Good afternoon everyone and thank you for the opportunity to provide comments to the State Board of Education at your March 3rd Board Meeting.
My name is Dr. Stephen Hegedus and I am the current President of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE-CT). I am also the Dean of the College of Education for Southern Connecticut State University. The AACTE-CT is an association of fourteen public and private colleges and universities that provide Educator Preparation Programs to students interested in the education profession. We promote and strongly support high quality teaching and education in the state’s schools and are advocates for robust educational leadership.
On behalf of the AACTE-CT, thank you to the Board of Education, the Department of Education, especially to those individuals with whom the AACTE-CT works with frequently.
As we all know, COVID continues to impact all of us and the AACTE-CT member institutions, collectively and individually, are continuing to do their best to ensure that Educator Preparation Programs are preparing their undergraduate and graduate students to become outstanding future teachers and educational leaders here in Connecticut.
We also want to express our support for two pieces of legislation the Board and Department of Education have proposed to the Education Committee of the General Assembly. One proposal would modify the Bilingual Education Certification to help address the shortage of bilingual teachers in our state. The other proposal would make changes to the Resident Educator Certificate and are designed to help expand the potential pool of persons interested in becoming a teacher. It would allow applicants enrolled in Master of Arts in Teaching Programs to participate in this Resident Educator Participant program whereas only those enrolled in an Alternative Route to Certification (ARC) program are allowed. I should note there was a concern among some members about removing the 3.0 minimum GPA requirement and the potential for diluting the quality of some teachers that get placed in the field.
Also, regarding edTPA, we largely support edTPA as a valid performance-based assessment used by teacher preparation programs in our state and across the country as one component to show that teacher candidates are prepared to teach before entering the classroom. However, we recognize the cost barriers that edTPA and other administrative fees present to students and support ways to alleviate some of these costs.
As an organization, we want to continue working together with the Department of Education, the Board, and the various educational stakeholders such as the Connecticut Association of Public-School Superintendents, the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, and other education organizations where appropriate. Please continue to feel free to reach out to our association on issues of mutual interest. Thank you again for the opportunity to address the Board.
Stephen J. Hegedus, Ph.D.
President, AACTE-CT Chapter
Dean, College of Education
Southern Connecticut State University
501 Crescent Street,
New Haven, CT 06515
+1 (203) 392-5900