Friday, October 25, 2013

COE Faculty and Administrators Participate in Multiple State of Illinois Events, October 17 - 21

College of Education faculty, administrators, and school partners were active participants in several state events last week.

On October 17, Margaret Policastro, director of our Language and Literacy Program, presented to a statewide meeting of higher education institutions about the work that has been completed thus far as part of a $353,000 grant from the Illinois Board of Higher Education, "Collaborative Commitment for Continuous Improvement: Aligning Common Core State Standards in Balanced Literacy Schools and Networks."  Dr. Policastro was joined at the meeting by David Wood and Pat Gatewood, principal and assistant principal from Our Lady of the Wayside School; Steven Fabiyi, assistant principal from Perkins Bass School; Tom Philion and Toni Potenza, Dean and Associate Dean of the College of Education; Teryl Rosch, Associate Dean and director of the Office of Community Outreach; Marlene Levin, RU literacy coach; and Diane Morrison, Loyola University evaluator.

Of this event, Dr. Policastro writes: "Dr. Timothy Shanahan facilitated our session at the IBHE-ISBE Common Visions, Common Goals conference at Illinois State University.  Dr. Shanahan is internationally known in literacy and has served in every major capacity in his career while at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His response to our grant work was favorable and, most important, he agreed with our new balanced literacy model and how we have re-conceptualized the tenets of balanced literacy to align with the CCSS instructional shifts; specifically pointing out and mentioning the new guided reading.  We urge all COE faculty and students to visit his blog where he addresses every current issue in the field of literacy with excellent advice for teachers and parents."

On October 18, Linda Pincham, director of our Secondary Education Program, joined Tom Philion and Toni Potenza in attending the fall meeting of the Illinois Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (IACTE), also at Illinois State University.   At this meeting, a decision was made to hire a public relations firm to monitor pending legislation in Springfield related to education and to advise all colleges of education in the state with respect to appropriate responses.  In addition, useful information was shared related to the implementation of a new state-wide assessment for student teaching (edTPA--starting in Fall 2015), the integration of Common Core standards into teacher preparation programs, and the procedures for reviewing and approving state rules and regulations related to teacher preparation.

On October 21, Tom Philion welcomed the Illinois Learning Council, a statewide advisory council to the Governor, to Roosevelt University.  For the second year in a row, this group met at RU to discuss issues related to improving the learning of young children in Illinois; in particular, the group discussed a new vision statement related to diversity learning and initiatives related to improving preschool attendance and later academic outcomes.  In his remarks, Dean Philion highlighted the recent grant from the Searle Funds of the Chicago Community Trust to develop a five-year strategic plan for the College of Education, as well as the recent steps the Early Childhood Education Program has taken to obtain approval for the Level V Gateways for Opportunity credential.

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