Welcome to The President’s Perspective blog, sharing thoughts from AACTE’s president and CEO on important, timely topics in educator preparation.
I am excited to report that the AACTE Board of Directors approved a new Strategic Plan framework during their meeting in Washington, DC last month. Our Board adopted new vision and mission statements that are bold, innovative, and will facilitate building the Association’s overall strategic plan. Please take a few minutes to watch the video above (or read the transcript) to learn more about your Association’s new direction.
AACTE is committed to elevating education and educator preparation through research, professional practice, advocacy, and collaboration. Be a part of our exciting work by actively engaging in our efforts. Learn more about AACTE’s initiatives and how to get involved by visiting aacte.org.
AACTE board member Donald Easton-Brooks is widely known as a scholar of educational policy and culturally responsive teaching. This year, he released his book Ethnic Matching: Academic Success of Students of Color. In a recent Q&A with AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone, Easton-Brooks talked about the book and how his research shows diversifying the teaching profession will ultimately improve student’s success. The following summary highlights the conversation.
What ethnic matching initially suggests is that teachers of color can play a significant role in enhancing the academic experience of students of color. As this research and other research progress, findings have shown that teachers of color can play a significant role in also enhancing the academic experience of white students and can assist in enhancing a more culturally responsive profession as a whole. Therefore, the concept and research related to the concept suggest that we need to diversify teacher education. Mainly because as our communities are becoming more diverse, we are seeing our public schools also becoming more diverse. Yet what is happening is that our educator profession is not growing at a similar rate as these communities of students. The research around the concepts shows that perceived knowledge or knowledge from a preceptive culturally lens can play a role in students’ understanding of concepts, learning, and processing of information. This often can lead to these students being misinterpreted by teachers and feeling somehow misunderstood by teachers if they do not have that cultural lens to understand them. That is what teachers of color can bring to the table that can be of assistance to educational systems.
This article by President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone was originally published in the “Empowering Our Educators” supplement to USA Today and on the Education and Career News website. The article and photo are reprinted with permission.
Effective educators are developed, not born. Their preparation begins in colleges and schools of education and persists through the professional development during their careers. As the needs of student learners evolve, so too must our development of educators.
This month, AACTE members, colleagues, and students converged on our nation’s capital and made their voices heard during AACTE’s Washington Week events. From increasing teacher diversity to a renewed respect for the profession, attendees promoted educator preparation and pushed for their representatives’ support in making education the center of American values. Please take a few minutes to watch the video above (or read the transcript) to receive an update on AACTE’s advocacy efforts on your behalf.
Rest assured, AACTE tackles policy issues not only during our annual advocacy week but also throughout the year to continually move forward our legislative agenda. Stay connected to AACTE for up-to-the-minute information on policies and legislation by visiting aacte.org.
AACTE is committed to being your go-to-resource for the latest information, news, and trends in educator preparation. Being an AACTE member connects you to a vibrant community of educators and a strong network of support. Discover how to maximize your benefits and stay connected with AACTE in this month’s member update. Please take a few minutes to watch the video above (or read the transcript).
Lynn M. Gangone and Renee A. Middleton advocate for education preparation in recent Ed Week articles
Don’t Blame Admissions Standards
To the Editor:
Marc Tucker has helped us better understand education systems around the world. Unfortunately, in his recent opinion blog post (“Teachers Colleges: The Weakest Link,” November 1, 2018), he demonstrates less understanding of America’s teacher-preparation programs than he has about programs abroad.
AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone recently traveled to Indiana where she met with deans of colleges and schools of education throughout the state, and representatives from the State Department of Education and national foundations to discuss educator preparation from a national perspective. Gangone also was invited to be the lead speaker at the Indiana Association of Colleges for Teacher Education’s (INACTE’s) first statewide summit, and presented data from the Colleges of Education: A National Portrait report.
Ena Shelley, an AACTE board member and INACTE member, shared how important it was to hear the trend data. “When you are working within state borders, you think it is just your state, but when you see the trend data—how long teachers are staying or not staying, the demographics—it makes it real,” Shelley said. “I think the report was so important because we really haven’t had a succinct, cohesive report like the National Portrait, which gives us real data to look at … [and ask ourselves] now what can we do about it?”
As the school year nears its end, teachers everywhere are contending with mounting time pressures, waning resources and energy reserves, maybe even an epidemic of spring fever. For some teachers, though, the frenzy and frustrations seem to last all year–and they may feel isolated, underappreciated, and powerless to change the situation. AACTE President/CEO Lynn M. Gangone has this message to encourage them to strengthen their capacity to both support students and thrive as successful members of the professional community.
As a teacher, you’re focused on helping students. You draw from your content knowledge, determine appropriate pedagogy for the particular child and context, and forge connections with resources to support each learner’s growth. What’s more, these practices benefit more than just the young people in your care–teachers, too, thrive with a rich support network in their community and tailored opportunities to learn and grow as professionals.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of AACTE’s founding. Created in 1948 as an alliance to boost the quality of teachers being prepared for the country’s growing public school system, our association remains steadfastly focused on the democratic ideal of providing all students equitable access to an excellent education.
AACTE’s platinum anniversary falls at a time when this ideal is still far from being realized, or even universally held, in our society. Many Americans seem to have forgotten what our nation’s founding fathers knew: that quality public education is an essential element of a democracy. John Adams called for the “whole people [to] take upon themselves the education of the whole people”; Thomas Jefferson insisted a civilization could not be both ignorant and free. Over time, persistent activism from the suffragette and civil rights movements expanded the nation’s understanding of whose voices count – of what “the whole people” really means.
AACTE is committed to high-quality educator preparation and works continually to assist member institutions in understanding what is necessary to engage in quality assurance processes. A recent decision by the AACTE Board of Directors, described in this blog by AACTE Board Chair Renée A. Middleton, reaffirms the importance of a unified national accreditation system that assures our nation’s teacher candidates are of the highest caliber, and clarifies AACTE’s role in the quality assurance environment. The Board and the AACTE national office team are dedicated to listening to and serving our members, and Dean Middleton’s blog reflects that commitment to member value.
One of the primary roles of educators is to prepare learners to become engaged citizens in a 21st-century democratic society. Today’s educators enter highly diverse schools that reflect the breadth of our nation, and AACTE members are committed to ensuring that their candidates are ready and able to be successful with all of their students. National accreditation requires educator preparation providers to address profession-wide standards of excellence and supplies metrics that support high quality by promoting programmatic reflection and continuous improvement. AACTE members embrace accountability measures that demonstrate their programs’ effectiveness and contribute to program improvement.