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Jerrica Thurman

Director of Marketing & Communications, AACTE

New CCSSO Report Offers Guidance for Building a Diverse and Learner-Ready Teacher Workforce and AACTE’s 2019 Annual Meeting Amplifies This Effort

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) released yesterday A Vision and Guidance for a Diverse and Learner-Ready Teacher Workforce, a report that outlines key recommendations state education chiefs, leaders in educator preparation, local education agencies, and others can take to ensure each child in the public school system is taught by a diverse and learner-ready teacher workforce. The report highlights actions for attracting, preparing, placing, supporting, and retaining teachers from diverse ethnic or racial backgrounds and socioeconomic experiences. It identifies specific policy levers state education agencies (SEAs) have authority over that should be activated to achieve the vision of what success can look like for students and teachers as well as highlight distinct responsibilities of SEAs where they have a moral imperative to lead for equity. Additionally, the report appendix references some of the best practices and policy recommendations states have implemented to push this work forward.

Along with state chiefs, AACTE and other national education organizations partnered with CCSSO on its new initiative to diversify the teaching profession through its Diverse and Learner-Ready Teachers (DLRT) Initiative. The collaboration led to the production of the new report—a viable resource for state teams that provide model research- and evidence-based state best practices and policies.

Learning First Alliance Issues Joint Statement on Federal School Safety Commission

AACTE and fellow members of the Learning First Alliance issued a joint statement on December 19, 2018 that emphasizes the Federal School Safety Commission should help schools provide mental health resources to prevent violence. LFA members said the federal government should focus its next steps on resources and training more mental health specialists to ensure safety of students and school staff:

A new federal report misses a high-profile opportunity to bring leadership and resources to social-emotional and mental health needs in K-12 schools, the Learning First Alliance, a coalition of 12 major national education organizations that represents 10 million parents, teachers, administrators, school counselors, specialists, teacher educators, and school board members, stated in response to recommendations by the federal Commission on School Safety, led by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Simply talking about the need for something to be done without creating the ability for schools to have the tools to reach more students in need avoids a core responsibility.

Radio Show Profiles Colorado State University’s School Leadership Institute

AACTE members Donna Cooner and Wendy Fothergill at Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins were featured in a recent episode of Education Talk Radio to discuss their university’s School Leadership Institute. CSU launched the institute a year ago to identify effective ways to support new PK-12 principals and administrators.

The institute helps identify effective ways to support principals in their critical first year on the job based on feedback from recent program graduates. The goals of the Institute are

Towson University Builds Clinical Curriculum Through Virtual Simulation

In Fall 2017, AACTE member institution Towson University’s College of Education launched a pilot program, SIMTeach@TU, to strengthen its clinical and practice-based curriculum through virtual simulation. The program features eight faculty who develop problem-based case scenarios for teacher candidates to experience real-world human interactions with avatars via the virtual reality technology called Mursion. The training simulations recreate the most demanding interpersonal challenges that teacher candidates may confront in the classroom with PK-12 students. It allows preservice teachers to practice and master the complex interpersonal skills necessary to be effective in difficult situations.

“We see simulation—or approximations of practice—work as part of the trajectory of getting our preservice teachers ready to work with real students in classrooms,” said Laila Richman, associate dean of the College of Education at Towson. “We think about this as the first phase of a university-based clinical curriculum that moves them towards being able to work with students.”

How to Enjoy the Conference in Louisville

The 2019 AACTE Annual Meeting is just 12 weeks away! As you prepare for your stay in Louisville, Matt Wales, AACTE vice president, membership, events and special projects, offers some helpful tips to help you make the most of your time at the conference and in the host city:

What features of the Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC) make it a great host location for the AACTE Annual Meeting?

The KICC is truly a state-of-the-art facility. The KICC was closed in 2016, to undergo two years of construction enhancement and renovation. Having just reopened in August 2018, AACTE attendees will experience our General Sessions and Deeper Dives in a brand new, 40,000-square-foot ballroom that allows us to accommodate more seating, more space for networking, and additional, technological capacity for increased interactivity during these AACTE sessions.

AACTE Initiatives in Special Education Preparation Take Flight

AACTE is a national partner for the University of Florida’s Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center, which helps states and institutions of higher education to develop the ability of every teacher to prepare students with disabilities for college and careers. As a federally funded multi-million dollar project, CEEDAR works with AACTE and others to promote the preparation of all educators to have the mindset and skillset for effectively instructing students with disabilities along with all other students in the mainstream classroom.

“This initiative is about ensuring that all educators have the skills to work effectively with students with disabilities,” said AACTE Consultant Jane West, who leads the Association’s work with CEEDAR. “Special education has too often been considered a place and not a service. We are highlighting and promoting preparation for both general and special educators so they can provide effective instruction to students with disabilities in inclusive ways with an eye toward raising expectations and undermining the stigmatizing of students with disabilities.”

AACTE Board Election Underway Through Nov. 30

The election for the 2018 AACTE Board of Directors is now under way through November 30. Seven seats will be decided via online voting: one representing the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education (AILACTE), one representing the Teacher Education Council of State Colleges and Universities, one representing the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), and one representing the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), and three at-large seats.

The slate is as follows:


Marvin Lynn Joins #AACTE19 Opening Keynote

AACTE is pleased to announce a second participant in the 71st Annual Meeting Opening Keynote. Marvin Lynn of the Graduate School of Education at Portland State University (PSU) will join Marilyn Cochran-Smith of the Lynch School of Education at Boston College for the general session, Friday, February 22, 2019. Lynn brings his extensive experience in teacher education to this thought-provoking discussion on accreditation, assessment, and other facets of teacher education accountability.

Lynn is the dean of the Graduate School of Education at PSU. He is an internationally recognized expert on race and education and the lead editor of the Handbook of Critical Race Theory in Education. He serves as an editorial board member of several journals, and has published more than two dozen research articles and book chapters. At PSU, Lynn works closely with an outstanding and diverse faculty and staff to advance the national profile of high quality academic programs while further building and strengthening relationships with local schools.

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