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AETN launches TESS website for Arkansas educators

As part of the Arkansas Educational Television Network's (AETN) commitment to the Arkansas Department of Education, educators and administrators across the state, AETN has created a specialized website to complement the Teacher Excellence and Support System (TESS).

The ADE created TESS to ensure high-quality instruction and instructional leadership that will impact teaching, learning and student achievement throughout Arkansas schools.

"AETN works to help both teachers and students succeed in the classroom," AETN Director of Education Bryan Fields, M.Ed., said. "To guarantee that happens, it's imperative that we react quickly and accurately to ADE initiatives.

"In April alone, we had an increase of 2,000 teachers using ArkansasIDEAS due to AETN's support of TESS. Once again, we are proud to have successfully responded to the needs of educators in Arkansas."

The new website, ideas.aetn.org/tess, highlights some of the course offerings that directly correlate with the domain components adopted by TESS. It also provides licensed teachers with a link to access more TESS resources created by AETN and ADE specifically for Arkansas.

In an effort to support educators and administrators with this new system, online professional development courses in ArkansasIDEAS (Internet Delivered Education for Arkansas Schools) have been assigned with a suggested domain component according to Charlotte Danielson's work, "Enhancing Professional Practice: A Framework for Teaching." The framework divides the complex activity of teaching into 22 components clustered into four domains of teaching responsibility.

ArkansasIDEAS, 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.

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 38,500 registered educators in all regions of the state have completed approximately 542,000 credit hours in ArkansasIDEAS since its launch.In 2005, the Arkansas Legislature passed Act 2318 that 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. ArkansasIDEAS (ideas.aetn.org) is designed to enhance educators' content knowledge and instructional skills.

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