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Higher Education Equity: Learning Experiences Via Multiple Pathways


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

Teacher educators love to talk. We lecture, provide oral directions, read passages aloud, ask countless questions, and verbally redirect. In addition to the auditory quality of teaching, we have also mastered the visual. Anchor charts, word walls, and mnemonic device posters are endemic in teacher preparation classrooms today as we dutifully prepare the next generation of teachers. Graphic organizers, mind maps, color-coding, and visual aids are also ubiquitous. In the never-ending struggle to meet the needs of all learners, the partiality toward auditory and visual aspects of teaching is biased against students (both adult learner and their future PK-12 students) who do not prefer to learn within those modalities.

Washington Updates: Student Aid, Brown vs. Board of Education 65 Years Later

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.

Today marks the 65th Anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court landmark decision that established the principle that separate is not equal. How far have we come? Much to contemplate here. You will see below that a House education panel spoke loud and clear on that topic: we have a long way to go. 

  1. Trump Proposes Taking More Funds from Pell Grants – to Fund Moonshot? Huh?

This week President Trump submitted to Congress some revisions to his original budget request. Notably, he took back the proposed cut he originally made for Special Olympics (after great bipartisan outrage); but he also added a new cut in the form of an additional $1.9 billion to the Pell grant surplus. It appears that the Pell cut would go toward funding the President’s proposed 2024 NASA moonshot! Education advocates were outraged. As Jon Fansmith of the American Council on Education put it: “Do I want to make college more expensive to fund space travel to the moon and Mars?” Hmmmm …

The President had already requested a $2 billion cut in Pell funding.  So the total $3.9 billion recission would result in the Pell surplus being exhausted by 2022! This request is likely to be ignored on Capitol Hill, as no one—Republican or Democrat—ever really contemplated cutting Special Olympics.  And while the Pell Surplus has been modestly raided in the past, a $3.9 billion cut is highly unlikely. 

Washington Update: Federal Investment in Public Education

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’m downright excited to have some GREAT news to report from Washington! Some of our leaders want to increase the federal INVESTMENT in public education!  Hallelujah. 

  1. House Moves Expansive Education Funding Bill through 8 Hour Marathon Mark up

This week Chair of the House Subcommittee on Labor/HHS/Education Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) successfully moved her spending bill out of the full Appropriations Committee.  The bill retains its overall 6% increase for education from last fiscal year, bringing the Department of Education to $75.9 Billion, and features significant increases for key education programs.

AACTE Commends Increase of Teacher Quality Partnership Grant Funds in Draft Funding Bill

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) is pleased by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies’ (Labor-H Subcommittee) draft bill released for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) yesterday. Among the programs seeing an increase in funding is the Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant program, the only federal initiative dedicated to strengthening and transforming educator preparation at institutions of higher education.

AACTE members have worked tirelessly to inform Congress about the effectiveness of this program, and the result is now tangible. The AACTE community can take heart, as their voices have clearly been heard on Capitol Hill. The bill in its current form increases TQP by $10 million for a total of $53 million; TQP has been flat-funded at $43.1 million since FY15. 

Get Answers to Your Questions at April’s Federal Update Webinar


The AACTE Federal Update Webinars are back! As April has unfolded, quite a few things have started to bloom and grow in Washington, DC, including the budget and appropriations process. The President’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Request was released and the Congress is in full appropriations season. But will the caps on defense and non-defense discretionary funds be raised to avoid deep cuts in programs? What is unfolding with legislation, including the Higher Education Act reauthorization?

We will cover this and more during the AACTE April 2019 Federal Update webinar. Remember there is always time to get your questions answered, and the webinar will be recorded and posted on the AACTE Advocacy Center federal page.

Register Today:

Tuesday, April 23 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. EDT

Wednesday, April 24, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon EDT

An Update: Federal Budget, Education Hearings, New Resources and more

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. 

Congress was busy this week trying to wrap a few things up as they enter an extended recess period. With the timeline for the election pressing, the momentum will continue. Remember the first Democratic presidential candidate debate is in June—just two months away! So the pressure is on.

  1. House Makes Magic Move on Budget!

The Budget Control Act, as it stands now, would require dramatic cuts for education and other programs for FY 2020, which begins October 1. In order to avoid significant cuts to education and other programs, the Budget Control Act needs to be amended to increase the spending caps. While the House Budget Committee adopted new spending caps this week, Democrats were unable to find consensus and bring that provision to the House floor. 

But do not despair! Where there is a will there is a way!  On Wednesday the House adopted something called a “deeming resolution” which provides for $1.3 trillion for the 12 spending bills in FY 2020. The “non-defense discretionary” portion (which includes education) will be $34 billion over the FY 2019 spending level. This deeming resolution paves the way for Appropriations Chair, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), to divvy up the funding into 12 pots—one for each of the appropriations bills.

Gangone on Higher Education Leadership: Podcast Interview

In a recent podcast with Enrollment Fuel, the organization’s president, Jacquelyn D. Elliott, interviewed AACTE President/CEO Lynn M. Gangone about what leadership means. The following summary highlights the conversation.

Opening the interview with a question about her definition of leadership, Gangone explained it as the process of orchestrating change “with people and for people” – that is, while the individual leader may have the power to implement change, the collective team is where change happens.

AACTE Joins 32 Organizations in Supporting the Dream Act of 2017

In a letter led by the American Council on Education, AACTE joined 32 organizations this month in supporting the Dream Act of 2017, a bipartisan bill introduced July 20 by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). The legislation would provide a path for young immigrants who entered the United States as children to attain lawful permanent residency status if they meet a series of requirements.

The target population is immigrants who in essence know only the United States as their home. Individuals may be eligible if they meet the following criteria:

Exchange of Ideas, Not Brainwashing, a Hallmark of College Experience

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

In certain circles, it is popular to view colleges and universities as the embodiment of an intolerant “education establishment” driven more by liberal ideology than by valued learning experiences. Particularly with the recent leadership transition in Washington, DC, espousers of this view have grown bolder in their accusations of brainwashing and progressive elitism in higher education. These claims are frustrating in that they betray a lack of familiarity with the mission of our institutions, but they are also dangerous: if used to erode public support for higher education, they will further impede access by those most in need.

While we welcome constructive criticism of our work, statements that delegitimize higher education are counterproductive and must be challenged. When officials suggest that professors are deviously indoctrinating students with a limited, biased, and distorted set of beliefs, such intimation is demeaning to faculty and students alike. And after 35 years in higher education, I can attest to the utter falseness of this assumption.

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