Teaching Asian American History in and Beyond May

The following is a Q&A by Lin Wu, Ph.D., member of AACTE’s Global Diversity Programmatic Advisory Committee and assistant professor in the College of Education at Western Oregon University in reflection of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month and how teaching Asian American history extends beyond the classroom and timeframe designated to honor AANHPI history.

(Top) Noreen Naseem Rodríguez, Esther Kim (Bottom) Sohyun An, Lin Wu

Lin: What is your advice for teachers to strategically teach Asian American history, especially those who live in states with legislation that banned the teaching of historical truths?

All: It’s difficult to give one-size-fits-all advice for teaching no matter the topic, so this is even more complex when it comes to highly variable responses to teaching and learning about race and ethnicity. We have all taught pre- and in-service elementary educators in the U.S. South, so we deeply understand the complexity that many teachers face, in and beyond the South, because it’s important to remember that pushback to the teaching of race is happening across the country, not just in Florida and Texas.

Celebrate AANHPI Heritage Month at AACTE’s Webinar on Building Leadership Pathways for Asian/American and Other BIPOC Faculty.

As Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage month comes to a close, we are excited to invite you to celebrate by joining us for a special webinar, Building Intentional Pathways for Asian/Americans and Other BIPOC Faculty to Advance in EPP Leadership, which takes place on Wednesday, May 29, at 12 p.m. EST.

This webinar is the culmination of AACTE’s Thought Leadership Series: “Exploring Leadership Diversity in Educator Preparation Programs: An Asian/American Perspective.”  Over the past months, Ed Prep Matters has published a series of articles authored by Nicholas Hartlep, Ph.D., and Rachel Endo, Ph.D., that lay the groundwork for the critical discussions we will have during the webinar. These articles provide a deep dive into various aspects of leadership diversity in educator preparation programs, each contributing a vital piece to the overall conversation.

Voices of Vision: AAPI Leaders Shaping the Future of Educator Preparation

During Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AANHPI), a deeply engaging dialogue unfolded at the University of Northern Iowa, featuring Holmes Scholars Tiffiany Evans and Nimisha Joshi, alongside their mentors, Shuaib “Meach” Meacham and Sohyun “Soh” Meacham. This discussion brought forth a comprehensive exploration of their experiences and insights into leadership within the realm of educator preparation, particularly from the perspective of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

Tiffiany, whose leadership shines within her role at an elementary school library, took a significant step by inviting Soh as a guest speaker for AAPI Heritage Month. This act of leadership highlighted her commitment to fostering a deeper understanding of AAPI issues within her school community.

Q&A with AACTE Coaching’s Debbie K. Mercer

Debbie K. Mercer, Ph.D., is the dean of the College of Education at Kansas State University. Mercer will facilitate the Effective Communication & Navigating Difficult Faculty cohort, part of AACTE’s new Coaching initiative. In the following Q&A, AACTE asked Mercer for a preview of her cohort’s coursework and what members can expect from participating in this new AACTE-exclusive experience.

Who inspired you to become an educator?

It was the women in my life that inspired me to become an educator. My grandma taught in a one-room schoolhouse, my mom went back to school when I was in college to earn her elementary education degree, and taught kindergartners and first graders throughout her career.

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Additional $7.7 Billion in Approved Student Debt Relief for 160,000 Borrowers 

The Biden-Harris Administration announced the approval of $7.7 billion in additional student loan debt relief for 160,500 borrowers. These discharges are for three categories of borrowers: 

  • those receiving Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF);  
  • those who signed up for President Biden’s Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan and who are eligible for its shortened time-to-forgiveness benefit; and  
  • those receiving forgiveness on income-driven repayment (IDR) as a result of fixes made by the Administration. This action comes as more than 8 million borrowers have been helped by the SAVE Plan. That includes 4.6 million with a $0 monthly payment. 

Recently, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) also announced an update on the timing of the payment count adjustment. This administrative fix ensures borrowers get credit for progress borrowers made toward IDR forgiveness and PSLF. Borrowers who would benefit from consolidating now have until June 30, 2024, to apply to consolidate. Learn more about the payment count adjustment. 

ParKer Bryant, Syracuse University, Named May 2024 Holmes Scholar of the Month 

By Amelia Q. Rivera, Holmes Council Vice President, North Carolina State University 

ParKer Bryant, a third-year Ph.D. student in literacy education at Syracuse University, is the Holmes Scholar of the Month for May. Bryant’s research explores the intersections of imagination, creativity, language, and literacy – with a particular focus on developing critical literacy curricula and instruction for Black youth. 

Bryant’s path to becoming a literacy researcher and educator was shaped by their upbringing in a household that prioritized education, creativity, and storytelling. “Books, music, movies, and imaginative play flowed in quantity in my mother’s home,” they reflect. “This led to my relationship with understanding knowledge, activating my imagination, and co-creating narratives that were transferable to real-world understandings.” 

Findings: How Asian/American EPP Leaders Experience and Negotiate Racialized Stereotypes, Gendered Dynamics, Inequities and Realities

 The “Exploring Leadership Diversity in Educator Preparation Programs: An Asian/American Perspective” series is a multi-article study that aims to share the discoveries of a yearlong study that Nicholas D. Hartlep, Ph.D., and Rachel Endo, Ph.D., undertook during the 2023–2024 academic year. Their qualitative study explored the experiences of current and former Asian/American Education Preparation Program (EPP) leaders via surveys and interviews. Join AACTE for the “Building Intentional Pathways for Asian/Americans and Other BIPOC Faculty to Advance in EPP Leadership,” webinar, an opportunity to delve deeper into themes beyond those explored in the series. Register now for this insightful session on May 29 at 12 p.m. EST.

Introduction

The average time as an EPP leader for the Asian/Americans interviewed and surveyed was 9.4 years, with a range of 1 to 37 years and a median time of six years. Half of those who responded (n = 6) indicated they wanted to become an EPP leader. One-third said they wished to advance beyond their current EPP role at their current institution (n = 9). Only two of nine said they wanted to be EPP leaders at different institutions. Both expressed dissatisfaction with their current level of compensation. Further, the same two indicated they would like to advance their EPP role at different institutions. Figure 1 shows a breakdown of survey respondents’ perceptions of diversity at their current institution and Figure 2 depicts their satisfaction with their compensation.

Volunteer for an AACTE Programmatic Advisory Committee — Nominate by May 31

Have you considered volunteering for a leadership position in AACTE? Now is a great time to volunteer and lend your talent and expertise to one of AACTE’s programmatic advisory committees. Nominations are due by May 31.

Educator preparation is an essential element for all learners and advancing the profession is among the Association’s highest priorities. AACTE is at the center of efforts to ensure that all students receive the expert instruction and support they need and deserve. 

“The Association’s heart lies in its members. It’s important for individual members to step up and serve on AACTE committees to keep that heart beating strong,” said Christine Gentry, Ph.D., chair of AACTE’s Government Relations and Advocacy Committee. “It’s clear that AACTE values its members’ input and takes our ideas and recommendations seriously. Serving on an AACTE committee allows us to share our ideas and recommendations directly, with leadership and with each other.”

In New York: State Education Department Awards $34M in Universal Prekindergarten Expansion Grants 

The New York State Education Department awarded $34 million in Universal Prekindergarten (UPK) Expansion Grants to 64 school districts across the state. The grants will enable districts to establish new full-day prekindergarten placements or to convert existing placements from half- to full-day.   

Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. said, “When children enroll in high-quality and effective PreK programs, they gain a significant advantage in early skills that prepare them for success in elementary school. Expanding access to full-day PreK programs through these grants will help more of New York’s children succeed.” 

The Significance of Asian/American Representation in EPPs and Description of Study

Article 5 of Exploring Leadership Diversity in Educator Preparation Programs: An Asian/American Perspective

The “Exploring Leadership Diversity in Educator Preparation Programs: An Asian/American Perspective” series is a multi-article study that aims to share the discoveries of a yearlong study that Nicholas D. Hartlep, Ph.D., and Rachel Endo, Ph.D., undertook during the 2023–2024 academic year. Their qualitative study explored the experiences of current and former Asian/American Education Preparation Program (EPP) leaders via surveys and interviews. Join AACTE for the “Building Intentional Pathways for Asian/Americans and Other BIPOC Faculty to Advance in EPP Leadership,” webinar, an opportunity to delve deeper into themes beyond those explored in the series. Register now for this insightful session on May 29 at 12 p.m. EST.

When the study was being designed, it was determined early on to include an advisory board that would help peer-review its design, execution, and text. The co-authors sought current and former Asian/American educator preparation program (EPP) leaders to be on the board as well as subject-matter experts on the Asian/American education experience. Ethnic, gender, and generational balance and institutional and geographic representation were also included in the study. In the end, the following scholar leaders were on the advisory board (see Supplemental Advisory Board Members).

Holmes Scholars Share Studies into Classroom Disparities Based on Race and Culture 

Four Sacred Heart University students and one alum from SHU’s doctor of education in educational leadership program presented their dissertation research during the preconference portion of this year’s AACTE 2024 Annual Meeting in Denver, CO. 

Tanya Collins ’25 gave a round table presentation about the impact of summer programs on the academic achievements and self-efficacy of students of color. “Receiving critical and constructive feedback from peers about my dissertation proposal was significant,” said Collins, assistant principal and director of human resources at the Interdistrict School for Arts & Communication in New London. 

Collins and the other SHU participants are scholars associated with the AACTE’s Holmes Program, which supports racially or ethnically diverse students enrolled in doctoral programs in education. SHU’s Isabelle Farrington College of Education & Human Development (FCEHD) is one of more than 50 AACTE member institutions that sponsor the Holmes Program, which offers networking, mentorships, and the opportunity to present research at the annual AACTE meeting. 

National Academy of Education Releases New Consensus Report

Evaluating and Improving Teacher Preparation Programs

This article was written by Kenneth Zeichner, Ph.D., and Linda Darling-Hammond, Ed.D.

The National Academy of Education (NAEd) recently released a consensus study report, Evaluating and Improving Teacher Preparation Programs, which addresses the interconnectedness between the role of teacher preparation programs (TPPs) to both prepare teachers well and the larger policy supports necessary for the nation to meet the critical goal of recruiting, retaining, and equitably distributing a well-qualified workforce to ensure that all students are taught by well-prepared, culturally responsive teachers.

Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces Record Over $16 Billion in Support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) 

The Biden-Harris Administration announced a new record in federal funding and investments in historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) totaling more than $16 billion from fiscal years (FY) 2021 through current available data for FY 2024. This new reported total is up from the previously announced over $7 billion, and captures significant additional actions already undertaken.  The total of more than $16 billion includes over $11.4 billion between FY2021 and FY2023 through federal grants, contracting awards, and debt relief for HBCUs; over $4 billion between FY2021 and FY2023 for HBCU-enrolled students through federal financial aid and educational benefits for veterans; and, so far in FY 2024, over $900 million has been secured for Department of Education (Department) programs strengthening HBCUs as institutions.  

Register for Webinar on Multicultural Education and Diversity at New York University

In the New York University (NYU) Teacher Residency (TR) program, faculty and staff believe that the best ideas, work, and results derive from collaboration.  The TR program undergoes collaboratively generated and consensus-driven changes and iterations each year, all in an effort to prepare diverse cohorts of residents to teach and meet their learners’ needs. On Tuesday, May 21, from 1:00 – 1:45 p.m. ET, members are invited to learn more about this TR program by attending the AACTE Lunch & Learn, “Working Collaboratively Toward Antiracism, Equity, and Justice in EPPs. 

The Overwhelming Levels of Whiteness in Educator Preparation Programs 

Article 4 of Exploring Leadership Diversity in Educator Preparation Programs: An Asian/American Perspective

Most would agree, even if they have never been one, that being a dean is difficult work; the average tenure of an education dean is four (4) to six (6) years (Wepner & Henk, 2020). But we do not know if there are differentials based on the person’s race/ethnicity. One level of Whiteness in EPPs is the faculty and staff who work within them. EPPs are composed of mostly White teacher education faculty who teach their pre-service teacher education students using a White-framed curriculum. Another level of Whiteness is the epistemologies that White EPP leaders deploy (Scheurich & Young, 1997; Teo, 2022). The authors of this article have experienced this latter form of Whiteness when they interviewed for EPP leadership positions (see Hartlep, 2025).