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AACTE Statement on DeVos Nomination for U.S. Secretary of Education

Sharon Robinson, President and CEO of AACTE, issued the following statement today regarding President-Elect Donald J. Trump’s selection of Betsy DeVos to serve as U.S. Secretary of Education:

“AACTE congratulates Betsy DeVos on her nomination. On behalf of the nation’s educator preparation programs, we stand ready to collaborate with her to improve education for every student in America.

Member Voices: AACTE’s New Advocacy Center Timely for Professional Engagement

On Election Day, AACTE launched its new Advocacy Center – a one-stop online resource to help guide your federal and state-level advocacy. To that end, you will find handy advocacy guides, state and federal pages with key resources and links, and the opportunity to sign up for a brand-new AACTE Action Alert system.

These alerts are timely, allowing anyone who signs up to participate in e-mail-based advocacy campaigns in support of the profession. We all were reminded of the power of the constituent voice in the recent elections, and we know we need to make our individual voices (and the collective voice of the profession) heard in our states and in Washington, DC, going forward.

November 2016 Federal Update Available

Did you miss this month’s AACTE Federal Update webinar? You can now view the webinar recording and slides through the federal page of the AACTE Advocacy Center. While you’re there, you can also explore the many resources that we have compiled or created for you to advocate on the federal and state levels.

In the November webinar, I covered the results of this month’s election, reviewed the composition of congressional leadership, and looked ahead to the activities expected during the next Congress with an impact on educator preparation. I also provided a very high-level review of the final rule for teacher preparation program regulations. Lastly, we discussed critical advocacy needs such as seeking cosponsors for a bill in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate and engaging at the state level on the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Coalition Objects to Final Teacher Prep Regulations

On October 20, a coalition of higher education, PK-12, and state-level organizations released a statement citing concerns about the final teacher preparation program regulations released last week by the U.S. Department of Education. AACTE is one of nearly 30 organizations signing on to the statement.

Among these organizations’ concerns about the new rule are that it will decrease the likelihood of every student having access to a fully prepared teacher, disadvantage programs serving the communities that most need well-prepared teachers, and impede progress toward increasing the diversity of the teaching profession.

AACTE Urges Scrutiny of Final Federal Regulations for Teacher Prep. Programs

Press Statement

(October 12, 2016, Washington, DC) – Today, the U.S. Department of Education released its final rule on the regulations for each of our nation’s 26,000 teacher preparation programs. The official version will be published in the Federal Register by the end of the month, and the Department is expected to release guidance in the coming weeks as well. AACTE is carefully analyzing the new rule and urges members and stakeholders to do the same to determine its potential impact on the profession.

Oct. 25 Webinar to Discuss ESSA Title II Guidance From Dept. of Ed.

NOTE: This webinar has been postponed until further notice.

The U.S. Department of Education released guidance (see PDF) for the implementation of Title II of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in late September. I’ll discuss the guidance and its implications in a free webinar for AACTE members October 25 at 4:00 p.m. EDT.

As you might recall, Title II of the new law is focused on recruiting, preparing, and retaining high-quality teachers, principals, and other school leaders. With many allowable uses of funds for both state and local education agencies to engage in, it is vital that educator preparation be at the table with opportunities and options in hand to support the workforce pipeline of the profession.

4 Institutions Win New TQP Grants for Serving Rural Communities

Congratulations to the four newest recipients of federal Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grants! Coppin State University (MD), North Carolina A&T State University, the University of New Hampshire, and the University of West Alabama will share more than $5 million to improve the preparation of teachers through partnerships with 13 high-need, rural school districts.

The U.S. Department of Education yesterday announced the new 5-year grants, which will be divided among two partnerships with a prebaccalaureate preparation model and two others with residency-based models:

Time Sensitive: Action Required by Oct. 23 for TEACH Grant Eligibility

On Friday, September 23, the U.S. Department of Education sent a letter to the presidents of certain institutions that are eligible for TEACH grants, announcing a change in eligibility requirements. If you are at one of these institutions, a response must be filed with the Department within 30 days of the letter – meaning by October 23.

Previously, institutions could offer the grants if their programs held either (a) specialized accreditation awarded through a Department-recognized agency or (b) state approval plus a requirement of at least 10 weeks of full-time preservice clinical experience and pedagogical course work. The letter (see PDF) explains that effective September 22, the Department no longer recognizes any national accreditor for educator preparation programs, eliminating option (a) as a qualifier for eligibility.

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