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2008 AACTE Annual Meeting & Exhibits, February 7-10, 2008, Hilton New Orleans Riverside
Quality Matters: Our Commitment to All Learners

Over the years, AACTE has established a legacy of addressing quality matters in the preparation and support of teachers, counselors, and educational leaders. This tradition continues with the 2008 Annual Meeting, which will showcase AACTE member institutions in action through presentations and sessions on matters of quality related to equity, access and advocacy, collaboration, innovation, and accountability and impact. Given the current context in which quality matters more than ever to the public and to the profession, this year's theme is designed to provide opportunities for demonstrating and sharing evidence of quality programs and outcomes for educator candidates and for all students.

Strand I. Quality Matters in Equity, Access, and Advocacy
To serve all learners, educators must attend carefully to issues relating to access and advocacy. Those who prepare teachers, and those who wish to teach, must advance quality by appreciating the strength and value of diversity within the profession. If programs that prepare educators are to reach their full potential, they must undertake bold and creative approaches to be inclusive of all members of the learning community and the profession. AACTE encourages evidence-based proposals that address a range of equity, access, and advocacy issues from multiple perspectives and that make recommendations for actions that honor the profession's commitment to all learners.
Proposals in this strand might address some of these key questions:
  • How are programs opening access to teaching for those who have been historically underrepresented in the profession?
  • What are the special issues and innovative approaches related to recruiting and retaining diverse populations in teacher education programs?
  • What evidence supports the efficacy of social justice-focused programs?
  • What curricular and programmatic initiatives have been successful in preparing culturally responsive educators?
  • What programs have been successful in intentionally preparing educators for working with students from varying language and cultural backgrounds?
  • What are the notable initiatives that special education professionals contribute to the education community's understanding and practices that support serving all learners?
  • What policies and practices have a significant impact on equity, access, and advocacy for varying groups?
  • What can institutions of higher education do to ensure social justice, as well as to protect the rights and promote the responsibilities of all members of the learning community?
  • What is the responsibility of education leaders in schools of education in closing the achievement gap for all racial and ethnic groups?
  • How can excellence be achieved and maintained through attention to equity, access, and advocacy in the profession?

Strand II. Quality Matters in Collaboration
Schools of education are creating and expanding partnerships across their campuses and locally, nationally, and internationally. AACTE encourages evidence-based proposals that describe collaborations between schools of education and schools of liberal arts and sciences, engineering, health sciences or nursing, social work, law, community colleges, and public and private PK-12 schools. For example, how do such partnerships improve the quality of the teacher preparation experience for candidates? AACTE is also interested in proposals on creative partnerships with local government, businesses, community organizations, and private foundations. These efforts of collaboration can improve the quality of educational outcomes for teacher preparation candidates and the learning outcomes for children in PK-12 schools.
Proposals in this strand might address some of these key questions:
  • What collaborative efforts are being made with colleagues in liberal arts and sciences to improve preparation in the content areas?
  • What collaborative efforts between faculty in education and other academic areas (e.g., arts, sciences, engineering) are creating a more positive climate for teacher preparation programs on campuses?
  • What are the benefits of developing articulation programs with community colleges for the preparation of future teachers?
  • What do mature partnerships with PK-12 schools look like and do in 2008?
  • How do schools of education reach out to local government and community organizations to create positive relationships for improving local schools and to strengthen the preparation of candidates?
  • What role does technology play in the creation and sustainability of innovative partnerships?
  • What are the benefits of reaching out to businesses and their organizations (e.g., chambers of commerce) for building partnerships to improve community schools?
  • What collaborative artnerships are being developed with private PK-12 schools, and do these partnerships differ from those with public schools?
  • What opportunities and examples are there to collaborate with private foundations and other such organizations to improve teacher preparation programs and local PK-12 schools?
  • How might schools of education collaborate with the growing number of education reform initiatives to create new approaches and models to prepare high-quality teachers and to enhance the access of nontraditional candidates to programs?

Strand III. Quality Matters in Innovation
There have been dramatic innovations in teacher preparation and related programs over the past 20 years. AACTE encourages evidence-based proposals that describe innovations in programs for preservice preparation, graduate teacher education, educational leadership, and professional development. Sessions in this strand should focus on innovative programs that improve the quality of access, content and pedagogy, assessment, and professional development for teacher candidates as well as on programs for educational leadership, counseling, and other specialized programs.
Proposals in this strand might address some of these key questions:
  • What examples of innovative practices have been effective in improving candidate performance and student learning?
  • What innovative approaches have been taken to make programs in teacher preparation, counseling, and educational leadership more accessible to greater numbers of diverse candidates?
  • What program innovations have addressed greater accessibility to PK-12 curricula for English-language learners?
  • What examples do we have of quality professional development programs to keep teachers abreast of and implementing best educational practices?
  • How have all professionals working in schools been prepared to collaborate with one another, with families, and with the community?
  • What is the status of graduate education programs for teachers; do they matter?

Strand IV. Quality Matters in Accountability and Impact
As the preparation of educators continues to come under attack from forces both inside and outside the profession, it is vital that teacher educators provide evidence that demonstrates their accountability for high-quality preparation and for the impact their candidates and graduates have on the learning of all students. It is expected in this strand that presenters will provide strong evidence to demonstrate accountability measures that work. AACTE encourages evidence-based proposals that provide descriptive details of critical lessons learned that inform the profession.
Proposals in this strand might address some of these key questions:
  • What data are critical for accountability measures to be effective?
  • How do educators make informed responses to their critics?
  • How do teacher educators know that candidates and graduates have a positive impact on PK-12 student learning?
  • What are the innovative practices in assessing student learning? What data are available to support these practices?
  • How do teacher educators create a culture of evidence, self-assessment, and accountability within schools of education? How does this culture impact the performance of both faculty and candidates?
  • What are the evidence-based results of innovations in the preparation of educators?
  • How have changes in curriculum, field and clinical experiences, admissions processes, and other areas impacted the quality of candidates and graduates?
  • Given the rapid and dramatic changes occurring in today's schools, how are schools of education reflecting these changes and subsequently assessing their impact on preparation programs, candidates, and students?

Proposals are due June 4, 2007.
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