Setting Rivalries Aside: University of Kentucky and University of Louisville Come Together For Students

In Kentucky, you’re either a Cardinal or a Wildcat – especially as football season gets underway. We’re fiercely proud when it comes to our school pride and enjoy the friendly rivalry any day of the week.

While we may disagree on athletics, there’s one thing we do have in common, and it’s the belief that Kentucky students deserve to have the most qualified teachers leading their classrooms.

That shared belief is the reason the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Education and the University of Louisville (UofL) College of Education and Human Development came together to share our expertise and best practices around educating Kentucky’s students. While this type of collaboration is rare for our universities, we all agree that doing what’s best for kids shouldn’t be bound by university gates, school allegiance or geographic distances.

Over the years, our partnership has grown to include regular planning meetings, and faculty collaboration on interactive classroom trainings for students, which has resulted in the opportunity to truly change the way we prepare teachers in Kentucky.

As cohort member of the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform (CEEDAR), Kentucky is making a commitment to improving the quality of educator preparation in our state by ensuring all coursework at both flagship schools focuses on evidence-based practices for all kids.

Beginning this fall, faculty from UK, UofL, Thomas More College, and the Education Professional Standards Board along with other partners in the CEEDAR work, will convene to develop and finalize a blueprint for change that will guide the improvement of teacher preparation across the state.

Because the CEEDAR work is one of many important projects to improve teacher preparation in Kentucky, our blueprint will work to connect these initiatives together, building a common set of goals and aspirations for our teachers and leaders. We also want to build relationships between school districts and educator preparation programs that will help support teacher candidates as they grow into future Kentucky teachers.

“CEEDAR has provided our university with an opportunity to receive high quality and research-based technical assistance to revise our educator preparation programs with a goal to improve outcomes for all learners. Through this work, we will ensure that our teachers and school leaders are well prepared and classroom ready,” Ann E. Larson, Ph.D., Dean of the UofL College of Education and Human Development.

Together, we’ll examine how current coursework incorporates evidence-based practices, where we need to strengthen this connection, and how we can give students more exposure to these practices in K-12 classrooms.

Another big step in supporting teachers in meeting the needs of all students is by helping principals promote and develop the use of evidence-based teacher practices. Our partnership will develop tools that principals may use to support the growth of all teachers in their schools.

Being a teacher is tough – especially when you’re just starting out. By building on our collective expertise, we can strengthen educator preparation programs to better equip Kentucky’s teachers with the skills and knowledge they’ll need to provide all of our kids get the instruction and support they deserve.

Together, we’re investing in our teachers, students, and Kentucky’s future. Whether you bleed red and black or blue and white, quality education for all of our students is something we all can cheer about.

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