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Renée A. Middleton

Ohio University

Commentary: Stand Up for Education Funding

The education budget released by the White House this week would have devastating consequences for public schools and millions of students nationwide. Standing up for these students by advocating for federal funding must be a critical focus for participants in AACTE’s Washington Week in June.

The president wants to cut $9.2 billion of funding for federal education initiatives such as college work-study programs and public-service loan forgiveness. Overall, his budget would cut, gut, or eliminate nearly two dozen programs, including after-school initiatives that help upwards of 1.6 million students, most of whom attend low-resource schools. In addition, this budget does not provide funding for mental-health services, anti-bullying efforts, physical education, or Advanced Placement courses—not to mention Teacher Quality Partnership grants or other key teacher-quality programs.

Lynn Gangone Named Next President and CEO of AACTE

Lynn Gangone
Dr. Lynn M. Gangone

As chair of the AACTE Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that effective June 1, the next president and CEO of AACTE will be Dr. Lynn M. Gangone. She was selected by unanimous decision of the Executive Search Committee following an extensive search process that involved the Board, staff, and our soon-to-retire President/CEO Sharon P. Robinson. Please join me in welcoming her to AACTE!

Gangone has exemplary strengths in four core areas important to AACTE:

Reflections on Professional Identity, Public Education, and Sharon Robinson

As we prepare to say goodbye to Sharon Robinson, it is important to recognize her contributions in more than a decade of service to AACTE. Leaders of the Board of Directors will be sharing tributes to Sharon’s vision and leadership over the next few weeks before her successor is named. Today, I am honored to offer my thoughts on where AACTE stands, thanks to her work, and the Association’s future role as a leading voice for educator preparation in America.

AACTE Board Approves Principles for National Accreditation in Educator Preparation

The AACTE Board of Directors this fall approved a revision of the AACTE Principles for National Accreditation in Educator Preparation, a document originally drafted in 2006 to state the Association’s aspirational views regarding national accreditation.

The revision was spearheaded by the Board’s subcommittee formed to engage with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The Board felt it was important to reaffirm our core values with respect to what we see as essential elements to any process of accreditation.

AACTE Subcommittee on CAEP Reports to Board

Last week, the AACTE Board of Directors subcommittee formed to engage with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) reported back to the Board on its two primary charges. First, we shared results from our survey of AACTE members, and second, we offered guidelines and operating principles for the person selected to be the AACTE representative to the CAEP board.

Chris Koch, current president of CAEP, was in attendance at the meeting and listened to the survey results. He expressed appreciation for the engagement of the AACTE membership and said he planned to share the findings with the CAEP staff. He noted that a collaborative, mutually beneficial outcome is his goal for the information that was shared. His recognition of the efforts of the AACTE membership has set a tone for partnership as our organizations move forward.

ESSA: Hardly Perfect, But Progress to Build On

The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

Many people in the teaching profession are applauding the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which President Barack Obama signed into federal law in December. ESSA is not perfect, but what law or federal mandate is? The purpose of ESSA, in short, is to modernize and fix the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which turned into a broken system that, for more than a decade, did far more harm than good.

ESSA, to be sure, addresses some of NCLB’s biggest problems. The good news is that it allows for greater flexibility and opportunities for educator preparation programs to be creative and innovative in impacting PK-12 student learning with local districts and other partners. It also requires states to adopt challenging academic content standards and entrance requirements for credit-bearing course work in the state’s system of public higher education. These changes, among others, are long overdue.

AACTE Subcommittee Completes Accreditation Survey, Refines Liaison to CAEP Board

The AACTE Board of Directors subcommittee formed to engage in conversation with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) has concluded surveying AACTE members regarding their perspectives related to CAEP, standards, and accreditation in general. Thanks to all who responded to our survey!

The survey, which invited feedback last fall, received responses from 176 respondents in 46 states. Members of the subcommittee met with AACTE President/CEO Sharon Robinson on January 21 to begin an initial review of the responses. This month, we will finalize our review of the data and present our findings and recommendations to the AACTE Board of Directors, which commissioned the work last spring. At this point, we can report that the standards that garnered the most desire for continued dialogue and attention were Standards 3 and 4. Following the February Board meeting, we will share more specific themes from the survey.

Commentary: Teachers Deserve Respect

There are certain professions within our society that carry with them an inherent respect. Doctors, nurses, firefighters, soldiers – the list goes on. These people save lives. They care for the sick. They run into burning buildings. They defend our freedom.

These people, without question, deserve our gratitude and appreciation.

There is, however, another profession that deserves that same level of respect, a profession that, for whatever reason, does not always seem to receive it: teaching.

Teachers work with minds. Teachers work with hearts. Teachers work with souls. They are preparing the next generation of doctors, nurses, firefighters, and soldiers (and countless other professionals). And yet, many people act as though that’s something that anybody can do. It isn’t. Teaching requires years of schooling and training, and even then, the job is not easy.

Accreditation Survey: Let Us Hear From You

The AACTE Board of Directors subcommittee formed to engage with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) has been working throughout the summer, and now it’s time for you to share your perspectives with us.

Please take a moment to complete our short survey about accreditation. In order to be better informed on where our members are in relationship to our national accrediting body, we hope to capture your voices to help guide our ongoing conversations with CAEP.

AACTE Board Subcommittee on CAEP: May Update

The AACTE Board of Directors subcommittee formed to engage in conversation with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) convened May 5 for its first meeting. All committee members were present: Chair Renée A. Middleton (Ohio University), Jane Bray (Old Dominion University, VA), David Cherry (Whitworth University, WA), John Jacobson (Ball State University, IN), and Carol Vukelich (University of Delaware), as well as Board Chair Mark Ginsberg (George Mason University, VA) and AACTE Vice President Rodrick Lucero.

To start the meeting, Middleton invited Ginsberg to formally address the committee’s charge and scope of work. Ginsberg stated that AACTE continues to recognize and support CAEP as the single accrediting body for educator preparation programs. He reiterated that the committee was established to engage with the CAEP leadership to address concerns stated in the February AACTE Board of Directors resolution, which reflected ongoing communication from AACTE member institutions with respect to CAEP.

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