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Lessons From ECS Forum: Ongoing Engagement Critical as New State Policy Makers Take Office

On behalf of AACTE, I recently attended the annual National Forum on Education Policy of the Education Commission of the States (ECS), a national organization of state education policy leaders. The more than 550 attendees at the forum included governors, state education chiefs, chairs of state legislatures’ education committees, and higher education executives, many of whom were new to their position. In fact, one of my main takeaways from the conference was the high level of recent turnover in states’ positions for education decision makers – and the associated need for educators to maintain outreach efforts to connect with them.

Over the past 2 years, there has been drastic leadership change for state legislators, chief state school officers, and governors. In 2016, elections were held for 86 of the 98 partisan state legislative chambers and for 6 of the 13 elected chief state school officers. Furthermore, the average tenure of a chief state school officer is approximately 2½ years. In 2017, 36 states will hold elections for their governors, at least 16 of which must be new due to term limits.

How to Grow Your Own: Ideas From NEA/AFT Summit on Teacher Diversity, Social Justice

Last month, more than 150 educators and organizational leaders convened in Washington, DC, for a summit on strategies to recruit and retain a more diverse teaching workforce. Hosted by the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the “Grow Your Own: Teacher Diversity and Social Justice Summit” offered a series of presentations and panel discussions focused on efforts to recruit educators from local communities.

One panel focused on educator preparation programs and included faculty from several universities across the nation. They discussed the challenges and successes of their candidates and the particular approaches of successful grow-your-own (GYO) programs, from community-centered recruitment to unique financial incentives and other supports.

Using NICs to Engage More Minority Males in STEM Learning

A member of the North Carolina A&T State University team shares its work during the May event at Morgan State University.
Abiodun Fasoro of Central State University discusses his campus’ minority male STEM program during the Verizon Innovative Learning Showcase.

Last month, I had the privilege of participating in the Building a Networked Improvement Community Around Engaging Minority Males in STEM Workshop at Morgan State University. The workshop focused on advancing the work of the Early STEM Engagement for Minority Males (eSEM) Initiative, a network of 16 minority-serving institutions (MSIs).

Led by Morgan State and in partnership with Verizon Innovative Learning Programs, SRI Education, the National CARES Mentoring Network, and local school districts, eSEM is a growing collaborative seeking to address STEM achievement challenges and improve outcomes for middle school minority male students through the development of a Networked Improvement Community (NIC). The initiative is supported through grants from the National Science Foundation and includes the following universities:

AACTE 2017 Washington Week Recap

During the AACTE Washington Week, June 4-7, teacher educators, preservice teachers, and PK-12 school administrators united under the event theme “Diverse Perspectives, Deep Partnerships, One Profession.” The convening brought together attendees from across the nation to discuss important education policies and advocate for educator preparation with members of Congress and their staff.

Coming Soon: Teacher Educator Technology Competencies

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

To help educator preparation programs address calls for better preparing new teachers to integrate technology in their practice, we recently led a collaborative research effort to develop a set of teacher educator technology competencies. An article outlining the competencies and our underlying methodologies is currently in review for publication, and we look forward to disseminating the details soon – but for now, we’d like to share some background on what spurred the project and how we decided to approach it.

China-U.S. Education Innovation Alliance Marks Launch of Fund for Collaborative Projects

On May 12, AACTE President/CEO Sharon P. Robinson addressed U.S. and Chinese leaders from education, investment, and business sectors in Shenzhen, China, marking the launch of an investment fund of $20 billion for education initiatives by CITICS Securities, the largest brokerage in China. Robinson was invited to speak as cochair of the China-U.S. Education Innovation Alliance, which was created in February 2017 to promote collaboration and exchange opportunities for innovative education programs in both countries.

“Our alliance results from more than 2 years of intense research and discussions to identify unique Chinese and U.S. assets that are ready to be leveraged in order to create new answers to important questions of education practice in both countries,” Robinson noted in her remarks, thanking the Ivy Elite Education Association for its role in convening the group. She also expressed gratitude on behalf of the alliance to CITICS leadership connecting Chinese business and philanthropic interests to global education issues.

AACTE Leads Effort to Save Funding for Title II-A of ESSA

On May 10, AACTE was pleased to submit a letter to members of Congress on behalf of 141 organizations and their state affiliates recommending full funding for Title II-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The letter went to leaders of the education subcommittees working on appropriations in both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives for Fiscal Year 2018, in light of the recommendation in the president’s request to eliminate this $2.295 billion program (see the “skinny budget” released in March, and I’ll have another article soon about the full proposal being issued today).

New Survey Gauges Attitudes About Ethics in Educator Preparation

To understand more about attitudes toward professional ethics in preservice educator preparation, AACTE is collaborating with the National Council for the Advancement of Educator Ethics (NCAEE) to conduct a brief survey this spring. We invite you and your colleagues in both PK-12 and higher education to complete the survey by May 15, 2017.

This survey is intended to gather information regarding teacher educators’ beliefs about professional ethics as well as practices in educator ethics preparation across the nation. Responses will inform the future work of NCAEE, which was created following the 2015 release of the Model Code of Ethics for Educators (MCEE) by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification.

Sydney Chaffee of Mass. Named 2017 National Teacher of the Year

AACTE congratulates 2017 National Teacher of the Year Sydney Chaffee, who teaches 9th-grade humanities at Codman Academy Charter Public School in Boston, Massachusetts. (See AACTE’s press release issued today.)

Chaffee, who has been a teacher for a decade, earned her bachelor’s degree in women’s history and writing from Sarah Lawrence College (NY) and her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Lesley University (MA).

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