Posts Tagged ‘special education’
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.
The AACTE Gallery will be offered again this year at the 2019 Annual Meeting in Louisville. It will feature mini presentations and a dedicated coffee and conversation space where Annual Meeting participants can chat with representatives from AACTE member and partner initiatives, as well as AACTE staff, to learn more about programs and opportunities of interest. The AACTE membership booth will also be located nearby, and staff will be on hand to share information and answer questions.
Come learn more about what’s been happening at AACTE this year! You can receive the latest updates on the AACTE Strategic Planning initiative, gain access to AACTE’s new research publication, Education Students and Diversity: A Review of New Evidence, and connect with AACTE members and partners for information about their innovative projects. For all of this and more, be sure to add the AACTE Gallery time blocks to your personalized 2019 Annual Meeting Online Event Planner schedule. The Gallery will offer opportunities to network while learning about promising innovations in educator preparation.
Congratulations to Ashley L. White and Cassandra B. Willis (pictured left to right) for receiving the 2018 Jane West SPARK Award at the Teacher Education Division (TED) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) conference in November. The award, established in 2016, is given annually to individuals who advocate for special education in teacher preparation (e.g., government relations, letter writing, visits to Congressional members), and is committed to continuing this work in the future.
Ashley L. White
A doctoral student at the University of South Florida (USF), White received a 2015 doctoral fellowship for the Special Education Policy Studies, a grant specifically designed to prepare doctoral scholars as leaders in the field of special education policy. The following year, she was accepted to the Higher Education Consortium for Special Education’s (HECSE) Doctoral Short Course. HECSE is an organization that advocates for the “appropriate educational opportunities and effective school outcomes for millions of American children and youth with disabilities.” Since becoming involved in HECSE, her advocacy activities have included interning at the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) where she engaged in policy matters including but not limited to regulatory reforms, ED/OSEP grant priorities, and engagement with advocacy organizations. White also served as an HECSE intern, with responsibilities that included connecting faculty at USF with HECSE committees, distributing USF documents to its Congressional representatives, and arranging Hill visits for university faculty as well as all of HECSE’s Florida members.
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.”
JTE Author Interview: Analyzing Historical Intersections Between General and Special Education to Support More Inclusive Practice
Check out the latest the JTE Insider blog interview by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team. This blog is available to the public, and AACTE members have free access to the articles in the JTE online archives—just log in with your AACTE profile.
This interview features insights from the JTE article, “Interrogating the Intersections Between General and Special Education in the History of Teacher Education Reform” by Linda P. Blanton, Marleen C. Pugach, and Mildred Boveda. The article appears in the Sept/Oct 2018 issue of JTE.
Nearly 40 members of the AACTE Clinical Practice Commission (CPC) and the Special Education Task Force met in Washington, DC on September 24-26 to discuss their separate and shared initiatives that serve as next steps for advancing the new CPC report. Released in January 2018, A Pivot Toward Clinical Practice, Its Lexicon, and the Renewal of Educator Preparation by the CPC offers a framework, guidance, and common lexicon to expand the operationalization of clinical educator preparation. Its 10 proclamations and tenets identify highly effective and evidence-based practices for embedding teacher preparation in the PK-12 environment.
During the planning session, the CPC developed a working plan to advance its emissary work and to create a site-based peer-coaching model. The Taskforce focused on finalizing a series of tenets that will be added to the existing CPC proclamations to provide more specific practice recommendations for special and inclusive educator preparation.
“The CPC met on the first day to discuss the next round of their work, which is to share findings of the report more broadly through focused emissary work and the development of peer coaching strategies,” said Amanda Lester, AACTE director of programs and professional learning. “This emissary work includes a defined plan that will help AACTE members learn more about how to implement the report’s research for developing or expanding their clinical practice model.”
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) in Manchester launched its new clinical master’s degree program during the 2018-19 academic year. The program offers dual certification in elementary and special education or early childhood and early childhood special education. It is designed to prepare teacher candidates for certification and to ensure that new educators have the required skills, competencies, knowledge, and dispositions specifically needed to support the development and learning of students in elementary grades (K-8) and general special education (K-12).
“It’s an accelerated 15-month clinical program that enables teacher candidates to work clinically with students during 11 of those months,” said Mary Ford, Interim Dean in the School of Education at SNHU. “They are [working] in supervised clinical experiences learning the craft and skill of teaching as well as monitoring the learning progress of their K-12 students.”
Rowan University’s College of Education is the founding college on campus but that doesn’t stop it from continually innovating its practice and creating forward-thinking opportunities for teaching and learning. And so, this year, the oldest college on campus is offering an innovative new degree: the Bachelor of Arts in Inclusive Education.
The concept of inclusive education is simple, yet profound: teachers must be prepared to meet the needs of ALL the learners in their classroom, regardless of differences in race, language, culture, and physical ability.
On June 22, the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-H) moved its Fiscal Year 2019 bill through markup. Despite the FY19 increase of $18 billion for nondefense discretionary funds from the deal made earlier this year, the House FY19 Labor-H bill received no additional funds (the Labor-H bill contains about 32% of the nondefense discretionary funds found across all federal agencies).
Given this challenge, it was a pleasant surprise to see that the programs that AACTE advocates for receive level funding or a small increase:
In a recent show on Education Talk Radio, host Larry Jacobs interviewed the leaders of AACTE’s Special Education Task Force about their work to improve the clinical preparation of special education professionals. The discussion about diversity, equity, and inclusion included the following guests:
- Deborah Reed, University of North Florida
- Rene Roselle, University of Connecticut
- Amanda Lester, AACTE Director, Programs & Professional Learning
- Jane West, AACTE Consultant