Dr. Jori Beck and Colleagues Receive Funding

Dr. Jori Beck, Principal Investigator and Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, secured $218,323 in funding from the State of Nevada to help reform how the State evaluates educator effectiveness.

Co-Principal Investigators include Drs. Michael McCreery and David Vallett, Assistant Professors in the same department. By securing this grant, Beck and her team hope to improve teaching and learning for teachers and students in Nevada, and yield findings that can help address teacher accountability at the national level.

Of the $2 million appropriated by the State of Nevada for SB 474- referred to as the Great Teaching and Leading Fund (SB 474), $1 million was dedicated specifically to the Next Generation Performance Framework (NEPF). The Great Teaching and Leading Fund was created to incentivize professional development and improvements to the educator pipeline; the NEPF, as one initiative supported by SB 474, is a statewide evaluation system that uses student achievement data to inform teacher and building level administrator effectiveness. The Nevada Department of Education website outlines goals of the NEPF as follows:

  • Foster student learning and growth;
  • Improve educator’s instructional practice;
  • Inform human capital decisions based on a professional growth system; and
  • Engage stakeholders in the continuous improvement and monitoring of a professional growth system.

The grant, entitled “Creation of the Nevada Educator Performance Framework (NEPF) Online Training System,” involves the research team creating a system to facilitate NEPF implementation. This process will include initial training of approximately 260 teachers, administrators, and other education professionals- along with concurrent validation procedures for an evaluation instrument. Beck would like to help ensure that the NEPF is used reliably to help teachers and students make accurate high-stakes decisions. She adds, “all teachers should be constantly reflecting [on their teaching] to ensure that they are improving their practice; that’s good teaching.”

Learn more about about Dr. Jori Beck, Dr. Michael McCreery, or Dr. David Vallett

Dean Kim Metcalf elected to AACTE’s Board of Directors

Metcalf will begin a 3-year term beginning March 1, 2016 to the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE).

The Board of Directors determines the policies that guide the program of activities of AACTE and ranges in size from 18 to 25 members, 14 of whom are selected through national elections.

The Board of Directors ranges in size from 18 to 25 members, 14 of whom are selected through national elections. Affiliated groups submit nominations for some seats, while others are at-large positions. Presidents and provosts are appointed, rather than elected, to the Board, and three directors are selected by the Advisory Council of State Representatives. In addition, the president/CEO serves on the Board in an ex-officio capacity.

The Board of Directors determines the policies that guide the program of activities of AACTE. It meets at least twice per year, as mandated in the bylaws, to carry out its many functions in connection with the operation and evaluation of the organization’s national program.

More information on the AACTE Board of Directors can be found at: http://aacte.org/about-aacte/governance

The POWER of Writing

UNLV College of Education faculty lead students to success with writing studio series.

In Fall 2015, Drs. Chyllis Scott and Chad Scott of the Department of Teaching and Learning, along with Dr. Margarita Huerta of the Department of Educational and Clinical Studies, taught a series of four free UNLV POWER writing studios for graduate students. POWER stands for “Promoting Outstanding Writing for Excellence in Research.”

In the sessions students learned empirically-based strategies to help them become more productive and efficient academic writers. Topics included strategies for writing regularly, managing your writing time, reading and writing at the same time, and finding support and feedback. Participants also had time to practice writing during the workshops. Participants have noted that the UNLV POWER writing studios have been helpful for writing a thesis, dissertation, grant, resume/curriculum vitae, class project, homework assignment, and writing in general.

UNLV POWER writing studios are open to all COE students. To learn more about the workshops, contact Dr. Chyllis Scott and Dr Margarita Huerta at unlvpower@unlv.edu.