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The president of the Washington Association of Colleges for Teacher Education(WACTE) today said a national survey of colleges of education has missed the chance to improve teacher preparation education programs. WACTE President Connie Lambert said a review, sponsored by US News & World Report, relies on program inputs—syllabi, textbooks, and handbooks—but overlooks results, such as degree completion, student teaching performance, state tests of teacher candidates, and employment. US News & World Report is expected to release results of its survey in April.
“The US News survey relied on inputs and ignored performance,” said Lambert, dean of the Central Washington University College of Education. “Washington’s teacher preparation programs have extensive performance data that the survey could have used instead of focusing on inputs that don’t predict or measure what teachers know and are able to do.”
Lambert said inputs, such as course syllabi, were routinely used as the primary means of assessing teacher preparation back in the 1970s. Since then, in the interest of enhancing the utility and accuracy of assessments, CWU and most of the nation’s other top colleges of education have moved to more sophisticated measurements, based on student performance. These comprehensive data systems were available but not included in the survey, conducted for US News by National Council on Teacher Quality.
For example, the Washington Educator Skills Test-Endorsements (WEST-E) measures content knowledge by subject area. Every teacher candidate must pass the test before being certified to teach in Washington. From 2009 through 2012 the state rates for passing the WEST-E improved across all content areas, including an increase from 85 to 90 percent for middle-level math endorsements.
Lambert said the US News survey also failed to consider an innovative new way of evaluating teacher candidates, the Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA). Piloted at CWU, the TPA now is in effect at all 21 teacher preparation programs in Washington. Partners in the new assessment include Washington’s Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB), Washington State Board of Education, Washington Student Achievement Council, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Washington State Legislature.
The colleges and agencies have built a robust set of performance data that identified best practices that produce positive results in K-12 teaching and learning. The TPA looks at actual performance and work products at the end of a student’s education. Teacher candidates must collect evidence of teaching competence. Video, lesson plans, student work samples, and other work products form a portfolio examined and scored by master teachers.
“Students must prove they’re ready to teach before they graduate,” said Lambert, adding that all teacher preparation programs regularly open their records and reports to legitimate state and federal review agencies.
Teacher preparation programs prepare for comprehensive analyses and reviews by a variety of agencies and organizations. In Washington, the PESB reviews preparation programs every five years, and digs deep into college data to analyze results.
Lambert added that meaningful performance data about teacher education preparation in Washington is available to the public on individual college websites, and collectively on the PESB website.
Jim DePaepe, WACTE policy research analyst, said colleges collaborate closely with the state PESB to track graduates from university admission through their first job in a K-12 classroom. Colleges can measure how students are performing in school, how quickly they’re progressing, and whether they’re ready for student teaching.
“We’re now working on predictability models using data collected at pre-admission and continuing through performance in the classroom,” said DePaepe, director of the CWU Office of Research, Evaluation, and Assessment, who developed a comprehensive performance database for CWU that houses scores on 20,479 WEST-B and 6,297 WEST-E scores for 36 endorsements areas.
“It would be quicker and easier to just collect syllabi and course schedules, but comprehensive performance data does a better job of helping us understand what graduates know and are able to do—and that’s what counts,” said DePaepe.
Colleges of education also provide comprehensive data about teacher performance to the federal Department of Education for inclusion in the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. Many colleges also provide detailed data to recognized and accountable assessment agencies, including the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, Teacher Education Accreditation Council, and American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. Information within all of these agencies is open to public examination.
Sitting at his computer at the head of class one recent morning, Zillah High School teacher Jeff Charbonneau navigates a computer program that allows him to design a shelf.
Selecting images, the 35-year-old begins to draft 3-D plans for a shelf measuring about 6 inches long and 4 inches wide. His 14 students follow along on their computers, which are networked to his.
Next, he explains stress factors of the shelf’s design and asks how much weight should the shelf be able to support. (READ MORE…)
Central Washington University officials are meeting with community members to consider the future of the chimpanzees at the Chimpanzee and Hum…
Central Washington University’s Emergency Medical Technician-ParamedicineProgram had its annual report accepted with high praise from its national regulatory agency, the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP).
According to the review, “The CoAEMSP is pleased to inform you that your report was received and was found to be consistent with the Committee’s expectations at this stage. Program faculty are to be commended for their efforts. All outcomes thresholds were met.”
As of January 1, 2013, all paramedic education programs in the United States are required to become accredited. In addition, all accredited paramedicine programs are required to submit an Annual Report (AR) that includes program information, results of the specific outcomes assessments, and the program’s analyses and action plans to address any sub-threshold results in those outcomes.
“We’ve worked hard to create a superior program and we are beginning to become recognized nationwide for our efforts” said Keith Monosky, director of the paramedicine program.
CWU’s EMS-Paramedicine Program has been training individuals in prehospital emergency medical care since 1973 and is one of only a few baccalaureate degree-awarding paramedic programs in the country accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). It was also one of the first programs to be accredited by CAAHEP.
The EMS-Paramedicine Program provides comprehensive education in paramedicine with an unparalleled depth and breadth of scope. It boasts a five-year 96 percent pass-rate on the National Registry Exam for Paramedics, with nearly 90 percent passing on their first attempt. In addition, virtually all CWU graduates get placement into their chosen profession.
Central Washington University has announced that it will backfill any cuts occurring to university students. CWU anticipates cuts to Work Study and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) will amount to about $14,300.
Cuts to federal spending associated with “sequestration” began today, March 1.
CWU President James L. Gaudino says that the university will offset any reductions in those programs for university students this academic year, which will end in June, and also for the 2013-14 academic year.
“We want our students to know now that CWU will make sure the federal funding they’re counting on will be there for them,” Gaudino said. “As a university where nearly three-fourths of our students rely on some sort of aid, this is the appropriate and responsible course of action for us to take.”
No reductions are anticipated for funding to the federal Pell Grant Program, which provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduates. However increased pressure on the federal budget may place at risk the ability to keep up with increases in tuition, which has replaced state support as the primary funding source for public higher education.
Other programs slated for federal cuts include TRIO programs, which help prepare and provide services to low-income and minority students before and during college. These discretionary programs within the US Department of Education include the High School Equivalency Program (HEP), College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), Educational Opportunity Center (EOC), Student Support Services (SSS), Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), and the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program.
It is anticipated that funding for these programs could be reduced by 5.1 percent (originally estimated at 8.2 percent) for the 2014 fiscal year. This cut would result in a reduction of $163,416 in federal funds at CWU.
If this reduction were carried through each grant cycle, CWU would experience a loss of an estimated $643,503 over the course of the next five years. If reductions come to fruition, grant programs will either have to reduce the number of students they serve or reduce the services they offer.
Central Washington University’s Department of Language, Literacy, and Special Education now offers the Global Literacy Development Certificate, an online certificate program designed to help its graduates navigate literacy issues locally and on an international scale. It provides a distinct foundation toward the pursuit of a variety of careers–not only in education, but also in business and the sciences.
According to Judy Backlund, program co-director (with Janet Finke), the skills learned in the Global Literacy curriculum will allow individuals to foster literacy in a variety of contexts around the world.
“Global literacy also embraces a cultural literacy, which allows people to be “fluent” in backgrounds and beliefs, in addition to the written word.
“Students can apply the concepts in this program to virtually any community, whether Katmandu, Timbuktu, a reservation in Oklahoma, or an inner city neighborhood in Detroit,” said Backlund, who has taught in many countries, including South Sudan and China. “No matter where they are, individuals want to better themselves, and literacy is the cornerstone of that improvement.”
Backlund points out that the special studies section of the certificate is focused on adult literacy—“there is a real pull towards teaching adults to read and write.” She notes that literacy can have profound impacts in small ways, such as being able to read dosing instructions on a medicine bottle.
The 18-credit program is designed to prepare individuals to work in communities locally and around the world to promote literacy growth. Certificate holders will have the basic, foundational knowledge about literacy development as well as organizational communication skills to support, sustain, and enhance literacy.
Although the certificate program can stand alone, the credits earned can be applied toward a minor in literacy. Individuals may apply for the program beginning in March.
For more information about the Global Literacy Development Certificate, go to http://www.cwu.edu/online-learning/sites/cts.cwu.edu.online-learning/files/docu…; or contact Judy Backlund, 509-963-1715, firstname.lastname@example.org.
CLEVELAND – The Division 2 Athletics Directors Association (D2 ADA) has announced the recipients of the 2013 D2 ADA Lifetime Achievement Award – Kathleen Brasfield, former director of athletics at Angelo State University (ASU) and Jack Bishop, athletics director at Central Washington University (CWU). The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to athletics directors who have exemplified superior achievement during their career at the Division II level.
Bishop has spent the last 13 years at the helm of CWU, completing the university’s transition from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) to NCAA Division II. He previously spent time as athletics director at Southern Utah University (SUU) and assistant (for advancement) to the SUU President. (READ MORE…)
ZILLAH, Wash. — Zillah High School chemistry and physics teacher Jeff Charbonneau is one of four finalists for the National Teacher of the Year Award.
Charbonneau was named this year’s state Teacher of the Year by the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Regional Teacher of the Year by Educational Service District 105. (READ MORE…)
The number of students enrolled in Central Washington University online classes winter quarter nearly quadrupled from the year before, accordi…