Author Archive

    Zachary VanHouten

    Manager of Programs and Advocacy, AACTE

    Congressional Briefing Highlights Impact, Importance of TQP Grants

    Congressional briefing panelists (L–R) Jane Bray, Jennifer Robinson, Mario Santos, Lisa Fischman, Danielle Riley, and Qualyn McIntyre. Photo courtesy of Megan Shearin, Old Dominion University.

    A well-attended congressional briefing February 14 highlighted the positive impact of Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grants in schools around the country, aiming to inspire lawmakers and staff to continue supporting the program as they reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA) and determine appropriations for federal spending.

    In a packed Senate hearing room, the Valentine’s Day briefing presented testimony about how TQP grants have catalyzed improvements to educator preparation programs as well as to the schools and communities they serve. Dean Jane Bray of Old Dominion University (VA) served as moderator for the panel discussion.

    Government Shutdown, DACA, HEA, Tax Reform – Catch Up on the Latest From Washington!

    Did you miss the January AACTE Federal Update webinar? The recording and slides are now available in AACTE’s Resource Library – a free, member-exclusive benefit! Catch up on all the latest developments in Washington, DC, as Congress works through a packed and polarizing agenda this month. Feel free to share these resources with colleagues at your institution who might also be interested in viewing.

    Remember, there will be no February Federal Update webinar (we will resume again in March!), as you’ll have the opportunity to attend two Washington Update sessions in early March at AACTE’s 70th Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. You’ll also want to attend Deborah Koolbeck’s “advocacy speed-dating” session March 2, where you can participate in your choice of five mini advocacy trainings:

    What’s Up in Washington? Join AACTE’s Federal Update Webinar

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    The clock is ticking on what appears to be an imminent federal government shutdown, unless a last-minute deal is struck on a short-term funding solution (continuing resolution) through either next week or February 16. Republicans and Democrats are facing off on numerous issues.

    What’s causing this logjam? Challenges range from settling on a legislative fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program, increasing defense spending, deferring some healthcare tax provisions, extending the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and raising spending caps (aka “a budget deal”). What’s also coming in February is the need to raise the debt ceiling. Looking forward, we could see more action on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act through the spring.

    2018 National Teacher of the Year Finalists Announced

    Today, the Council of Chief State School Officers announced four teachers from New Jersey, Ohio, Washington, and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) as finalists for the 2018 National Teacher of the Year:

    graphic of CCSSO teacher finalists

    Amy T. Anderson, 2018 New Jersey Teacher of the Year
    A high school American Sign Language teacher at Ocean City Public Schools, Anderson received her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and a master’s degree from Western Maryland College. Learn more

    December Federal Update Webinar Recording Now Available

    the top of the u.s. capital

    Did you miss last week’s Federal Update webinar? AACTE members can log in now to view the recording here.

    An overcrowded agenda is staring down members of Congress as they prepare to leave for the winter recess. Items such as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), tax reform, a budget deal, disaster relief, and CHIP (the Children’s Health Insurance Program) are items requiring policy makers’ attention before they leave Washington. In the midst of this activity, Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce introduced the “Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act,” which is the House Republican bill that would reauthorize the Higher Education Act.

    NCTQ Releases Biannual Review of State Teacher Policy

    NCTQ 2017 reportTo keep members informed, AACTE regularly monitors and reports on the activity of the National Council on Teacher Quality that could affect educator preparation programs. Visit our NCTQ resource page for additional information.

    This week, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released its biannual review of state policies related to teacher quality, providing a status report on what the organization considers effective policies governing how teachers are selected, prepared, evaluated, and retained.

    According to the 2017 State Teacher Policy Yearbook, many states have room for improvement in these policies, and despite recent progress on several fronts, NCTQ reports, many have stalled in their efforts to improve key policies related to educator quality.

    The yearbook recommends various areas of improvement for states to consider:


    Sign Up for Member-Exclusive Federal Update Webinars in November, December

    As the tax reform debate wages on in Congress, and as many other items linger on the agenda, there is much to accomplish in Washington by the year’s end. Many of the items will have an impact on the education community. Let AACTE help unpack and process some of the latest developments for you by joining our free, members-only November and December Federal Update webinars.

    To accommodate busy end-of-year schedules and various time zones, AACTE offers each webinar at two different dates and times. Click on your preferred date/time below to register.

    Briefing Spotlights Unmet Professional Development Needs of CTE Teachers

    Panelists Ruth Neild (Director, Philadelphia Education Research Consortium), Jon Graft (Superintendent/CEO, Butler Tech, OH), and Carri Risner (Chef Instructor & Lead Teacher, Columbia Area Career Center, MO) participate in a Q & A session with moderator Elyse Eidman-Aadahl (Executive Director, National Writing Project) during a briefing October 26 in Washington, DC. Photo courtesy of ACTE.

    A briefing hosted last week by the National Writing Project and the Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE) highlighted some of the unique challenges facing career and technical education (CTE) teachers, calling attention to their need for better training and support as they enter the classroom.

    Panelists at the briefing emphasized that many CTE teachers are career changers and lack the support and pedagogical preparation of a more traditionally trained educator. Describing the acclimation of these teachers to the classroom and the skills they need to acquire on the job as "drinking water from a fire hose," panelists called for targeted professional development to help career-changing CTE teachers bridge the gap between their technical knowledge and the academic and pedagogical skills they need to succeed as educators. The speakers also called on policy makers to invest in supports for CTE educators to help these programs ensure their students obtain the skills that meet the needs of a growing job market.

    Federal Update Webinar Recording Available – Opportunity to Engage!

    If you missed this week’s member-exclusive AACTE Federal Update webinar, the recording is now available to view in AACTE’s Advocacy Center (scroll down to the “Federal Update Webinars” box).

    With so much on the congressional agenda, it is tricky, but crucial, for advocates to stay informed. The AACTE Federal Update webinar brings you up to speed on the latest developments. It’s also a great learning opportunity for other faculty at you institution – as well as your students! – so we encourage you to share the recording with them.

    So Much to Do, So Little Time: Stay Informed With AACTE’s Federal Update Webinars

    Education funding is at risk of devastating cuts if Congress cannot reach a budget deal that raises the caps on federal spending for Fiscal Year 2018. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) reform, tax reform, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) are all items vying for attention on an overcrowded congressional agenda.

    With so many issues facing Congress, the need for the profession to stay informed is more important than ever. To keep up to date with all the latest information, please join AACTE for one of the October Federal Update webinars.

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