Elementary and Secondary Education Act Reauthorization
On April 16, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions unanimously passed the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 – a bipartisan bill that would replace the No Child Left Behind law. The date for a full Senate vote on the bill has not been announced.
In a departure from NCLB, the Every Child Achieves Act would reduce the federal emphasis placed on standardized test scores and give states greater freedom to develop school accountability systems. The bill would prohibit the federal government from mandating or incentivizing use of specific standards, such as the Common Core. Additionally, it would provide resources to address the instructional needs of English learners.
The House Committee on Education and the Workforce passed its own replacement for NCLB earlier this year. However, the House bill was not brought up for full House vote due to concerns that it did not do enough to reduce the federal government’s role in P -12 education.
The full text of the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 is available at:
Teacher Education Program Accreditation
When NCATE and TEAC merged to form CAEP, the goal was not merely to consolidate operational structures. Rather CAEP’s formation was viewed as an opportunity to raise the performance standards of teacher candidates entering the field and to elevate the overall stature of the profession by making teacher preparation programs more rigorous, responsive to a range of stakeholder interests, and consistent with 21st Century imperatives. CAEPs’ Standards for Accreditation are central to this goal, and they encompass providing candidates with appropriate content knowledge and instructional approaches (Standard 1); developing and maintaining strong clinical partnerships with P – 12 schools (Standard 2); selecting diverse and academically talented candidates (Standard 3); demonstrating that program graduates are positively impacting P - 12 student learning (Standard 4); and maintaining effective quality control systems (Standard 5).
With CAEP as the only national accrediting body for teacher education programs, institutions now find themselves in a common position. They are closely examining the form and substance of their programs according to CAEP’s new framework of standards and its concomitant requirement that documentation be generated and cataloged as evidence of standard attainment. Responses to CAEP’s standards and procedural requirements for accreditation have been mixed. While teacher-educators generally view this new system for accreditation as an opportunity to enrich aspects of their existing programs, there have been concerns expressed about the limitations and challenges posed by CAEP standards (Sawchuk, 2015). Yet, there is little doubt that CAEP is positioned to have an expansive effect on how teacher candidates are selected and prepared for work in our nation’s schools.
Learn more and join the discussion…
Over the next few months, Legislative & Social Issues Committee members look forward to broadening the conversation around literacy and teacher preparation by examining the effects of CAEP standards and evidentiary requirements on teacher education, adult learning, clinical initiatives and college literacy. Please look for upcoming posts and share them with colleagues!
We encourage ALER members to familiarize themselves with CAEP’s Accreditation Standards and guidelines related to substantiating evidence –
CAEP 2013 Standards for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (amended 2015)–
CAEP’s Evidence Guide 2015–
Additionally, ALER members my sign up to receive CAEP updates at
Sawchuk, S. (2015, April 18). Teacher Education Group Airs Criticism of New Accreditor. Education Week. retrieved from http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2015/03/18/teacher-education-group-airs-criticism-of-new.html