The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
In certain circles, it is popular to view colleges and universities as the embodiment of an intolerant “education establishment” driven more by liberal ideology than by valued learning experiences. Particularly with the recent leadership transition in Washington, DC, espousers of this view have grown bolder in their accusations of brainwashing and progressive elitism in higher education. These claims are frustrating in that they betray a lack of familiarity with the mission of our institutions, but they are also dangerous: if used to erode public support for higher education, they will further impede access by those most in need.
While we welcome constructive criticism of our work, statements that delegitimize higher education are counterproductive and must be challenged. When officials suggest that professors are deviously indoctrinating students with a limited, biased, and distorted set of beliefs, such intimation is demeaning to faculty and students alike. And after 35 years in higher education, I can attest to the utter falseness of this assumption.
It may not be often that a state chapter of AACTE seeks to create new legislation outlining expectations for teacher preparation, but that was the case for the Oklahoma Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (OACTE) during the past academic year.
For several years, state legislators had been proposing new dyslexia training requirements for all early childhood, elementary, and special education candidates. However, concerns and tensions escalated between educator preparation providers (EPPs) and interest groups who disagreed on the definition of the problem, the depth of training that would be appropriate, and language that might mandate particular programs and materials. Consequently, discussions and the relationship between groups deteriorated and were unproductive.
Since 1991, various iterations of the AACTE Holmes Program have catered to doctoral students from historically underrepresented backgrounds by providing conferences, mentoring, and other support. Since then, more than 700 Holmes Scholars have completed their terminal degree and moved beyond their student careers into research, policy, and academic positions across the nation. With Holmes’ growth into other education levels in the past 2 years, the Holmes Scholars Council is reaching out to our younger colleagues to determine their needs and how we might better tailor the program to meet them.
The Holmes community now consists of high school students (Holmes Cadets), undergraduates (Holmes Honors), master’s students (Holmes Master’s), and doctoral candidates (Holmes Scholars). To better serve all of our Holmes students, the council would like to hear from each member at the new levels – Cadets, Honors, and Master’s. Please encourage all of these Holmes students to take our needs assessment survey this month – it is anonymous and should take only 5-10 minutes to complete.
The AACTE membership renewal season has officially begun! Each institution’s Chief Representative should have received an invoice via mail last month. Although the payment deadline is January 1, 2018, many of you have indicated you prefer to remit dues before your budget year ends in the summer – so we’ve made invoices available now for your convenience.
Your membership in AACTE, the nation’s largest network for educator preparation institutions, provides your faculty, staff, and students with access to valuable resources that help you achieve your program and career goals. Complimentary subscriptions, access to online resources, discounts for conferences and workshops, free continuing education opportunities, and inclusion in the membership directory are just a few of the benefits you’ve enjoyed during the past year.
In the latest monthly episode of Education Talk Radio spotlighting AACTE member institutions’ work, the online radio show featured the work of three educator preparation programs to combat teacher shortages. Host Larry Jacobs was joined for the May 17 show by AACTE member deans Kim Metcalf from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV), Patricia McHatton from the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), and Marcia Burrell from the State University of New York-Oswego (SUNY-Oswego) as well as Rod Lucero from AACTE.
Teacher shortages are plaguing many states and districts around the country, particularly in high-need fields and low-income schools. In addition to school-centered problems such as high teacher turnover and persistent gaps in the diversity of students and their teachers, preparation programs have experienced enrollment drops that further heighten the productivity challenge. “It has to do with, quite frankly, money,” Lucero said, noting that college students are leery of investing in an expensive degree for a career that lacks sufficient salary to repay their student loans, and some teachers start out earning below the poverty line.
AACTE issued the following press release today to mark the opening of the 2017 AACTE Washington Week:
(June 5, 2017, Washington, D.C.) – The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) is hosting its 2017 Washington Week through Wednesday, bringing teacher educators from across the nation to Capitol Hill and to the Renaissance Arlington Capital View hotel in Arlington, Virginia. The conference, themed “Diverse Perspectives, Deep Partnerships, One Profession,” offers attendees opportunities to showcase their programs, discuss important education policies and advocate for educator preparation in meetings with members of Congress.
Ed Prep Matters is pleased to bring you this special feature on state policy and AACTE state chapter activity. For the recap from April 2017, see this blog.
As the calendar shifts to summer, many states have ended their legislative sessions, while about a dozen legislatures remained active in May.
Today, AACTE welcomes Lynn M. Gangone to the position of president and chief executive officer. Gangone graciously took time during her first day on the job for this introductory interview for Ed Prep Matters:
Q: Your career has spanned a variety of higher education and association roles. What attracted you to AACTE?
A: AACTE’s mission is the first and foremost attraction. In my opinion, educators are the most important professionals in our society, and the opportunity to serve an organization dedicated to their preparation is unparalleled. Not only have educators made a difference in my life, but I have had the extraordinary fortune to “pay it forward” through my career as a faculty member and a dean. AACTE aligns so many facets of my lifelong work as an educator with service to and advocacy for educator preparation programs.