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AACTE to form Special Education Networked Improvement Community (NIC)

AACTE will launch a Networked Improvement Community focused on Special Education Teacher Recruitment and Retention in May of 2019. The NIC will investigate strategies to address the persistent shortages in the field of special education.

The shortage of special education teachers and the lack of diversity among all teachers have been well documented. Half of all schools and 90% of high-poverty schools struggle to find qualified special education teachers. Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia report special education teacher shortages. However, special education teacher shortages are not evenly distributed across the country. Generally, high poverty areas—both urban and rural—are most likely to experience the most severe teacher shortages, including those in special education. States vary in the degree of shortage they experience.

Diversified Teaching Workforce Institute and Teacher Diversity Research Award

The Third Annual Diversified Teaching Workforce (DTW) Institute will convene on February 21, 2019 at the AACTE Annual Meeting in Louisville, KY. The Institute will convene a group of national leaders at colleges and universities across the United States to spotlight and explore innovative efforts for addressing racial/ethnic teacher diversity across five key areas: recruitment and retention, teacher preparation, mentorship, induction and professional development, and advocacy. Recognizing the need to create spaces within professional networks to discuss and unpack the challenges and possibilities for increasing teacher diversity, the institute offers presentations on current research, opportunities to converse in working groups, and panel sessions focused on best practices from teacher preparation and teacher diversity pipeline leaders. A brief overview of potential panels at the Institute include:

AACTE Initiatives in Special Education Preparation Take Flight

AACTE is a national partner for the University of Florida’s Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center, which helps states and institutions of higher education to develop the ability of every teacher to prepare students with disabilities for college and careers. As a federally funded multi-million dollar project, CEEDAR works with AACTE and others to promote the preparation of all educators to have the mindset and skillset for effectively instructing students with disabilities along with all other students in the mainstream classroom.

“This initiative is about ensuring that all educators have the skills to work effectively with students with disabilities,” said AACTE Consultant Jane West, who leads the Association’s work with CEEDAR. “Special education has too often been considered a place and not a service. We are highlighting and promoting preparation for both general and special educators so they can provide effective instruction to students with disabilities in inclusive ways with an eye toward raising expectations and undermining the stigmatizing of students with disabilities.”

Richmond Teacher Residency Receives Nearly $5M Grant to Expand, Provide STEM Training

This article originally appeared online at news.vcu.edu and is reposted with permission.

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $4.97 million grant to expand Richmond Teacher Residency, help provisionally licensed science, technology, engineering and math teachers move toward full licensure, and provide math and science training to hundreds of local elementary and special education teachers.

Richmond Teacher Residency, a program in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Education, is an intensive, school-based teacher preparation program that integrates a research-supported approach for effective teaching with real-world classroom experience. Residents teach in local schools under the mentorship of a veteran teacher, while also earning a graduate degree in either education or teaching from VCU.

Radio Show Highlights Efforts to Retain, Recruit Black and Hispanic/Latino Male Teachers

AACTE members Ernest Black and John Kuykendal joined AACTE consultant Amanda Lester on a recent episode of Education Talk Radio to discuss the networked improvement community’s (NIC’s) study on the challenges and opportunities to increase Black, Hispanic, and Latino male teachers nationwide.

“Using a NIC is part of an ‘improvement science’ approach to looking at a problem of practice that persists in education,” explained Lester. The NIC involved a study of 10 institutions that shared their own experiences in recruiting and retaining teacher candidates in this population. Black and Kuykendal represent two of the college preparation programs that participated in the study, which began in 2014.

The premise of the research is that Black and Hispanic/Latino male students underperform in schools but when paired with Black and Hispanic/Latino male teachers for as little as one year, their success improves.

Colorado Gives Grants to AACTE Member Institutions to Combat Teacher Shortage

The Colorado Department of Higher Education announced this month that it has awarded nearly $2 million to 17 collaborative projects designed to recruit and retain more educators as part of the Plan Into Action grant established in partnership with the Colorado Center for Rural Education. Of the recipients, nine are AACTE member institutions, which have developed initiatives to combat teacher shortages. The other grantees include school districts, boards of cooperative educational services, and traditional and alternative educator training programs from across the state. The projects will establish teacher residency programs, leverage technology for improved professional support, and encourage more teacher candidates to specialize in high-need content areas.

“Teachers are the backbone of our education system and critical to our state’s long-term success,” CDHE executive director Dan Baer said. “These funds will strengthen the relationships among our institutions, alternative programs and the schools in their backyard, helping communities cultivate their own teacher corps and better support those already in the classroom.”

Radio Show Spotlights Multicultural Education and Diversity at CU Denver

AACTE members Rebecca Kantor and Barbara Seidl of the University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver) School of Education and Human Development (SEHD) recently appeared on the EduTalk radio show to discuss their award-winning program. A recipient of the 2018 AACTE Best Practice Award in Support of Multicultural Education and Diversity, CU Denver has discovered innovative ways to infuse multicultural education and diversity into educator preparation.

Rebecca Kantor
Barbara Seidl

When asked by Education Talk Radio host Larry Jacobs about what makes their program stand out, Seidl answered, “Nationally, we all struggle to diversify the teacher workforce. But we thought about it in two ways: the first is to diversify the actual teaching pool … and the other is to make sure that [multicultural education and diversity] is really infused across all of our content and preparation.”

Educational Leadership Preconference Focuses on Interaction of Policy, Practice

am2018-wallace-precon

On February 28, AACTE hosted a daylong preconference workshop titled “Strengthening the Pipeline to Transform the Principalship,” sponsored by The Wallace Foundation. The event, held just prior to the 70th AACTE Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, was attended by PK-12 and higher education leaders from across the nation and engaged participants in presentations and conversation on educational leadership through the lenses of policy and practice.

The agenda was broken into two thematic segments. The first segment highlighted how policy, partnerships, and resources influence strategies to renew principal preparation programs. The second included presentations about key policies that influence the renewal of principal preparation programs.

Our Shared Commitment to Quality


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.

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