursday unanimously supported two related bills, one authorizing spending on training for teachers and another that would allow students to take an excused absence for mental health needs, like anxiety or depression. Just as regular first aid courses teach lay people how to staunch bleeding from a wound or perform CPR, mental health first aid trains them how to talk someone through a crisis and recognize warning signs, as well as better understand the resources that are available to people in crisis.

Partnerships Create Pathways to Meet Illinois’ Teacher Shortage

A comprehensive and integrated human resource management strategy is comprised of three components: recruitment, training, and retention. These key components of a strategic plan to meet the teacher shortage in Illinois were presented to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in November 2019, in effort to leverage the state’s higher education system to efficiently train the future educators needed to meet the statewide teacher shortage.

Three State Policy Priorities to Give Every Student Effective, Diverse Teachers

When it comes to ensuring every student gets great teachers, state governments play a crucial and underappreciated role. Without access to the right data, school systems will struggle to match the supply and demand for new teachers. Without certification policies that prioritize student impact over paper credentials, too many talented people will be shut out of the teaching profession. And without pressure to prioritize teacher diversity, many preparation programs simply won’t.

Teacher-Preparation Programs Make Gains in the ‘Science of Reading,’ Review Finds

The number of teacher-preparation programs that teach reading instruction that’s aligned with the greater body of cognitive research has increased significantly over the past seven years, according to a new review. The National Council on Teacher Quality, a Washington-based group that advocates for more rigorous teacher preparation, has released the latest edition of its Teacher Prep Review, which started in 2013 and assigns letter grades to preparation programs across the country. This time, NCTQ evaluated 1,047 traditional elementary teacher-preparation programs (both graduate and undergraduate), along with 58 alternative-certification programs.

DEI Video: Building the Special Education Pipeline

In the next segment of the AACTE Diversity, Equity and Inclusion video series, AACTE members address the critical shortage of special education teachers and how to ensure teachers can effectively serve students with disabilities. The video aligns with AACTE’s strategic priority to advocate for high-quality educator preparation and the inclusion of all students in equitable access and opportunity in PK-20 classrooms. In this DEI video, Building the Special Education Pipeline, leaders in educator preparation consider approaches to increasing the pool of highly qualified special education teachers.

How To Improve The Quality Of Teaching With Tools Districts Already Have At Hand

There is never a shortage of ideas about how to improve the quality of teaching in U.S. classrooms. From the intrusive and convoluted (“Let’s give every student a test and then run the test through a complex mathematical formula and use it to identify the strongest and weakest teachers and then fire the weak ones and replace them with strong ones, somehow”) to the traditional and banal (“Time for a day of professional development sessions that most of you will find boring and useless”), tied to either threats (“We’ll fire you!”) or rewards (“Merit pay!”), school systems and policy makers have come up with a wide variety of approaches that don’t do a bit of good. (Forbes)

Teach Plus Opens Applications for Two of Their 2020-21 Programs

Teach Plus opened applications for two of their 2020-21 programs for teachers who are looking to make an impact beyond their classroom without having to leave their students. 

  • K-12 teachers interested in education policy—The Teaching Policy Fellowship is for educators who want to change the status quo and influence state policies that affect students’ access to excellent teachers and teaching—policies like teacher preparation and licensure, teacher diversity, assessment, discipline, curriculum, education funding, and more. Apply here.
  • ECE teachers interested in spreading innovative practices to other educators—The Kindergarten Readiness Innovator program is for ECE teachers who have an innovative solution to an issue that impacts kindergarten readiness and would like to help spread this practice to other educators in order to positively impact student learning. Selected educators will receive an implementation grant, professional development, leadership coaching, and a stipend. Apply here.

Both applications are due by March 1!