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Katrina Norfleet

Editor, AACTE

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:

JTE Insider Podcast Spotlights History of Teacher Preparation

When it comes to teacher education, how can you distinguish problems, which can be solved, from dilemmas, which can only be managed? This question is the featured discussion of the Journal of Teacher Education article published in the Sept/Oct 2018 issue, Marching Forward, Marching in Circles: A History of Problems and Dilemmas in Teacher Preparation, authored by Jack Schneider, assistant professor of education, College of the Holy Cross.

In a recent podcast interview for JTE Insider blog, Schneider offers insights on the article during his chat with podcast host JTE graduate assistant Mary Neville. “It’s kind of a funny piece in that it tries to come up with a number of typologies for the history of teacher education,” said Schneider. During the interview, Schneider identifies four contextual factors, three core dilemmas and four periods of history of teacher education.

Lynn Gangone Presents National Data to Indiana State Chapter, Visits Schools and Foundations

AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone recently traveled to Indiana where she met with deans of colleges and schools of education throughout the state, and representatives from the State Department of Education and national foundations to discuss educator preparation from a national perspective. Gangone also was invited to be the lead speaker at the Indiana Association of Colleges for Teacher Education’s (INACTE’s) first statewide summit, and presented data from the Colleges of Education: A National Portrait report.

Ena Shelley, an AACTE board member and INACTE member, shared how important it was to hear the trend data. “When you are working within state borders, you think it is just your state, but when you see the trend data—how long teachers are staying or not staying, the demographics—it makes it real,” Shelley said. “I think the report was so important because we really haven’t had a succinct, cohesive report like the National Portrait, which gives us real data to look at … [and ask ourselves] now what can  we do about it?”

Northwest Missouri State University Receives National Award for Excellence and Innovation

Photo courtesy of AASCU

Northwest Missouri State University was presented with the Christa McAuliffe Excellence in Teacher Education Award by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) at the opening session of its Annual Meeting last month in Washington, D.C. The award is named in honor of Christa McAuliffe, a teacher who was killed in the 1986 space shuttle Challenger disaster, and honors institutions for excellence and innovation.

Recipients of the award have shown evidence of top-level administrative support, alignment with its institutional mission and strategic agenda, contributions to significant institutional improvements or programming, research, and incorporated best practices.

Rich Milner Delivers Brown Lecture Centered on Disrupting Punitive Practices and Policies

AACTE member H. Richard (Rich) Milner, IV, a leading scholar of urban education and teacher education, recently delivered the 15th Annual Brown Lecture in Education Research sponsored by the American Educational Research Association. The Annual Brown Lecture in Education Research is designed to feature the important role of research in advancing understanding of equality and equity in education. Each year, a distinguished scholar notable for producing significant research related to equality in education is invited to give a public lecture in Washington, D.C.

Milner is currently the Cornelius Vanderbilt Endowed Chair of Education and professor of education in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Vanderbilt University. His lecture, “Disrupting Punitive Practices and Policies: Rac(e)ing Back to Teaching, Teacher Preparation, and Brown,” focused on research on the practices and policies that implicitly or overtly punish rather than support the development of students of color.

Radio Show Highlights Efforts to Retain, Recruit Black and Hispanic/Latino Male Teachers

AACTE members Ernest Black and John Kuykendal joined AACTE consultant Amanda Lester on a recent episode of Education Talk Radio to discuss the networked improvement community’s (NIC’s) study on the challenges and opportunities to increase Black, Hispanic, and Latino male teachers nationwide.

“Using a NIC is part of an ‘improvement science’ approach to looking at a problem of practice that persists in education,” explained Lester. The NIC involved a study of 10 institutions that shared their own experiences in recruiting and retaining teacher candidates in this population. Black and Kuykendal represent two of the college preparation programs that participated in the study, which began in 2014.

The premise of the research is that Black and Hispanic/Latino male students underperform in schools but when paired with Black and Hispanic/Latino male teachers for as little as one year, their success improves.

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