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Students Engage, Advocate Through Holmes Network

As participants in the William Paterson University (WP) Holmes Network–part of the AACTE Holmes Program–we have enjoyed many new and stimulating opportunities. Throughout the past year, we’ve received mentorship and other valuable support as Holmes Honors students (undergraduates in teacher preparation programs) and Holmes Master’s students (in-service teachers in graduate programs), and last month we capped it all off with an inspiring trip to AACTE’s Washington Week.

Civil Rights Data, Diversity Summit Bring Urgency to Diversifying Teacher Workforce

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

As practitioners in the field, we know that great things are happening every day in teacher preparation and school leadership. We are also keenly aware of some of the statistics revealed in the recent report of data collected by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. The results are disconcerting, and as Secretary John King articulated, reveal the necessity for continued attention to this issue.

Join AACTE’s New LGBTQ Topical Action Group

Are you interested in advocacy and inclusion in teacher preparation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) issues? How can teacher education better support family diversity and gender-diverse and transgender youth, as well as address gender stereotyping and bias-based bullying topics in teacher preparation? Please join me in forming a new AACTE topical action group (TAG) to address these questions together!

According to a recent update from the Human Rights Campaign, 201 anti-LGBT bills have been introduced in 34 states this year, which comprises 76% of legislatures in session this year. However, only 3% of the total measures have been enacted. In Kansas, for example, senators encouraged schools and universities to disregard federal Title IX guidance that protects against discrimination, including sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. North Carolina recently passed HB2, which denies transgender people use of bathrooms aligned with their gender identity. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch spoke recently on the issue of the U.S. Department of Justice suing North Carolina over the law:

PDS Director Reflects on Partnership Themes

AACTE’s Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series on the Patton College of Education at Ohio University is coming to a close. We’ve enjoyed sharing the successful partnership work of the college and its network of professional development schools (PDSs) in a series of videos and blogs over the past 2 months, and now we’ve posted one final video – a longer clip with some great insights from the college’s leaders about their clinical practice model.

Reflections on the 2016 AACTE State Leaders Institute

What an inspirational and invigorating experience I had last week at AACTE’s State Leaders Institute (SLI)—in my 7th year participating in AACTE’s Washington Week!

SLI was held June 5-6 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. Thirty-five states were represented by 60 attendees, many of whom were new faces adding to SLI’s rich and continuing conversations. This enrollment represented an increase from last year of 10 additional AACTE state chapters and also included 20 attendees who returned from the 2015 institute.

Over the course of 2 days, we enjoyed ample and fulfilling opportunities to engage with expert panelists, peers sharing research-based and cutting-edge practices in preparing high-quality teachers and leaders for PK-12 schools, federal updates, policy trend overviews, advocacy and coalition planning, working with policy makers and their staffers, working with the media, and individual and state chapter strategic planning work time. We also had the pleasure to interact at a special reception with not only each other but also a cohort of AACTE Holmes Scholars—graduate students from across the country who represent the brightest future in the profession.

Holmes Alumna: Program Offers ‘Life-Changing’ Experiences, Partnerships

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Holmes Scholar alumna Bridget Steele

Participation in the AACTE Holmes Program produces tangible results for students through many local and nationwide channels of support. These benefits include not only success in completing a course of study but also mentoring and professional networks that extend well past graduation. The following testimonial from program alumna Bridget Steele, who graduated from the University of Central Florida 4 years ago, conveys how being a Holmes Scholar can shape a student’s experience through graduate school and beyond:


UNLV Leadership Program for Educators Graduates First Class

This article originally appeared in the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) News Center and is reposted with permission.

UNLV
Urban Leadership Development graduates Diana Gomez, left, Dawn King and Benjamin Feinstein. (Josh Hawkins/UNLV Photo Services)

Diana Gomez always felt a pull toward a teaching career.

Even as a child, her heart was happiest when she was supervising her sisters’ and cousins’ cursive writing and math lessons, recess sessions, and lunch duty during games of “school.” She spent 5 years post-college exploring an accounting career, but the passion for her first love — education — remained.

Gomez returned to school to obtain her teaching credential, moved to Las Vegas because of vast job openings, and might have been content to teach first grade forever. But one fateful day, a mentor, whose “growing our own” mantra had encouraged Gomez to spend the last several years moving up the ranks, urged her to attend an informational meeting about the University of Nevada Las Vegas Urban Leadership Development (ULD) program.

Second Project LEAD Summit Brings Faculty, Candidates Together to Share Progress

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Lisa LaDonna Cooper and Linda Mitchell of State Farm present funds to the ACI Center to support Project LEAD during the spring summit in Chicago.

In April, faculty and teacher candidate “ambassadors” representing institutions in the Associated Colleges of Illinois (ACI) convened in Chicago to take part in the Project LEAD (Leaders in Education Advocating for Diversity) Spring Summit. The summit, conducted by the ACI Center for Success in High-Need Schools, followed up on the inaugural Project LEAD meeting that took place last fall. (Read more about that meeting here.)

The day began with a welcome and celebration of the ACI Center and the initial successes of Project LEAD by its sponsor, State Farm. This included a brief talk by Community Relations Specialist Lisa LaDonna Cooper as well as an exciting presentation of funds to support participating institutions.

Gain a Sense of Connection at the State Leaders Institute

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Chapter leaders listen intently at the 2015 State Leaders Institute

In 2015, I participated for the first time in AACTE’s State Leaders Institute (SLI). In thinking about what I gained from participation, the phrase that comes to mind again and again is a sense of connection.

Psychological research suggests that those who feel consciously connected with others—or with their environment, or with anything that is larger than themselves—tend to be more physically and mentally healthy than others. Perhaps it’s too lofty to suggest that your participation in SLI will improve your overall well-being, but I can testify to several practical benefits!

IACTE Unites Partners in Practice for Advocacy

Members of IACTE
Members of the IACTE Executive Committee at the chapter’s inaugural Day at the Statehouse in February

Last year, the Indiana Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (IACTE) received an AACTE State Chapter Support Grant to fund the creation of a statewide advocacy consortium. In order to disrupt the dominant discourse that negatively portrays teacher education programs, educators, and schools, IACTE sought to collaborate with “partners in practice” to tell positive stories and create a unified message of the education profession. We held a series of productive conversations and meetings, culminating in the capstone experience of the first IACTE “Day at the Statehouse” event in February.

Our partners in this work included the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents, the Indiana Association of School Principals, the Indiana State Teachers Association, the Indiana School Boards Association, and the education honorary, Kappa Delta Pi.

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