Archive for June, 2019

Massive Spending Bill Passes House with Large Increases for Education

This blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide update information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
Today makes summer official! The House has certainly given us something to celebrate!

    1.  Massive Spending Bill Passes House with Large Increases for Education!

      Education advocates are taking a moment to rejoice in a funding bill (H.R. 2740) that passed the House this week (with a vote count of 226-223) calling for a record high level of spending for the Department of Education bringing total investments to $75.9 billion. Big winners in the bill include Title I, special education and social emotional learning.  Notably, the bill cuts funding for charter schools by 10%.

      The rejoicing is tinged with the knowledge that this is as good as it will get for education spending. Unfortunately, the Senate will not have numbers this high, as the budget caps, which are yet to be determined, will undoubtedly require lower figures. And the Trump Administration has indicated that it would veto this bill. 

      The focus now turns to the Senate where Appropriations chair Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) has indicated that they will begin moving bills in July. But that pesky budget deal lurks around the corner.

      See the CEF charts on individual education program funding.

    2. OECD Issues International Report on Teacher Satisfaction

      The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECE) released the results of the most recent Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) this week. Teachers and principals in 49 education systems, including the U.S., were asked about their job satisfaction, practice, and working conditions. Over 150,000 teachers in lower secondary grades and 9000 principals participated in the survey. 

      Among the key findings are the following:

      • 90% of U.S. teachers are satisfied with their jobs, in line with the rest of the world
      • 36% of U.S. teachers think that society values the teaching profession—similar to the global average but less than high performing systems like Finland and Shanghai where over half of teachers believe society values the teaching profession
      • Most teachers around the world feel well prepared in content and pedagogy, but only about half feel prepared to teach in a multicultural, multi-lingual or mixed-ability classroom.   
      • U.S. teachers believe increasing teacher pay (69.4%) is more important than reducing class size (57.4%)

        Read the article, Explore how teachers, school conditions, and learning environments compared internationally in 2018!
  1. New Resources for Educators

    • The Annie E. Casey Foundation has released the 30th edition of the KIDS Count Data Book.The news is not good. Visit aecf.org/resources/2019-kids-count-data-book/

    • Rand Corporation released a report on The Principal Pipeline funded by the Wallace Foundation. It found that students performed up to six points above the median percentile on state tests in schools that implemented a program intended to improve the skills of school leaders.

    • The Government Accountability Office (GAO )issued a report on Department of Education data on seclusion and restraint.

    • ProPublica analyzed the strong relationship between Teacher for America (TFA) and the Charter School movement finding that the Walton Foundation was paying charter schools $6,000 for very TFA teacher they hired. Read the article, How Teach for America Evolved Into an Arm of the Charter School Movement

      Continue reading the full Washington Update on my website to learn more.
      See you on twitter @janewestdc

       

BGSU Inclusive Early Childhood Education Graduates are Innovative Classroom Teachers

Techers working with students in classroom setting
The Early Childhood Inclusive Education Program at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) prepares teachers to educate the youngest of school-age children with a solid foundation for learning. “This program is an example of innovation as it relates to making sure our students at the earliest stage have opportunities to develop and be successful in their lives,” says Rodney Rogers, president of Bowling Green State University. As a public university, BGSU sees itself as serving the public good and views the College of Education & Human Development as a place where all teacher candidates are prepared to meet the needs of their students. Teachers who graduate from the program are ready to enter the classrooms with the skills to accommodate all students.

State of the State Webinar

US Map representing political party affiliations

For the first time since 1914, all but one state legislature in the U.S. is dominated by a single party. The result has been a pattern of conservative leaning legislation in Republican-held states and liberal legislation in states controlled by Democrats. This is a political dynamic that will have far-reaching consequences for education policymaking well into the future.  To find more information about the types of education bills being developed and advanced around the country and how politics is playing a leading role in state policymaking, view the State of the States webinar.

Originally presented at the State Leaders Institute during the 2019 AACTE Washington Week Conference, this video and the accompanying PowerPoint presentation, helps to demystify policymaking at the state-level by focusing on the political drivers that influence policymaking. 

The 2019 State of the States webinar answers questions such as: What types of education bills are advancing in Democrat and GOP dominated legislatures? What role are governors playing in the education policymaking of their states?  How are political leaders in state governments working together to influence education policy? And, what are the emerging trends among states in the ed-prep arena? 

With a special emphasis on how “one-party-dominated” political leadership can dictate the development and shape the progress of education bills in a state, this webinar provides both a 30,000-foot and a ground-level perspective on education legislation, and will help you to see what it takes today to pass a bill in a state with one-party rule.   

 

Duval County Public Schools to hire hundreds of teachers during summer break, partner with UNF

This article and photo originally appeared on Action News Jax and are reprinted with permission.

The Duval County School District is working hard to recruit between 200-250 teachers before the start of this school year.

That number is down since Action News Jax first told you last week the school district needed to fill more than 400 holes.

Action News Jax reporter Courtney Cole shows us a program that’s helping to recruit, admit and support local scholars going into education.

“This is a really big opportunity for us, knowing that we have a really big role to fill,” said Jarred Jackson.

Jackson is just one of the nine teens starting his journey to fill the really big role of an educator.

“Just knowing that we can and that we’re able to—is very exciting for us,” Jackson told Action News Jax Courtney Cole.

Right now teachers are in high demand across the state—and in Duval County. 

Welcome Home to Holmes

Phillandra Smith Holmes felt like home. This year was my first time attending the AACTE Holmes Scholar Summer Policy Institute and this was also the first year my university was participating in the program.

As one of the two inaugural scholars for Syracuse University, I did not know what to expect. I don’t think either of us did. I knew we were going to Capitol Hill at some point; that was clear to me. I received an outline of the days’ events and sessions, but I still felt like I lacked a point of reference for what I would encounter. To say that I had some trepidation is to put it lightly, but I tried not to let that dampen my excitement. What I did not expect however, were the feelings of validation, empowerment and sense of belonging I walked away with or the relational connections I made over the few days. I am not sure anyone could have prepared me for that. But my gratitude to my university and AACTE for this experience is immense.

My Voice Still Matters: Its Resonance Can Still Elicit Change!

Azaria Cunningham in front of the US Capital.
The first time I attended the AACTE Day on the Hill in Washington, DC, was in 2015. At that time, I was one of two in the first Holmes Masters students’ program at William Paterson University (WPU). AACTE had just begun the implementation of adding Holmes Cadets, Holmes Honors, and Holmes Masters students. Before attending the “Day on the Hill,” Holmes held a Summer Policy Institute session, and upon entering the room, I immediately felt a sense of being home. The room was comprised of Holmes Scholars who were pursuing a doctoral degree. Having the chance to be surrounded by successful scholars who looked like me increased my internal drive. Holmes Scholars influenced me to believe that I could pursue earning a doctorate degree. A critical piece of information I learned and always carry with me is that representation matters on all levels, and the ability to see oneself in spaces to enact change is monumental.

Washington Update: Proposed Rulemaking Changes to Higher Education Accreditation

This blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide update information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

I started last week in NYC visiting a fabulous early childhood program called Beekman House in the south Bronx. They have a partnership with Bank Street College. I was once again rendered speechless (hard to do) by the incredible teaching I saw. It made me want a do-over for pre-k! This is part of EdPrepLab— a new initiative by Learning Policy Institute. Check out the Ed Prep Matters blog article to learn more. Shout out to AACTE for giving me this opportunity!

  1. House Completes Portion of Massive Spending Bill … To Be Continued Next Week

Members of the House hightailed it out of town Thursday leaving a portion of the $982 billion spending bill completed—but more to come next week. The portion of the bill completed is the Labor/HHS/Education part of which includes $75.9 billion for the Department of Education. The House was in session all night Wednesday, finally adjourning at 4:00 a.m. on Thursday only to return again later Thursday morning.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) wins the prize for no sleep, as she was there shepherding her  bill through every minute of the process and the over 100 amendments offered.  She reported getting only an hour of sleep noting “You know, you’re so wired!”

#AACTEWW19 Goes Viral


AACTE’s 2019 Washington Week attendees made known their presence in the nation’s capital on Twitter using #AACTEWW19. Photos and tweets of the event’s activities were shared on social media throughout the four-day conference last week, and on June 5 the attendees took over Twitter during their advocacy visits to congressional offices.

Analytic reports reveal #AACTEWW19 received more than 650 original posts, retweets and replies, which yielded over 1 million impressions! In fact, #AACTEWW19 was recognized as trending in Washington, DC by social media monitoring services.

AACTE’s Day on the Hill Facebook Live Videos Feature Members in Nation’s Capital

During AACTE’s 2019 Day on the Hill, the educator preparation community united on Capitol Hill to make their voices heard about challenging issues affecting education. AACTE members, colleagues, and students employed their advocacy skills to elevate the profession in meetings with Members of Congress and their staff. AACTE is excited to have captured attendees in real-time Facebook Live Shows and to highlight their significant work in Washington, DC.

In the video interviews, participants discuss the importance of teacher educators and students from across the nation converging on Capitol Hill to advocate for educator preparation as well as ways to impact education policy in their local areas. They also share how the advocacy training from AACTE’s Day on the Hill sessions prepared them for congressional meetings and key takeaways on best strategies to promote talking points with policymakers. All of the video participants emphasize the important message in the AACTE Washington Week event theme: “Your Voice Matters!”

New NCLD Helps Teachers Unlock the Power of Students Who Learn Differently


One in 5 students in the United States have learning and attention issues. This includes those with identified specific learning disabilities, diagnosed attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, or related disorders that impact learning. Despite often having above average or average intelligence, the majority of these students are achieving below grade level. This equates to millions of students across the nation whose strengths and potential are going untapped.

The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) and Understood set out to unpack and address this problem. We partnered with teachers—often the most consistent touchpoint for students after their caregivers—to understand their experiences and insights. We rooted these experiences in rigorous research focused on general education classrooms, where the majority of the “1 in 5” spend most of their time. The culmination of this work is found in “Forward Together,” a new report from Understood and the NCLD.

AACTE is joining several other education organizations to develop Forward Together Toolkits for our teachers and teacher educators. Stay tuned for more information on the dissemination of those toolkits!

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