Towson University Builds Clinical Curriculum Through Virtual Simulation

“We see simulation—or approximations of practice—work as part of the trajectory of getting our preservice teachers ready to work with real students in classrooms,” said Laila Richman, associate dean of the College of Education at Towson. “We think about this as the first phase of a university-based clinical curriculum that moves them towards being able to work with students.”

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Promote Your AACTE State Chapter’s Activities

AACTE has an active network of state chapters across the country, and would like to help promote what’s happening in your local chapter through its communication channels. Is your state chapter providing activities to share best practices, engage on solutions to challenges, or advance professional skills? If yes, then please share your event details with AACTE!

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My Voice Still Matters: Its Resonance Can Still Elicit Change!

Azaria Cunningham in front of the US Capital.
The first time I attended the AACTE Day on the Hill in Washington, DC, was in 2015. At that time, I was one of two in the first Holmes Masters students’ program at William Paterson University (WPU). AACTE had just begun the implementation of adding Holmes Cadets, Holmes Honors, and Holmes Masters students. Before attending the “Day on the Hill,” Holmes held a Summer Policy Institute session, and upon entering the room, I immediately felt a sense of being home. The room was comprised of Holmes Scholars who were pursuing a doctoral degree. Having the chance to be surrounded by successful scholars who looked like me increased my internal drive. Holmes Scholars influenced me to believe that I could pursue earning a doctorate degree. A critical piece of information I learned and always carry with me is that representation matters on all levels, and the ability to see oneself in spaces to enact change is monumental.

Washington Update: Proposed Rulemaking Changes to Higher Education Accreditation

This blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide update information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

I started last week in NYC visiting a fabulous early childhood program called Beekman House in the south Bronx. They have a partnership with Bank Street College. I was once again rendered speechless (hard to do) by the incredible teaching I saw. It made me want a do-over for pre-k! This is part of EdPrepLab— a new initiative by Learning Policy Institute. Check out the Ed Prep Matters blog article to learn more. Shout out to AACTE for giving me this opportunity!

  1. House Completes Portion of Massive Spending Bill … To Be Continued Next Week

Members of the House hightailed it out of town Thursday leaving a portion of the $982 billion spending bill completed—but more to come next week. The portion of the bill completed is the Labor/HHS/Education part of which includes $75.9 billion for the Department of Education. The House was in session all night Wednesday, finally adjourning at 4:00 a.m. on Thursday only to return again later Thursday morning.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) wins the prize for no sleep, as she was there shepherding her  bill through every minute of the process and the over 100 amendments offered.  She reported getting only an hour of sleep noting “You know, you’re so wired!”

#AACTEWW19 Goes Viral


AACTE’s 2019 Washington Week attendees made known their presence in the nation’s capital on Twitter using #AACTEWW19. Photos and tweets of the event’s activities were shared on social media throughout the four-day conference last week, and on June 5 the attendees took over Twitter during their advocacy visits to congressional offices.

Analytic reports reveal #AACTEWW19 received more than 650 original posts, retweets and replies, which yielded over 1 million impressions! In fact, #AACTEWW19 was recognized as trending in Washington, DC by social media monitoring services.

AACTE’s Day on the Hill Facebook Live Videos Feature Members in Nation’s Capital

During AACTE’s 2019 Day on the Hill, the educator preparation community united on Capitol Hill to make their voices heard about challenging issues affecting education. AACTE members, colleagues, and students employed their advocacy skills to elevate the profession in meetings with Members of Congress and their staff. AACTE is excited to have captured attendees in real-time Facebook Live Shows and to highlight their significant work in Washington, DC.

In the video interviews, participants discuss the importance of teacher educators and students from across the nation converging on Capitol Hill to advocate for educator preparation as well as ways to impact education policy in their local areas. They also share how the advocacy training from AACTE’s Day on the Hill sessions prepared them for congressional meetings and key takeaways on best strategies to promote talking points with policymakers. All of the video participants emphasize the important message in the AACTE Washington Week event theme: “Your Voice Matters!”

New NCLD Helps Teachers Unlock the Power of Students Who Learn Differently


One in 5 students in the United States have learning and attention issues. This includes those with identified specific learning disabilities, diagnosed attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, or related disorders that impact learning. Despite often having above average or average intelligence, the majority of these students are achieving below grade level. This equates to millions of students across the nation whose strengths and potential are going untapped.

The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) and Understood set out to unpack and address this problem. We partnered with teachers—often the most consistent touchpoint for students after their caregivers—to understand their experiences and insights. We rooted these experiences in rigorous research focused on general education classrooms, where the majority of the “1 in 5” spend most of their time. The culmination of this work is found in “Forward Together,” a new report from Understood and the NCLD.

AACTE is joining several other education organizations to develop Forward Together Toolkits for our teachers and teacher educators. Stay tuned for more information on the dissemination of those toolkits!

New Initiative To Advance Teacher and Principal Preparation Grounded in the Science of Learning

Research shows that teachers are the number one in-school factor affecting student outcomes and principals are the number two factor. One important metric for those outcomes is how well and how equitably our nation’s diverse students are able to navigate our increasingly global and technologically complex world, where skills like critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and being able to apply knowledge in a range of contexts are crucial to success. Today, Learning Policy Institute and Bank Street Graduate School of Education have announced the launch of the Educator Preparation Laboratory (EdPrepLab), a new initiative to help educator preparation programs ensure that new teachers and leaders are able to provide all k-12 students with the kind of deeper learning that helps them develop those skills. 

EdPrepLab brings together 15 of the nation’s leading teacher and principal preparation programs to collaborate on further developing and documenting models for preparation that equip educators to advance  deeper learning and equity, and that can inform  other programs across the nation. The initiative will also support research to improve preparation programs and work with policymakers at federal, state, and local levels to help leverage policies that encourage the use of research-based practices that ensure new teachers and school leaders are well-equipped to provide deeper learning and to build the next generation of equitable schools and instructional education practices.

“Our world has changed significantly since the U.S. education system was first developed, and students today need an education that supports and prepares them for that more diverse, technology-driven, knowledge-based society,” said Learning Policy Institute President Linda Darling-Hammond. “That means we need to prepare teachers and school leaders to provide this kind of education. Fortunately, we have research to guide the way. There is a wealth of new knowledge about the science of learning and development, how social and emotional skills support academic learning, and how to ensure that students really understand what they have learned.”

Call for Chapter Proposals – Rethinking School-University Partnerships: A New Way Forward

As co-editors, we are inviting you to submit a chapter proposal for the upcoming book, Rethinking School-University Partnerships: A New Way Forward, which will be published by Information Age Publishing. This volume will explore innovative ways in which colleges of education and education preparation providers (EPPs) engage with school partners to improve teacher education and educational outcomes for P-12 learners. The main focus of this book project is to extend the literature in this area and to learn from others around the country engaged in this important work. We are particularly interested in partnership work that addresses mutually beneficial outcomes and persistent issues/problems in teacher education.

This book will provide educational leaders in public schools and colleges of education with insight, advice, and direction into the task of creating effective, proactive partnerships. In current times, colleges of education and local school districts need each other like never before. School districts struggle with pipeline-workforce, recruitment, and retention issues. Colleges of education face declining enrollment and a shifting educational landscape that fundamentally changes the way that teachers are trained and what local school districts expect their teachers to be able to do. It is with these overlapping constraints and converging interests that partnerships emerge as a strategy for strengthening the education of our teachers.

The partnerships that we envision are different from the ways in which colleges of education and school districts have traditionally worked with one another. In the past, these loose relationships centered primarily on student teaching and/or field experience placements. We conceptualize “new” partnerships as being proactive, mutually beneficial, pragmatic, and futures oriented. By focusing on people who are leaders in colleges/schools of education and local schools, this book will be well-positioned to help us develop a better understanding of how to initiate and lead change around the concept of partnerships.

AACTE Member Exclusive: June Federal Update Webinars


As we transition into summer in the northern hemisphere, timing for the U.S. Congress gets tight and tighter. August recess looms with a short time frame to wrap up the work on the Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations process in September. How many of the 12 bills waiting to be passed will be completed by September 30? How many agencies will operate under a Continuing Resolution? Will there be a deal to raise the caps on non-defense and defense discretionary spending? When will the federal government reach its debt ceiling and how does that impact the appropriations process? And what is unfolding with the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act?

The AACTE June 2019 Federal Update webinars will share the latest on these questions in this members-only opportunity. Plus there is always time to get your questions answered at the end of the webinar, including topics or happenings that were not covered in the update.

We offer the webinar on two different days and at different times to accommodate schedules and time zones, and we will also post a recording on the AACTE Advocacy Center’s federal page so you can stay in the know even if you cannot attend in person.

Register today!

Tuesday, June 18, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. EDT

Wednesday, June 19, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon EDT  

Washington Update: Budget and Appropriations

This blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide update information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

After a 10-day Memorial Day recess, Congress returned for a brief three-day session and then hit the road again. They will roar back into town next week with a plate full of funding issues to address.

  1. Budget and Appropriations: House on the Move!

The House

Democrats are vigorously exercising their hard-won majority in the House by moving rapidly on spending bills for FY 2020. By early next week all 12 appropriations bills will have moved through Committee markups and be ready to go to the House floor. House leadership has announced its intent to see all 12 bills passed by the end of June! 

UT to Launch Program to Support Diversity in Teaching


This article and photo originally appeared on the University of Tennessee News website and are reprinted with permission. 

A new program aimed at increasing the number of licensed teachers from diverse backgrounds will launch this summer in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences.

The program, Increasing Teacher Equity to Address Community High Needs (I-TEACH), is funded by a Tennessee Higher Education Commission grant recently awarded to the college to support diversity in education and to fill critical teaching shortages across the state. The two-year program supports 12 eligible teacher candidates for 33 hours of coursework and clinical practice. Candidates who complete the program will graduate with a master’s degree in teacher education.

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