Posts Tagged ‘advocacy’
In light of the most recent election cycle and AACTE’s commitment to having its members and state affiliates remain connected with officials in their respective states, we have updated the lists of contact information on our website for each state’s policy makers (member login required). Contacts include that of the governor, chief school officer, relevant legislature committees, and education agency staff.
Two new advocacy guides are now available for download in AACTE’s Advocacy Center. These handy references help you put Twitter to use as a strategic advocacy tool and develop effective relationships with the press.
These guides, available exclusively to AACTE members, join four others we’ve developed to boost your advocacy prowess. Here’s the full list of guides currently available through the federal and state pages of the Advocacy Center:
For educators and those who prepare them, sleepless nights over recent national events have unfortunately become all too frequent. The most recent public discourse regarding the confirmation of the new U.S. Secretary of Education has certainly contributed to our level of concerns. In a recent op-ed I wrote that was published in The Virginian-Pilot, “Educational Objects in the Mirror,” I asked if perhaps these events are distracting us from our real worries. As dean of the Darden College of Education at Old Dominion University (VA), I realize that what really keeps me up at night is my state and local concerns – especially the growing shortage of teachers.
The need for more teachers is a cry that I hear on a daily basis from local schools. Recently, I was aghast to find out that in my state, the Commonwealth of Virginia, elementary teachers are now included on the shortage list. Those of us in the profession recognize the significance of the state’s shortage of elementary teachers. If that group of new professionals is diminishing, we really do have some sleepless nights ahead of us.
Like many of you, I’ve been dismayed at the recent barrage of executive orders, controversial nominees, and heated discourse on every news feed. At the same time, the amazing display of activism and civic engagement since the inauguration has been heartening. While none of us can go to every demonstration or contact our representatives constantly, the urge to act is strong.
So what do we do? As truly significant issues of democracy are at stake, how do we choose where to direct our energies to make a meaningful difference? When such questions come to mind, I recall the voice of the 11-year-old South African boy Nkosi Johnson, who was born with HIV and became famous for his memorable address at an international conference on AIDS in 2000. This wise young man urged those assembled to get busy – even in the face of scientific unknowns and the social stigma associated with the disease that would take his life less than a year later. He said, “Do all you can with what you have, in the time that you have, in the place you are.”
Thanks to the tireless advocacy efforts of AACTE members and many other education colleagues and partners, action is happening on Capitol Hill affecting the U.S. Department of Education’s regulations for teacher preparation programs.
On February 1, U.S. Representative Brett Guthrie (R-KY), chairman of the Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, introduced House Joint Resolution 58 to rescind the federal regulations for teacher preparation programs.
Ed Prep Matters is pleased to bring you this special feature on state policy and AACTE state chapter activity. For a recap of all state policy and state chapter in 2016, check out this blog.
Overview of State Policy Activity
This month has seen a landslide of state legislative action as the vast majority of state legislatures have convened for their 2017 legislative session. Since January 1, at least 164 state bills have been introduced that could impact various aspects of educator preparation.
As the new Congress and the new administration get under way, I want to remind AACTE members of an exclusive and free resource: AACTE’s monthly Federal Update webinars. We offer the same webinar twice each month, at different times and days to accommodate more members’ schedules and time zones. The presentations are recorded and posted online so that even if you miss them, you can catch up as your schedule permits.
If you have not registered for the AACTE Action Alerts, you’re missing out on chances to advocate on behalf of the profession!
You don’t need to be an AACTE member to engage through this system; you just need to create a profile in our database (which is free and easy to do), if you don’t have one already.
At the end of November, the U.S. Department of Education released its final rule for regulations on accountability, state plans, and data reporting for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Critical for educator preparation is the deadline set for states to submit their consolidated state plans (which includes requirements for Title II funds). States can submit their consolidated state plans by either April 3 or September 18, 2017.
The consolidated state plan is required to be created in consultation with key stakeholders. While educator preparation is not listed as a required stakeholder, institutions of higher education are required at the table. As your state works to develop its plan, this is an excellent opportunity to engage and make your voice heard!
In August, the Advisory Council of State Representatives (ACSR), the governing body of AACTE’s state chapters, released a set of state policy statements to enhance educator preparation. The statements represent the priorities of more than 1,100 educator preparation providers nationwide. AACTE created a customizable template in which state chapters can adapt the statements to meet their state and local needs.
The Missouri Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (MACTE) has been working on tools to advance our message with the state legislature and other key stakeholders. One of our newest assets is the ACSR State Policy Statements, which we adapted by adding a statement on our membership. MACTE has 100% participation among the state’s institutions of higher education that support educator preparation. We felt it was critical to illustrate that we are the collective voice of educator preparation in Missouri.