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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.   

 

2019 Washington Week in Review

It was another successful Washington Week as AACTE members, students, and partners descended on the nation’s capital to network, advocate, and augment the capacity of the profession at the table.  There was something for everyone—whether they were attending Washington Week for the first time or were a perennial attendee.

Three signature events comprise AACTE’s Washington Week: the State Leaders Institute (June 2-3), the Holmes Doctoral Scholar Summer Policy Institute (June 3), and Day on the Hill (June 4-5).  Kim Metcalf, chair of the AACTE Board of Directors, and Michael Maher, chair of the AACTE Advisory Council of State Chapters, kicked off the week of events opening the State Leaders Institute (SLI).   

Focusing on building the capacity of the state chapter and its leadership, SLI attendees learned about the impact of their state’s political dynamics on the development and advancement of education policy. Diving into the challenges of chapter leadership, SLI sessions included the development of sustainable leadership pipelines and the recruitment and retention of chapter membership. Conversations and sessions covered ideas and practices on a host of important issues of interest to AACTE members, including how to attract more teachers to the profession, how to use social media to augment the presence and voice of the chapter and its membership, and how to employ the power of grants to meet state and regional chapter goals.  

A National Overview of Safety on College Campuses

The Education Commission of the States (ECS) recently released a report regarding college campus safety policies, based on its research gathered from statutes in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Though it does not include postsecondary board or institutional policies, the  50-State Comparison: Postsecondary Campus Safety report provides an overview of relevant laws in each state. However, this resource does not reflect on how these laws may interact with other state or federal policies.

Key takeaways from the report include the news that 22 states have codified a campus sexual assault policy; five states have defined affirmative consent; and 22 states have written into statute a prohibition for individuals to carry firearms on public college or university campuses.

This resource reviews state statutes that explicitly address sexual misconduct on college campuses or off-campus incidents that involve at least one student. It also examines state statutes that explicitly allow or prohibit guns on college campuses and those states in which statute allows guns in locked vehicles on college campuses. Follow this link to download and review this important report.

For questions about this announcement or other offerings by ECS, please email me at wcummings@aacte.org

Grant Opportunity for Hispanic-Serving Institutions


The Department of Education is seeking Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) applicants to apply for a portion of a new $24 million developmental grant created to address low completion rates among Hispanic postsecondary students.

This new grant is open to all HSIs that demonstrate a commitment to developing ways to identify and address the strengths and weaknesses of their institution’s enrollment, retention, and support for Hispanic and low-income students. The Department of Education will support projects designed to expand the number of Hispanic students at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional level and that help to facilitate their rates of graduation. HSI programs hoping to use the grant to expand and enhance the academic offerings, program quality, faculty quality, and institutional stability of colleges and universities that serve a majority of Hispanic students are encouraged to apply.

Awards will not exceed $600,000 for a single budget period of 12 months. The deadline for applying for these FY19 awards is July 15, 2019.

Those institutions interested in applying are encourages to visit grants.gov.

Do you have questions about this announcement? Please contact me at wcummings@aacte.org

Are You Ready for Day on the Hill?

In anticipation of Washington Week’s Day on the Hill, AACTE’s premier advocacy event, members of the Committee on Government Relations and Advocacy hosted a webinar on Thursday, April 18 to answer questions about the event. How to schedule a congressional meeting, how to develop an advocacy message, and how to walk into a U.S. Senator’s office with confidence, are just samples of the many issues discussed during the webinar. The recorded webinar, Are You Ready for a Day on the Hill? is now available to watch on the AACTE website. 

During the webinar, an experienced panel of experts shared their personal stories and provided guidance on the methods and reasons for advocacy.  Additionally, they explained what attendees at this year’s Washington Week in the nation’s capital can expect when they attend Day on the Hill events. 

Webinar attendees were instructed on what things to arrange prior to traveling, who to involve from their institution, how to request an appointment with their legislator, and how to prepare for the meeting. It was a one-stop-shop for all things related to the event.

2019 Session Explored AACTE Initiatives toward Increasing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion


The “AACTE Initiatives toward Increasing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Colleges of Teacher Education” Deeper Dive session was held during the 2019 Annual Meeting.  The session highlighted the association’s current, ongoing, and future commitments in these areas in a discussion moderated by Jennifer Robinson of Montclair State University and included panelists Lillian Sharon Leathers of William Paterson University of New Jersey and AACTE’s Jacqueline King, Jacqueline Rodriguez, and Jane West.

King, author of AACTE’s recently published Education Students and Diversity: A Review of New Evidence report, described the findings, which showed that education is the least diverse in bachelor’s degree fields. King shared other important data such as 50% of African American education students and 40% of Hispanic education students are independent; 30% of African American students and 20% Hispanic students had children; and 20% African American students were single parents. She emphasized that child care, for example, is an issue that cannot be ignored when considering the matter of diversity.  In addition, 4% of Hispanic students are first generation students and 22% do not have a parent that has graduated from high school.  The study revealed that one in five African American students work full-time and that the median family income of white, dependent students is more than double of their African American and Hispanic peers.  

Panelists took a Deeper Dive into Addressing the Cost of Clinical Practice at #AACTE19


The Deeper Dive session, “Too Expensive to Ignore,” held during the AACTE 2019 Annual Meeting explored the many creative ways educators are working to address the high costs associated with becoming a teacher. The panel discussion was moderated by Karen DeMoss, executive director of Prepared to Teach, Bank Street College of Education, and the presenters were Tara Kini, director of state policy at the Learning Policy Institute (LPI); Karen Riley, dean of the College of Education at the University of Denver; Karen Kindle, division chair, Teacher Residency and Education at the University of South Dakota (USD); Jeannie Aversa, coordinator of educator effectiveness at the Syracuse City School District; and Nichole Brown, director of field placement and project director, Teacher Opportunity Corp II at SUNY Oswego. The group of educators engaged in a lively conversation about how to create sustainable funding for teacher residencies.

DeMoss began the discussion with an overview of the reasons solutions to the funding problem are necessary. She shared that attracting diverse candidates to the teaching profession requires a focus on the money matters that teaching candidates care about. For example, 40% of undergraduates and 76% of graduate students work full time, and they incur debt that is often untenable in comparison to the salaries they can expect as teachers.

Session highlights Innovative Programs that Address Workforce Needs


During the AACTE 2019 Annual Meeting, panelists for the Deeper Dive session, “Innovations to Address Today’s Workforce Needs” examined inclusive education preparation and strategies to address the national teacher shortage. The session highlighted AACTE’s partnership with the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center at the University of Florida and its federal supporters.

AACTE Consultant Jane West, who leads the Association’s work with CEEDAR, moderated a discussion with panelists Mary Murphy and Mark Seals (Bowling Green State University) and Marvin Lynn (Portland State University) on best practices at Bowling Green’s undergraduate teaching program and Portland State’s master’s program. 

Deeper Dive panel examined winning strategies to address teacher shortage in diverse communities


Teacher shortages vary across the country by subject area, but the shortage is worst in high-minority, low-income schools, in lower wage states, and in districts with poorer working conditions. This topic was explored during a “Deeper Dive” session at the AACTE 2019 Annual Meeting titled “Successful Strategies for the Teacher Shortage.”

Jessica Cardichon of the Learning Policy Institute led the panel discussion, which included Patricia Alvarez McHatton (University of Texas), Selma Powell, (University of Washington), and Mario Santos (Newark Public Schools). Each participant shared their strategies for addressing the teacher shortage in three critical areas: recruitment, completion, and retention.

Building Advocacy Relationships at the State level

We all know educator preparation is held accountable at the state level. That is why the ability to advocate and engage with your state elected official and agencies is such a consequential part of developing and preparing educators. For those interested in engaging with their elected officials, the question then becomes, where do I start and how can I build the strong relationships that are such a vital part of effective advocacy? 

On March 14, the members of the AACTE Government Relations and Advocacy Committee hosted a webinar to address these and other important questions. The organizing theme of the webinar was identifying and constructing the building blocks of effective and productive engagement with legislators, their staff, and key regulators at the state level.

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