At the November 21st NH State Board of Education (SBE) meeting, the SBE unanimously voted to endorse the NH IHE Network Position Statement. SBE member Helen Honorow, who has served on the Task Force on Effective Teaching I & II, moved that the SBE endorse the IHE Network position paper and initiatives identified by the Network. She said, “The initiatives are consistent with the Board’s interest in commitment to effective leaders and educators in this State.”
Dr. Audrey Rogers (SNHU) and Dr. Tom Schram (UNH), Co-Facilitators of the IHE Network presented their position paper to the SBE. In the paper the IHE Network states that it “stands ready to work with the Department of Education, the legislature, and the professional educational organizations throughout our state to build a modern workforce of educators, leaders, and scholars strongly committed to the highest aspirations of our profession and our communities.”
“This is a significant step towards continuous improvement and innovation of the professional educator preparation programs in New Hampshire,” said Virginia M. Barry, Ph.D., Commissioner of Education. “The IHE Network in NH may be the first in the Nation to publicly take steps to work with the State Department of Education and districts and schools to meet the most pressing needs of 21st century learners and those who educate them.”
NH is only state in which ALL higher education educator preparation programs have committed themselves to membership in a consortium with the intention of working collaboratively with each other and the State Department of Education. Another unique feature of this group is their proactive approach and willingness to share data collection techniques and calibrate evaluation measures of potential candidates.
Dr. Richard A. Gustafson, Director of the Division of Higher Education – Higher Education Commission and former Chancellor of the Community College System of NH said, “This will be a real partnership between educator preparation programs and the NH DOE…all targeted to a more integrated approach to enhancing and strengthening our professional educator work force.”
In 2010, the NH Department of Education co-sponsored a summit on Redefining Educator Development for 21st Century Learners, during which IHE educators came together and identified the need for statewide collaboration to meet the challenges of 21st century skills. After extensive deliberation, the 15 NH IHE's with professional educator preparation programs agreed, in 2011, to form the IHE Network whose aim is to significantly and continuously improve educator preparation through sustained collaboration. The Network has since formed working committees to undertake four initiatives:
The IHE Network formalizes systemic collaborative engagement between and among IHEs and public schools in New Hampshire to promote generative and sustained professional learning opportunities. As informed advocates for the teaching profession, they seek to promote innovative programs and policies that interconnect initial educator preparation, new educator induction, and on-going professional development. Their goal is to create a supportive and lifelong learning framework for educators and all learners.
The IHE Position Statement and Overview of Current Initiatives can be found on the DOE Web site at www.education.nh.gov/spotlight/ihe/index.htm.