Category Archives: General

edTPA

edTPA Data Help Ensure Readiness to Teach

Dr. Diana Lys, Director of the Office of Assessment and Accreditation

I recently had the pleasure and honor of delivering the keynote address for the 2015 edTPA Mid-Atlantic Implementation Conference in Towson, Maryland. As a longtime supporter and champion of observation- and performance-based educator preparation and assessment, I was eager to share with peers from across the nation who are at different places on their journey with edTPA.

First, I wanted to commend each person for being there. By the virtue of their attendance and leadership, participants were helping shift the negative tone of dialogue around teacher preparation by highlighting innovative practices and committing to positive change. At the core of the narrative is a shared rallying call to ensure each teacher candidate enters tomorrow’s classroom ready to teach.

Quality teacher preparation matters, and too much external criticism of teacher preparation exists for the field to be fighting against itself. As a field, we have a moral obligation to prepare the best possible beginning teachers for school children; to ensure each graduate is ready for his or her first day of school. edTPA is a positive, uniting step forward.

For example, teacher educators are practically drowning in data. Yet what are we doing with it? In a program without actionable teacher candidate performance data, program improvement efforts often lack momentum or direction. At East Carolina University, our faculty were convinced our students were well prepared, but we couldn’t prove it. Something was missing. That something was a shared, validated summative assessment confirming the program’s outcomes.

Common Data Get Oars “Rowing in Unison”

Today, we use edTPA data to plan our program-improvement journey. By using a common performance assessment, all of the institution’s oars begin rowing in unison. The educative nature of edTPA helps programs to identify strengths and gaps and offers direction for improvements.

edTPA data help to build a culture of inquiry; again, the educative nature of edTPA has a uniting power for faculty, bringing them together to examine candidate portfolios and to assess their programs at a deeper level. In many ways, edTPA helped to break down the tall, isolating silos in teacher education.

edTPA is one improvement that launched others. We are developing new embedded signature assessments as formative metrics prior to edTPA. We are reconceptualizing our clinical practice through a 2:1 coteaching model, and early data and partner feedback are very positive.

As director of assessment and accreditation, I can’t underscore enough the power and value of edTPA in our accreditation process for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation—a process that builds like a wave. edTPA was an essential uniting factor across our educator preparation programs, allowing us to surf that wave rather than letting it pummel us into the sand. With the right leadership, edTPA:

  • Provides valid and reliable candidate performance data
  • Fosters a culture of evidence in your teacher preparation program
  • Informs evidence-based program improvement

Let’s Not Waste Our Time

In a recent commencement speech to her son’s graduating class, ABC news correspondent Martha Raddatz said, “Don’t waste your time on those who don’t bring out the best in you.”

Similarly, let’s not waste our time on assessments that don’t bring out the best in our candidates and our programs. Let’s not waste our time on assessments that don’t inform our program improvement efforts and that fail to drive our programs in a positive direction.

Let’s focus the energy of our people, our program improvement efforts, and our analysis on data that are valid, reliable, and content and context specific.

And finally, let’s not be silent about what is best—what matters for the field. Make our voices heard as we endeavor to expand our reach with edTPA—blog, tweet, post, share your stories.

This article was also published to the EdPrepMatters blog at http://edprepmatters.net/2015/06/member-voices-edtpa-data-help-ensure-readiness-to-teach/

Delilah Jackson

Dr. Delilah Jackson, 3-time Alumna, Named Superintendent of Washington County Schools

Dr. Delilah Jackson has been a long-time Pirate, earning her BS in Elementary Education, MAEd in Educational Leadership, and EdD in Educational Leadership all in the College of Education at East Carolina University.

Since earning her teaching license, she has served the children and parents of Pitt county, as a teacher,  assistant principal, principal, and finally worked her way up to Assistant Superintendent. “Pitt County Schools has been my teacher for 25 years,” Jackson said in a news release. “I am thankful for all who have been a part of my journey. I will miss each and every person that has had an impact on my life as educator in this school system.”

After 25 years, she is going to step out of Pitt county to move into the role of Superintendent of Washington County Schools. “My new role as superintendent of Washington County Schools will allow me to expand my impact on the lives of children,” Dr. Jackson said. “I am excited about my new opportunity, and I am looking forward to serving the students, parents, and community of Washington County.”

SECU Partnership East Group Picture

SECU Partnership East Welcomes New Cohorts from across the State

On Saturday, June 6, 2015, the College of Education welcomed four cohorts who will be joining State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) Partnership East this summer and fall. Students spent the day in Speight Building learning about their new majors in elementary and special education from College of Education advisors and faculty members. In addition, these new teacher education students toured the Teaching Resource Center in Joyner Library as well as spent time getting to know their new advisors and fellow cohort members.

SECU Partnership East students will begin their degree programs this summer or in the fall where they will take courses online with East Carolina University faculty. Intrusive advising and field placements in the students’ home-counties are incorporated into the SECU Partnership East degree completion programs. The goal of SECU Partnership East is to grow teachers close to home to provide access to teacher education degrees in rural areas. This year marks the 13th year of Partnership East which has graduated 655 teachers since its inception in 2002. Students in the new cohorts live primarily in rural eastern North Carolina but this newest crop of future teachers also includes individuals from the piedmont and mountain regions of North Carolina.

The new cohort orientation offered participants an opportunity to interact with their advisor and fellow students with whom they will learn in a variety of virtual platforms over the next few years. One participant shared, “I love the energy today. I’m so excited to get started and I’m glad I chose ECU! I feel better being able to meet everyone…it will make it easier for when we are online.” Students were also provided with detailed information about resources at East Carolina to include financial aid, library resources, and other academic support systems for distance education students.

SECU Partnership East involves a partnership between East Carolina University, North Carolina community colleges, and public school systems. Students can pursue degrees in elementary education and special education general curriculum. Beginning in 2016, middle grades education with language arts and social studies concentration will be offered. The degrees are offered in a part-time format for all 3 degrees with full-time options available for elementary education. To qualify, students must have prerequisite coursework from a North Carolina community college as well as meet testing and grade requirements. For more information about SECU Partnership East, interested individuals are encouraged to visit: www.ecu.edu/pe or contact Dr. Laura Bilbro-Berry at bilbroberryl@ecu.edu or 252-328-1123.

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College of Education Alumni lead the pack of East Carolina University Alumni on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has ventured into the higher education world in a way that allows institutions to connect not only with alumni and current students but with prospective students as well. It has gathered data from all profiles where education has been associated with East Carolina University and allowed the data to be searchable. If you go to ECU’s Higher Education LinkedIn page you will see that COE grads are on top of the list for where they work and what they doECU LinkedIn profile

Guilford County Teacher Expo

Guilford County School’s 2015 Teacher Expo Ready to Hire Graduates

Around the country, thousands of college seniors are making their final preparations to enter the workforce as a professional educator. As the third largest school district in North Carolina, Guilford County Schools has many opportunities for new teachers. They seek the most passionate and well-trained teachers. Due to their dedication to hiring and retention, they are hosting a unique comprehensive hiring event on Monday May, 11 staring at 9:00 A.M. at the downtown Marriott in Greensboro, called the “Get in the Game” 2015 Teacher Expo.

This FREE event is specifically for teachers who desire an opportunity to meet face-to-face with over 80 Guilford County principals with available positions. On hand will be representatives from their Benefits, Curriculum and Professional Development departments. There will also be information about their unique Mission Possible program, GCS-ACT and Lateral Entry licensure. Area vendors will also be on hand to provide information about relocation services to Guilford County.

All that is required of graduates is to register and be prepared to be hired on the spot, as Guilford County’s HR staff is prepared to process on site all teachers who receive letters of intent. So please get your resume ready and decide which school in Guilford County you would like to begin your career!

Students can register via this link: http://bit.ly/GCSTeacherExpoReg

SPED_3006

SPED 3006 Students Present at Exceptional Children Directors’ Meeting

On Friday, May 1st, students in SPED 3006 (Augmentative and Alternative Communication for Students with Disabilities) presented their communication projects to the quarterly meeting of Exceptional Children (EC) Directors held at the Sadie Saulter Center in Greenville. Approximately 40 EC directors were in attendance for the day-long meeting. Students worked throughout the semester to create a multimodal communication device for a learner with complex communication needs ranging in age from 4 years to 18 years.

In collaboration with the learner’s teacher or parents, students assessed the learner’s communication needs, and then developed an individualized communication device for them. The communication devices ranged from high tech apps for the iPad to low tech eye gaze boards and a gesture dictionary. All students agreed that a poster presentation of their work to the EC Directors was a good place to demonstrate what they had learned this semester. For their part, the EC Directors were enthusiastic about the students’ work and in the professional demeanor in which the students conducted themselves.

Greene Central High School

Greene Central HS showing their Purple and Gold

On National College Signing Day at Greene Central High School, seniors and faculty celebrated by wearing shirts from the college they attended or would be attending in the fall. Principal Patrick Greene couldn’t resist getting a picture, “I saw so much purple and gold throughout the day. . . Keep sending me Pirate Grads!”

Founders_Day_2015

COE Winners and Nominees for the 2015 Founder’s Day Celebration

Achievements of East Carolina University’s faculty and staff took center stage at the sixth annual Founders Day and University Awards Celebration on April 29 in Hendrix Theatre.

Serving as master of ceremonies, Provost Ron Mitchelson welcomed attendees. “It makes us all especially proud to share recognition of the very best of our faculty and staff today,” he said. “Congratulations to all the nominees and recipients; you do reside at the very heart of this great university.”

Below is a listing of the recipients and nominees from the College of Education.

  • University Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching
    • Dr. Scott Glass, Nominee
  •  UNC Board of Governors Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award
    • Dr. Caitlin Ryan, Recipient
    • Dr. Patricia Slagter van Tryon, Nominee
  • Scholar-Teacher Award
    • Dr. Bill Sugar, Recipient
  •  ECU Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Teaching
    • Dr. Kaye Dotson, Nominee
  •  Max Ray Joyner Award for Outstanding Teaching in Distance Education
    • Dr. Bill Sugar, Recipient
    • Dr. Steven Schmidt, Nominee
    • Dr. Patricia Slagter van Tryon, Nominee
  •  Centennial Awards for Excellence
    • Ambition
      • Dr. Katherine O’Connor, Recipient
      • Dr. Barbara Brehm, Recipient
    • Leadership
      • Dr. Dorothy Muller, Recipient
    • Spirit
      • Dr. Alana Zambone, Recipient

Servire Society Inductees

Servire Society InducteesFor more information, see the full article on the ECU News Blog.

BoB

Sampson County Battle of the Books Team Led by Coaches with COE Connections

For the first time in Sampson County Schools history, a Battle of the Books (BOB) team will be one of the eight teams competing in the State competition. Over 500 teams across North Carolina read a list of books and competed in quiz-bowl-style tournaments. Roseboro-Salemburg Middle School is the first team in Sampson County to place first in both the District and Region 4 competitions.

The Roseboro-Salemburg Middle School team is led by two of East Carolina University’s own. Catina Iverson, the school’s media specialist, is a current recipient of the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and is a candidate in the Master of Library Science program. Olivia Hall, a sixth grade language arts teacher, is a 2011 Teaching Fellow and Summa Cum Laude graduate of East Carolina’s Middle Grades Education program with a concentration in language arts and social studies.

The middle school team will be representing Region 4 at the State competition on May 15th, 2015.

Captain Arrrgh Headshot

From The TRC: Searching For Lexile Scores

It’s April, and a new edition of From the TRC is published to highlight another service or resource Joyner Library’s Teaching Resources Center has to support the College of Education’s faculty and students. In our final post of the school year we’ll cover the Lexile framework and how the TRC has made it easier to search our collection using Lexile text measures.

Overview of Lexile Text Measures

Lexile text measures are based on the semantic and syntactic elements of a text. For example, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (the first book in the Harry Potter series) measures 880L, so it’s called an 880 Lexile book.  Remember, the Lexile text measure should only be used as a starting point in the book selection process.  Other factors, such as a book’s content, the age and interests of the reader, and the design of the actual book should also influence your choice. The TRC also has a Reading Level Conversion Chart to help you convert Accelerated Reader (AR) or Fountas & Pinnell (F&P) text levels to Lexile scores.

Bibliographies

Currently, almost all of the TRC’s printed bibliographies (noted with an * on our website) also contain the title’s Lexile score whenever possible.  We will continue to update the remainder of our bibliographies over the summer as well as provide each title with a brief annotation. See the following example from our Informational Text bibliography:
Informational Text Screen Shot_Crop

Searching the Catalog

Beginning this past January, all new books entering the TRC’s collection have had their Lexile number added to their catalog description. View the catalog description for “Great Women of the Civil War” as an example:Great Women Description

Unfortunately, users cannot search for ranges at this time, but, since Lexile text measures are rounded to the nearest 10L, you can use the classic catalog to search up to four (4) Lexile numbers at a time. Simply type “650 Lexile”, “660 Lexile”, “670 Lexile” and “680 Lexile” into the search boxes. Make sure you choose “Keyword anywhere” from each drop down menu on the left of the search box and the “OR” operator from the drop down menu on the right. You can also limit the search to the “Joyner Teaching Resources Collection.”  Here is an example:Sample Lexile Search
Of course, if you need assistance, the TRC staff is always willing to lend a helping hand.

Until next time…Dan Z. in the TRC

Click here to view the archive of all From the TRC posts.