By Sharon P. Robinson, President and CEO, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)
Professional advocacy organizations support their members by helping them advance a collective voice. By articulating a field’s consensus positions, associations empower their members to speak clearly about what they know, identify priorities, invest their energy strategically, and communicate confidently with internal and external audiences.
These unified understandings, which we adjust as research and best practices evolve, help us fulfill our obligation to correct misinformation and to respond to critics—a frequent need in the field of educator preparation. More importantly, though, they provide a foundation for action by the profession and help us recognize areas of need. In educator preparation, we’ve instituted a variety of reforms in recent years that have prompted us to develop new resources to increase our capacity, assess our progress, and inform our knowledge base.
First and foremost, we needed a common measure to allow us to document candidates’ abilities after they completed their preparation program. Without a valid and reliable performance assessment, the field was unable to commonly identify what teacher candidates could actually do ...