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Zachary VanHouten

Manager of Programs and Advocacy, AACTE

Washington Week 2017: What to Expect

AACTE’s Washington Week is just around the corner! From June 4-7, we’re offering a robust series of activities for faculty, students, state chapters, and partners under the theme “Diverse Perspectives, Deep Partnerships, One Profession.” Whether you’ll start the week at the Holmes Summer Policy Institute or the State Leaders Institute or plan to join us midweek, you certainly won’t want to miss the grand finale June 6-7: AACTE’s Day on the Hill, our premier advocacy event.

What can you expect at Day on the Hill? First, you should know that it’s actually 2 days long – one full day of advocacy training and orientation in the hotel, followed by a day of meetings on Capitol Hill. You can download the draft agenda here.

NCTQ Offers Mixed Reviews of Undergraduate Secondary Teacher Prep

Today, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released the second installment of its now-segmented Teacher Prep Review, this time grading undergraduate programs preparing secondary teachers based on a document review of their admission standards, content requirements, and field experiences.

Out of the 717 programs reviewed across the country, the new report says “adequate” content knowledge requirements are in place in approximately 81% of programs for candidates in the sciences and in 65% of social studies programs, while nearly all programs provide adequate preparation for English and math teachers. About three quarters of the evaluated programs require subject-specific methods courses, and less than half of those require student teaching in connection with that course work.

Sydney Chaffee of Mass. Named 2017 National Teacher of the Year

AACTE congratulates 2017 National Teacher of the Year Sydney Chaffee, who teaches 9th-grade humanities at Codman Academy Charter Public School in Boston, Massachusetts. (See AACTE’s press release issued today.)

Chaffee, who has been a teacher for a decade, earned her bachelor’s degree in women’s history and writing from Sarah Lawrence College (NY) and her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Lesley University (MA).

TEACH Grant Sequester Cuts Continue; Maximum Award Down to $3,724

In an announcement on the Federal Student Aid website, the U.S. Department of Education has outlined cuts to this year’s award amounts for TEACH Grants, reducing grants by 6.9% for the year that started October 1, 2016.

This cut, which brings the maximum TEACH grant award down from $4,000 to $3,724, is due to the federal budget sequester. (See this helpful FAQ on what sequester means for the federal budget, or this report from the Congressional Research Service for much more technical information.) Along with other sequestration-mandated cuts in federal funding, the TEACH grants have undergone reductions since 2013 ranging from 6.8 to 12.6%. An e-mail to financial aid administrators last year spelled out the most recent cuts.

Apply by April 24 for Federal Grant to Support Development of Teachers of ELL Students

The U.S. Department of Education is now accepting applications for a new grant competition to support the development of educators serving English language learners (ELLs). The deadline to apply is April 24 (note that the Department requests a notification of intent to apply by March 13, but this is not required).

Grant funds awarded under this competition will go to consortia of higher education and state or local agency partners for the following purposes:

Download New AACTE Guides on Using Twitter for Advocacy, Working With the Press

Two new advocacy guides are now available for download in AACTE’s Advocacy Center. These handy references help you put Twitter to use as a strategic advocacy tool and develop effective relationships with the press.

These guides, available exclusively to AACTE members, join four others we’ve developed to boost your advocacy prowess. Here’s the full list of guides currently available through the federal and state pages of the Advocacy Center:

NCTQ Teacher Prep Review Assesses ‘Landscape’ of Undergraduate Elementary Preparation

Today, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released its latest installment in the Teacher Prep Review, “Landscape in Teacher Preparation: Undergraduate Elementary.” To those familiar with previous versions of the Review, NCTQ is publishing with a noticeably different approach this time – instead of one all-encompassing review of programs, NCTQ has chosen to release reports in five segments:

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