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Katrina Norfleet

Editor, AACTE

New paper addresses professionalization of teacher education


Jacob Easley II, dean of the Graduate School of Education at Touro College, recently authored A Way Forward Toward Professionalizing Teacher Education: A Response to the AASCU Teacher Education Task Force Survey, a commentary published in the Educational Renaissance journal. In the paper, Easley reviews the recommendations resulting from the 2016 American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Teacher Education Task Force survey. The survey was completed by member presidents, provosts, and their deans of education at public institutions of higher learning to better understand the state of the profession.

The results from the national AASCU survey yielded six recommendations for quality teacher education programs. Of the six, Easley categorizes the first four are as similar to the standards that inform national accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP):

  1. Bolster clinical experiences
  2. Ensure strong university-school partnerships
  3. Step up recruitment into preparation programs
  4. Build agreements with community colleges

2019 National Superintendent of the Year Is Alumnus of AACTE Member Institutions


AACTE Congratulates 2019 National Superintendent of the Curtis Jones Jr., superintendent of Bibb County School District in Macon, GA.

Jones, was Georgia’s finalist for the honor given by AASA, the School Superintendents Association. He is also an alumnus of AACTE member institutions, Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee, where he received his Ed.S. from the Carter & Moyers School of Education and NOVA Southeastern in Florida, where he received his Ed.D. from the Abraham S. Fischler College of Education.

Jones joined the Bibb County School District in April 2015. Using his classroom and administrative experiences, he developed the district’s strategic plan, “Victory in Our Schools.” The plan has five goal areas: increasing student achievement; increasing student and stakeholder engagement; increasing teacher and leader effectiveness; being a reliable organization; and learning and growth. This plan drives the district’s continuous improvement efforts through shared accountability for all stakeholders and resource alignment.

Butler College of Education Named AACTE Global Award Recipient

AACTE is delighted to announce Butler University College of Education as the recipient of the 2019 AACTE Best Practice Award in Support of Global and International Perspectives for its Global Network for Teacher Preparation program. Kelli Esteves, Butler College of Education (COE) associate professor and global coordinator, will be presented with the award at the AACTE 71st Annual Meeting, February 22-24, in Louisville, KY.

Butler’s Global Network for Teacher Preparation is a comprehensive program designed to bring international and multicultural perspectives into their teaching through experiential learning in other countries. Made up of local and global partners, the network has sent faculty and students around the world and has hosted educators on Butler’s campus and in its lab schools from Sweden, Colombia, Italy, Australia, and China to ensure its teacher candidates are exposed to international perspectives and curriculum. The network’s local partners include the College of Education’s two Reggio-inspired Lab Schools, Shortridge International Baccalaureate World School (lab high school) and Butler’s Center for Global Education. Global partners are the Institutes of Higher Education student exchange partners, including Uppsala University, Sweden, University of Tasmania, and the Education University of Hong Kong; and School partner for student and educator exchange—Vallentuna Gymnasium in Sweden.

Jane S. Bray to be Presented with 2019 Pomeroy Award

AACTE’s Committee on Professional Preparation and Accountability has selected Jane S. Bray as the recipient of the 2019 AACTE Edward C. Pomeroy Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education. Bray, dean of the Darden College of Education and Professional Studies at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, will be presented with the award at the AACTE 71st Annual Meeting, February 22-24, in Louisville, KY.

The Pomeroy Award, named for longtime AACTE Executive Director Edward C. Pomeroy, recognizes distinguished service either to the educator preparation community or to the development and promotion of outstanding practices in educator preparation at the collegiate, state, or national level.

Bray joined the AACTE Board of Directors in 2013 as a representative of the Advisory Council for State Representatives (ACSR), a coalition of leaders from AACTE’s state chapters. During her tenure on the AACTE Board, she was elected to serve as a member of the AACTE Executive Committee. She became chair of the AACTE Board in March 2016 and led the national search for the next president and chief executive officer of AACTE. Bray chaired the national search committee while completing her normal responsibilities as board chair. This daunting task included leading interactions with the search committee and the AACTE Board of Directors, and managing the intricacies of a national search that included a wide range of individuals and constituents. Bray is being honored for her exceptional contributions to AACTE at a time of great significance and importance to the Association.

UCA’s iPad Mobile Initiative earns AACTE Technology Award

AACTE is delighted to announce the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) College of Education is the recipient of the 2019 AACTE Best Practice Award for Innovative Use of Technology for its iPad Mobile Initiative program. Donna Wake, associate dean of UCA’s College of Education, will be presented with the award at the AACTE 71st Annual Meeting, February 22-24, in Louisville, KY.

The UCA College of Education is in its third year of implementing the intensive 1:1 mobile technology initiative for all undergraduates in its initial preparation programs. Beginning in fall 2016, students who were enrolled in the university’s undergraduate elementary, special education, middle level, and all secondary education programs were immersed in the mobile technology initiative. The iPads devices were formally listed as a College of Education curriculum requirement, and students were able to purchase the devices at the education rate.

“Vision isn’t something you declare. It’s something you build. The mobile learning initiative has given our school the opportunity to transform traditional approaches into a commitment to active learning, increased student voice, and accessibility,” said Victoria Groves-Scott, dean, UCA College of Education. “This has been especially important as we strive to prepare the teachers of tomorrow to educate students who live in an increasingly interconnected and information-saturated world. Through contextual analysis and application, we aim for our students to be creators and designers of learning opportunities rather than simply as carriers of information.”

Kelly C. Henson to Receive AACTE’s Imig Award

AACTE’s Committee on Professional Preparation and Accountability has selected Kelly C. Henson to receive the 2019 AACTE David G. Imig Award for Distinguished Achievement in Teacher Education. Henson, who in January 2019 retired as the executive secretary at the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, will be presented with the award at the AACTE 71st Annual Meeting, February 22-24, in Louisville, KY.

The Imig Award, named for AACTE President and CEO Emeritus David G. Imig, recognizes distinguished achievement in the formulation, implementation, or analysis of teacher education policy, or in the performance of distinguished scholarship in educator preparation.

Since 2007, Henson has led substantive educator preparation policy, certification, and ethics reform efforts in his role at the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. During his distinguished career of over 45 years in education, he also served as the superintendent of schools in Floyd County, principal of Walton High School, principal of Pope High School and associate superintendent in Marietta City Schools in Georgia. He has contributed to the statewide and national implementation of tiered certification, preparation program effectiveness measures (PPEM), performance-based educational leadership, enhanced ethics instruction and assessment and job-embedded professional learning.

AACTE Welcomes New Director of Government Relations

AACTE announces the newest addition to its staff, K. Ward Cummings, director of government relations.

“We are delighted to have Ward join us at AACTE,” said President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone. “He brings a wealth of policymaking experience and legislative expertise that will help further advance our advocacy work on both the national and state levels.”

Before joining AACTE, Cummings was a policy adviser for the Committee on the Budget in the U.S. House of Representatives, a senior legislative adviser to U.S. Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, and director of intergovernmental affairs in the Maryland State government. He is the co-creator of the Congressional Negotiation Program, a collaboration between Harvard Law School and the Partnership for a Secure America to teach negotiation, conflict resolution, and coalition building skills to senior Capitol Hill staffers. He is a board member of the Rosenthal Fellowship, a program designed to provide international affairs graduate students with Federal government occupational experience.

2019 National Teacher of the Year Finalists Announced

Today, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) announced four educators with diverse teaching styles and who teach different subjects as finalists for the 2019 National Teacher of the Year:

Donna Gradel, the 2019 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, is a high school science teacher who empowers her students to discover ways they can improve their local environment, including helping their city to develop and implement sustainable solutions to improve the water quality and natural habitats of the city’s waterways. Learn more.
Kelly Harper, the 2019 District of Columbia Teacher of the Year, is a 3rd grade teacher who leads her students to work on advocacy projects throughout the year, even going so far as meeting with members of Congress in the U.S. Capitol Building. Learn more.
Danielle Riha, the 2019 Alaska Teacher of the Year, is a middle school teacher who has learned from Yup’ik Elders how to incorporate indigenous knowledge that she applies in a culturally infused curriculum with her students at the Alaska Native Cultural Charter School, which she helped open to increase opportunities for students to connect to their identity and community. Learn more.
Rodney Robinson, the 2019 Virginia Teacher of the Year, who teaches social studies in a juvenile detention facility, creates a positive school culture by empowering his students— many of whom have experienced trauma—to become civically-minded social advocates who use their skills and voices to affect physical and policy changes at their school. Learn more.

Doctoral Students Receive Jane West SPARK Award for Policy Work on Special Education

Congratulations to Ashley L. White and Cassandra B. Willis (pictured left to right) for receiving the 2018 Jane West SPARK Award at the Teacher Education Division (TED) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) conference in November. The award, established in 2016, is given annually to individuals who advocate for special education in teacher preparation (e.g., government relations, letter writing, visits to Congressional members), and is committed to continuing this work in the future.

Ashley L. White
A doctoral student at the University of South Florida (USF), White received a 2015 doctoral fellowship for the Special Education Policy Studies, a grant specifically designed to prepare doctoral scholars as leaders in the field of special education policy. The following year, she was accepted to the Higher Education Consortium for Special Education’s (HECSE) Doctoral Short Course. HECSE is an organization that advocates for the “appropriate educational opportunities and effective school outcomes for millions of American children and youth with disabilities.” Since becoming involved in HECSE, her advocacy activities have included interning at the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) where she engaged in policy matters including but not limited to regulatory reforms, ED/OSEP grant priorities, and engagement with advocacy organizations. White also served as an HECSE intern, with responsibilities that included connecting faculty at USF with HECSE committees, distributing USF documents to its Congressional representatives, and arranging Hill visits for university faculty as well as all of HECSE’s Florida members.

University of Idaho Receives Grant to Support Future Indigenous Teachers

The University of Idaho (UI) has received a nearly $1 million grant from the U.S Department of Education to support the second cohort of its Indigenous Knowledge for Effective Education Program (IKEEP), which prepares and certifies culturally responsive Indigenous teachers to meet the unique needs of Native American students in K-12 schools. The first IKEEP cohort began in 2016 with nine students. The new grant will allow an additional eight scholars to begin training in the summer of 2019.

“I am so very pleased that the University of Idaho’s College of Education, Health & Human Sciences (CEHHS) is home to the IKEEP program,” said CEHHS Dean Ali Carr-Chellman. “This U.S. Department of Education grant will help some of our highest needs schools in the state of Idaho to have not only highly qualified teachers, but teachers with a clear sense of culturally responsive curricular approaches. I am deeply impressed by the dedication and perseverance of Drs. Vanessa Anthony-Stevens and Yolanda Bisbee in their pursuit of the IKEEP program for the betterment of all of Idaho.”

Anthony-Stevens and Bisbee, along with Christine Meyer and Joyce McFarland recently shared insights into the IKEEP model in the following Q&A:

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