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February 2010 Archives

TERI Update for the Week of February 15th, 2010

Welcome to the third installment of the TERI Update. We hope to use this regular email communication as a way to keep all of us informed about works in progress, deliberations, decisions, and events related to the Teacher Education Redesign Initiative. This update is particularly long since three weeks have passed since the last update in January.

Spring / Summer Working Dates Set
Please hold the following dates on your calendar as TERI working dates. These are not over-night retreats and the location will be announced soon.

May 17 and 18
June 10 and 11

During these working dates, we will bring task groups, program area faculty and staff, and school partner representatives together to share progress, examine proposals from task groups, and work together on details of the partnerships. We understand that licensure program orientations are on the 18th and we will be working around that schedule, planning some large group updates and report outs along with some smaller working group and program area-specific time. Please let us know if you have ideas for what you would like to see designed for this time together.

Welcome Kathy Byrn as Partnership Coordinator
Kathy Byrn has been hired as the temporary partnership coordinator. We are very excited to have her expertise and passion!! The position description for the partnership coordinator has been posted and we plan to have a full time person in place this summer. If you are interested in this position posting, please contact Carole Gupton at cgupton@umn.edu

Partnership Meetings Set
Three meetings with partnership districts have been set. Kathy Byrn is coordinating these meetings and will be sending out additional information to program areas.

Meeting 1 - To define the range of Professional Development School (PDS) partnerships
The meeting will take place Tuesday, February 23, from 10am-12pm, and Forest Lake will host this first meeting in their District Board Room at 6100 N. 210th Street, 55025

Meeting 2 - To determine the criteria for selecting school sites
The second meeting will be Thursday, March 4, from 10am-12pm and Minneapolis will host at the Webster Complex, room 221 B, located at 425 5th St. NE, 55413.

Meeting 3 - To determine the criteria for selecting cooperating teachers
The third meeting will take place on Wednesday, March 10, from 11am-2pm (box lunches will be provided). This is a longer meeting and one where we think attendance of teachers will be vital. Details on the location will follow.

Program Area Support for TERI Curriculum Development
The Curriculum and Assessment Task Group has been working hard on developing an overarching teacher licensure structure with some new configurations for common content knowledge, core performance assessments, and flexibility for program areas. We should have the overall structural elements designed by the end of spring semester and opportunity for broader review and input at the May working session. We would like to give program areas opportunities to spend time during the summer 2010 to take up program-specific curriculum planning with support from the TERI grant. Each program area will have access to up to $5,000 of support for curriculum development activities (e.g., individual's time, new resources, group meetings, cross-program collaborations) contingent on work plan proposals that will be specific to the program area needs. Program areas can start to plan ahead now for time in the summer. Details about the work plan proposals to receive the funding will follow soon.

LSP Discusses Professional Development School Models
At the February 1 Licensed School Professional meeting, Julie Kalnin and Misty Sato led the group in a discussion about professional development school models. If you are interested in this discussion, please see the LSP meeting notes at http://intranet.cehd.umn.edu/lsp/calendar.html. The case study we read and the NCATE Standards for Professional Development Schools is posted on the TERI NING site.

CEHD Chairs Briefed on TERI
On February 11, Misty Sato from C&I, Peter Demerath from OLPD, and Margaret Kelly from PSTL briefed the CEHD Department Chairs and Dean about TERI progress based on the retreat and ongoing conversations about institutional issues that have been brought out in discussions (see below). The Chairs actively took up the discussion and pointed out that some of the same issues are coming in the 2020 Vision planning. Several of the Chairs will receive a copy of the book, Preparing Teachers for a Changing World, at their request.

Questions Presented to the CEHD Department Chairs for Discussion

What are the implications of TERI for work across the departments in the college? What considerations can be made for the following points?

  • • Cultivating relationships with departments and programs that have not had an active role in teacher preparation--e.g., Family Social Sciences and Family, Youth, & Community program in C&I
  • • Recruiting and preparing educational administrators
  • • Teacher leadership development
  • • School social work and school counseling preparation
  • • Research opportunities for faculty and doctoral students

    What are the ramifications of changing our teacher preparation program structure to one that is more integrated in school sites or increases the clinical work expected of candidates?
  • • If course curriculum does not follow a traditional university semester schedule or is taught as part of a school-university partnership, how will we manage faculty teaching loads, attribute tuition, and reward faculty?
  • • How will the CEHD / university recognize and reward the work that is done in partnership with schools? Is this scholarship, teaching, service or a hybrid model?
  • • How can we best draw upon the expertise of our faculty during the curriculum design process?
  • • How do we balance the overall programmatic needs in preparing teachers with the academic freedom for faculty to choose content in their fields of expertise?
  • • How do we become more intentional about the selection of school-based staff to work with pre-service teachers?
  • • What reward structures are valuable for partner teachers? Clinical faculty?

  • How should we recruit candidates?

  • • What do we need to do to increase the avenues of entry for underrepresented groups?
  • • What are the barriers for targeted groups?
  • • What admission criteria provide evidence of teaching / learning success for candidates?
  • • What are we doing to be both welcoming and supportive in ways that will keep students of color in the programs?
  • • How do we honor non-traditional students in both our recruitment and our program design (esp. if they have jobs or other obligations that make intensive work in schools difficult or impossible)--Scholarships? Flexible scheduling?
  • • Can / should we tailor our program admission to meet the hiring needs of our partner school districts?

    Program Area Meetings Still Underway
    Martha Bigelow and Misty Sato have been meeting with program areas to discuss current practices that we can build on in the TERI work and ongoing developments in TERI. So far, they have met with Social Studies, Second Languages & Cultures, Culture and Teaching, Mathematics, Music, Family Youth & Community. The meetings have been generative in connecting current program practices with new structures (e.g., partnerships, performance assessments, integrating common curriculum throughout a candidate's experience).

    Research Task Group Update
    The Research Task Group met on February 9. They are continuing to develop a logic model that encompasses the long-term and short-term goals of TERI and how the planned activities flow toward those goals. The group is currently planning to structure the model so that a variety of research perspectives / approaches will be honored as individual and collective research opportunities are identified. Contact Lori Helman for more information: lhelman@umn.edu

    Curriculum & Assessment Group Update
    The Curriculum & Assessment Task Group met on February 15 and has been actively using the NING site. Building off of the year-long integrated model of teacher preparation that emerged from the retreat, the group discussed a potential model from providing program area flexibility while integrating common content throughout the teacher candidate's experience. Martha Bigelow characterized the model as vertically (program area content and common content) and horizontally (across time) integrated.

    Memorandum of Understanding with Bush Foundation
    The TERI Leadership Team has been actively working on the memorandum of understanding between the U and the Bush Foundation. This document establishes our benchmarks for the coming year and the release of funds from the Bush Foundation to support those goals. Task Group Chairs have been updated on the timelines for this work. We are still moving toward the following overall timeline:


    Design
    Jan--May 2010: Task Groups and LSP developing recommendations for recruitment & admission, curriculum & assessment, partnership development, and research processes and structures.

    May 17,18 and June 10, 11: TERI work days for reviewing task group recommendations and refining plans brought forward by Task Groups.

    May--August 2010: Program areas have access to support for program-specific curriculum and assessment development and cross-program common assessment development.

    Pilot, Test, and Build
    2010--2011 Academic year: Professional Development Schools begin some placements of candidates; piloting common assessments; test out and refine new curricular structures/ content; course approval processes.

    Launch
    May 2011: Launch new teacher education design with partnership districts and schools

    TERI External Advisory Board
    The External Advisory Board for TERI met on January 27. The TERI Leadership Team provided an update and summary of the retreat held in January. The discussion question posed for the Advisory Board was centered on communications - how we can better communicate the strengths of our programs publicly while still engaging in ongoing continuous improvement to make our teacher preparation programs even greater and to better serve Minnesota's children. The Advisory Board took this conversation on vigorously, pointing out that the world has changed and so must education--at all levels. We must be proactive and not reactive to changes happening around us and we should communicate that this change is not a result of broken programs, but an effort to do what we do best even better. They also pointed out that stories have power in communicating ideas and ideals.

    Resources
    Two new resources have just been released and might be of interest:

    1. Educator Preparation: A Vision for the 21st Century is a white paper from the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education that is currently circulating in draft form: http://aacte.org/email_blast/president_e-letter/files/02-16-2010/Educator%20Preparation%20and%2021st%20Century%20Skills%20DRAFT%20021510.pdf

    2. Mary Kennedy has edited a new handbook titled Teacher Assessment and the Quest for Teacher Quality (2010) published by Wiley. http://www.wiley-vch.de/publish/dt/books/forthcomingTitles/ED00/0-470-38833-1/?sID=bn4f4e9ljkhsbbv8p02jsooii3

    TERI will have a few copies of this book to circulate to those who are interested.


  • On Feb. 5, more than 200 of Minnesota's top education leaders and policymakers met at the University of Minnesota to discuss how to develop, measure, and support teacher effectiveness and quality. The question is a timely one. Federal and state policy measures--Race to the Top and Q Comp, for example--tie education funding to teacher quality. Additionally, teacher effectiveness has been found to be the most important school-based variable affecting student achievement.

    Hosted by the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development and moderated by Karen Seashore, the Robert H. Beck Professor of Ideas in Education, a panel of state and national experts shared perspectives from across the spectrum of the education industry. Panel members included Misty Sato, who holds the new Carmen Starkson Campbell Endowed Chair in Education; Bush Foundation President Peter Hutchinson; St. Paul Public Schools Superintendent Valeria Silva, Teach for America President Matthew Kramer; and Garnet Franklin, education issues specialist for Education Minnesota.

    Sato laid out the research on teacher quality and charged the audience to think of investing in teacher quality as an investment in children. She focused on the teaching profession as a cycle, from recruitment and preparation, early career support, and ongoing professional development. The ultimate goal, she said, is for the most effective, experienced teachers to become master teachers who can help those who are new to the profession.

    She highlighted a number of teacher effectiveness initiatives nationwide, including two at the University's College of Education and Human Development. The Teacher Support Partnership--a collaboration between the college, the Minnesota Department of Education, Education Minnesota, and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities--has developed guidelines for supporting early career teachers. The college's Teacher Education Redesign Initiative (TERI) is building partnerships with the schools where graduates of the teacher preparation program will teach.

    "TERI is as much about developing schools into places of professional support and learning as it is about redesigning teacher preparation at the U," Sato said.
    As part of TERI, the college is also the lead institution among state teacher preparation programs working with the Minnesota Department of Education on a national pilot assessment for pre-service teachers.

    The panel members followed with their perspectives on teacher quality, based in their individual positions and experiences in the education field. Bush Foundation President Peter Hutchinson reiterated the call for ongoing partnerships between Pre-K-12 schools and districts and colleges of education. The foundation has funded TERI with a $4.5 million grant--part of a $40 million investment in seven regional higher education partners over the next 10 years. The overall Bush initiative promotes ongoing collaboration between preparation programs, which track and guarantee their graduates' effectiveness, and school districts.

    "This relationship in which the two sides are really working on one problem is absolutely essential," Hutchinson said, "and in many ways this is the most profound policy change we need to see. We need to actually integrate the work of the higher education system with the work of the K-12 system in order for this to work successfully."

    Hutchinson and the other panel members also sounded the need for preparing teachers for the reality of the classrooms they face today, where students may face high poverty or speak a language other than English at home. Silva, Franklin and others also highlighted the need for an ongoing system-wide commitment to teacher professional development.

    The panel then addressed a number of issues posed by Seashore related to attracting and retaining high quality teachers and specific policy recommendations to meet those challenges. Though some disagreed on controversial topics such as tenure and alternative teacher preparation, they all expressed their commitment and urgency towards solving the complex challenges of an educational system that does not work for all students. They also repeated the vitality of cooperation across higher education, pre-K-12 and state systems.

    Sato warned against playing the blame game. "We have to bring together expertise in higher education, in districts, at the state level, and work on different parts of the system simultaneously with some leadership and coordination," she said. Sato called for policymakers to provide a way to coordinate pockets of quality work already underway in colleges and classrooms.

    For information on the CEHD Policy Breakfast Series, see http://www.cehd.umn.edu/policy/

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