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AETN, ADE, ASCD partner to add world-renowned online professional development for educators to Arkansas IDEAS

The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN), Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), and ASCD, the internationally renowned producer of books, video, audio and onsite professional development for educators and leadership, have partnered to enhance professional development opportunities for Arkansas educators through the Arkansas IDEAS (Internet Delivered Education for Arkansas Schools) professional development website.

Arkansas IDEAS, the only state-funded comprehensive online professional development resource for educators in the nation, was launched in 2005 as a cooperative endeavor between AETN and ADE.

"We are proud to announce a five-year contract between AETN and ASCD, in partnership with our colleagues at ADE," AETN Executive Director Allen Weatherly said. “Arkansas teachers shape the prosperity of our state and through their impact on our students.

“By combining ASCD’s expertise in first-rate professional development and adding it to the current wealth of content provided by AETN, PD360, Teachscape, Annenberg Media and PBS TeacherLine courses in Arkansas IDEAS – all approved by ADE – teachers, students and all Arkansans will see the benefit of this partnership for years to come.”

The partnership between AETN and ASCD expands the Arkansas IDEAS professional development offerings to nearly 6,000 hours, according to AETN Director of Education Dr. Chris Caram, who led the negotiations for the partnership. Arkansas is the first and only state to offer this partnership with ASCD and to offer its educators access to the best educational authors, scholars and expert practitioners in the world.

AETN and ASCD finalized the five-year contract Jan. 31 and will launch the addition of ASCD's entire library of online professional development courses in February.

Arkansas currently requires one of the highest numbers of professional development hours each year to maintain a teaching license and now has the largest comprehensive continuing education portal – including trainings, courses, resources and assessments – in a cutting-edge online setting. More than 23,000 registered educators in all regions of the state have completed approximately 300,000 credit hours in IDEAS since its launch.

Arkansas is the only state to offer ASCD’s entire library of award-winning online courses to its educators in an online format. IDEAS and ASCD’s interactive, self-paced courses provide growth opportunities in leadership, teaching strategies and curriculum content.

In 2005, the Arkansas Legislature passed Act 2318 which created a partnership between ADE and AETN to provide high-quality, online professional development for educators licensed in Arkansas in order to improve teacher quality as a means to increase student achievement. Arkansas IDEAS (www.arkansasideas.org) is designed to enhance educators’ content knowledge and instructional skills.

Founded in 1943, ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, www.ascd.org) is an educational leadership organization dedicated to advancing best practices and policies for the success of each learner. ASCD’s 160,000 members in 148 countries are professional educators from all levels and subject areas – superintendents, supervisors, principals, teachers, professors of education and school board members. The nonprofit, nonpartisan membership association provides expert and innovative solutions in professional development, capacity building and educational leadership essential to the way educators learn, teach and lead.

The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) was created in 1961 and is Arkansas’s statewide public television network that enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN produces 160 hours annually of local, award-winning productions and delivers classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers who make up 95 percent of the state. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. For more information, visit www.aetn.org, or follow the AETN blog at www.aetn.org/engage. AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro), and KETZ (El Dorado).

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