Lunch with Lynn to Examine Advocacy, Education Policy

Advocacy is pivotal in educator preparation programs, uniting deans, faculty, and students in a shared mission of advancing teacher education. By advocating for policies and practices that prioritize excellence, equity, and innovation in teacher preparation, AACTE members contribute to a brighter future for education — and the future of the nation’s students.

AACTE will highlight these values on Tuesday, April 30, at 1:00 p.m. EST during Lunch with Lynn, where AACTE President & CEO Lynn M. Gangone, Ed.D., CAE, will explore the topic of advocacy with guests Michael Yudin of the Raben Group and 2024 AACTE David E. Imig Award winner and former AACTE senior vice president, Jane E. West, Ph.D.

Department of Education Seeking Peer Reviews for TQP Grant Competition

The U.S. Department of Education (Department), Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Effective Educator Development (EED) Division is seeking peer reviewers for the upcoming Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant competition. This program seeks to improve the quality of teachers, principals, and other school leaders nationwide.

WHO: The Department is seeking peer reviewers from various professions and backgrounds to independently read, score, and provide timely, well-written comments for EED grant applications submitted to the Department. The most qualified reviewers will have education-related backgrounds and experience in most, if not all, of the following areas:

Austin Peay State University Unveils Cutting-Edge Furniture Connection Edtech Studio

The immersive capabilities of virtual reality — once thought to be just for gamers — are making their way into classrooms nationwide. Thanks to a generous gift from Furniture Connection, these technological innovations are now available for college students at Austin Peay State University (APSU).

University officials ushered in a new era in teacher preparation with the grand opening of the Furniture Connection EdTech Studio on March 11. This state-of-the-art space, located within the Eriksson College of Education, represents a leap forward in equipping aspiring educators with the latest educational technologies and immersive learning experiences.

The Furniture Connection EdTech Studio is a comprehensive learning hub that allows pre-service teachers to gain hands-on experience using virtual reality (VR) headsets, 3D printers, LEGO® Education sets, robotics, coding devices, and other cutting-edge tools.

UW-Madison Receives $2 Million for Education Research Project

The University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Education has announced a $2 million grant from the Wallace Foundation to measure the process and outcomes of equity-centered leadership in schools.

The funding will support the Comprehensive Assessment of Leadership for Learning–Mapping Equity Indicators (CALL-MEI) project, co-led by UW-Madison Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis professors Rich Halverson and Christopher Saldaña and Columbia University Teachers College professor Alex Bowers. The two-year project aims to develop new equity indicators, evidence models, and data tools. To that end, researchers will work with eight school districts across the country and identify public datasets that can serve as evidence for equity indicators and develop visualization tools for district and school leaders to track the progress of equity-related leadership efforts.

Global Education Opportunities, Resources Available to Members

The AACTE Global Education Faculty Professional Learning Community (PLC), supported by the Longview Foundation, recently concluded following a year dedicated to professional growth, networking, and collaborative endeavors spanning various institutions. As a result of their participation, PLC members created a Global Education Consortium of Resources that can be found on AACTE’s Connect 360 website. AACTE members are encouraged to log in to Connect 360 and to peruse the library and/or upload additional resources. 

U.S. Department of Education Announces $25 Million Teacher Quality Partnership Program Competition  

On April 4, 2024, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) announced a Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) for the Teacher Quality Partnership program (TQP) in the Federal Register. This NIA will close on June 3, 2024.  

The Department plans to award approximately $25 million to eligible partnerships to support high-quality teacher preparation and professional development for prospective teachers and school leaders. TQP funds teacher preparation programs at the undergraduate or “fifth-year” level (Pre-Baccalaureate Models); and teaching residency programs for individuals new to teaching with strong academic and professional backgrounds (Residency Models). This NIA also includes two leadership priorities.   

Teacher Stories: NJACTE Welcomes Teacher of the Year, Joe Nappi

The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) strives to recognize educators who have gone above and beyond in their service to New Jersey’s students. All local educational agencies (LEAs) are encouraged to participate in its Governor’s Educator of the Year program to honor the hardworking teachers and educational services professionals for their dedication to students, and to the profession. 

As part of this distinguished state program, the New Jersey Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NJACTE) welcomes the teachers chosen to speak at a monthly membership meeting and invites them to share their thoughts about education. What follows is a post authored by 2024 NJ Teacher of the Year, Joe Nappi on the topic of difficult conversations.

Call for Proposals, Reviewers for the AACTE 2025 Annual Meeting

The Call for Proposals and Call for Reviewers for the AACTE 2025 Annual Meeting is now open. The conference theme, “Beyond the Horizon: Charting the Course for Educator Preparation” aligns the meeting with the Association’s vision and mission to revolutionize education for all learners by elevating education and educator preparation through research, professional practice, advocacy, and collaboration. Representing the institutions and programs that prepare the greatest number of professional educators in the United States and its territories, and in partnership with international colleague organizations, AACTE is the incubator for bold ideas and discoveries to drive impactful applications based on evidence-based reasoning. 

Shifting from Preparing to Sustaining a Teacher Workforce

2024 AACTE Featured Session Reflection

The “Shifting from Preparing to Sustaining a Teacher Workforce” session provided participants with a project overview of shifting from preparing to sustaining a teacher workforce. The Teacher Educational Global Learning Futures Collaborative (TEGLFC) presentation addressed the need to globally connect educators to “visualize new futures for education.” The panel presented an innovative team-based model that provides all students with a “deeper and personalized learning” by developing expert teams of educators and improving ways that will empower educators as they enter the profession.  TEGLFC invites teacher preparation programs, as well as students, to join this cooperative venture which will serve as a network to “leverage the collective power of teacher preparation programs across the globe.”

A Committee Review of AI Integration in Education

At the AACTE 2024 Annual Meeting in February, incoming AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology members Peña Bedesem (Kent State University) and Jon Margerum-Leys (Oakland University) attended the Featured session “AI Integration in Education: Bridging the Gap for Future Educators.” In the following article, they recap the panelists’ presentation.

AACTE at its best has always brought together viewpoints representing philosophy, innovation, and implementation. The featured panel on artificial intelligence (AI) integration certainly did that. Moderator David Slykhuis, Ph.D., (Valdosta State University) led a wide-ranging conversation among Arizona State’s Punya Mishra, Ph.D., Marie Heath, Ed.D., (Loyola Marymount); and Diane Lauer, Ed.D., Chief Academic Officer of St. Vrain Valley Schools in Colorado.

While all three panelists brought expertise regarding artificial intelligence, each offered a unique perspective. Mishra served as the proponent of innovation, Lauer the experienced implementer, and Heath the philosophical conscience of the group.

Prepared to Teach: How New Mexico is Building Its Path 

This two-day convening on May 30-31, 2024 in Albuquerque, NM, will explore concrete, synergistic actions based on the Prepared to Teach model to produce positive, mutually reinforcing transformations in the teacher preparation ecosystem. 

Day 1 of this convening will review New Mexico’s robust, supportive public and policy environment for teacher preparation transformation. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore key approaches for shifting public narratives about teacher preparation and education, using new and existing data to build political will for residency funding, and framing policies that support ecosystem shifts. 

In Illinois: ISBE Invests $4.3 Million To Cultivate Future Educators Through CTE Education Career Pathway Grants 

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today announced approximately $4.3 million in state funding for the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Education Career Pathway Grants. The grant marks the fourth round of funding for the CTE Education Career Pathway Grant program, which has provided $5.6 million to date and served nearly 12,000 Illinois high school students across 212 school districts and three community colleges.   

The grant provides funding to prepare current high school students in Illinois for careers in teaching and aims to address the teacher shortage in Illinois by recruiting diverse students into the field of education. Participants are equipped for success in college-level teacher preparation programs through tailored coursework, field experiences, and work-based learning opportunities.  

From Student to Teacher: The Impact of Education Village at Winona State University 

Currently in her third year of teaching first grade at Cotter Schools, Jessica Houghton can clearly see the influence Winona State University’s Education Village had on her teaching career. 

The state-of-the-art mini-campus for the College of Education was finished in 2019 and included renovations to Helble Hall, Wabasha Recreation Center, and Cathedral Elementary School to create modernized classrooms and innovative spaces. Education Village is celebrating its five-year anniversary this April with an open house and community activities. 

Houghton was in her senior year when Education Village opened. She got to see first-hand the impact it had on her schooling, peers, and learning environment. 

AACTE Celebrates Arab American Heritage Month

We invite you to join AACTE in celebrating Arab American Heritage Month. This annual observance is a significant opportunity to recognize and honor the vibrant heritage and invaluable contributions of Arab Americans in our schools and communities.  There are an estimated 3.7 million Arab Americans in the U.S.; however, schools are often unable to identify students who are Arab American because they are classified as White by the United States Census Bureau (SPLC Learning For Justice, 2021).

Tennessee English as a Second Language Teacher Named 2024 National Teacher of the Year

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) today announced Missy Testerman, a kindergarten through eighth grade English as a second language (ESL) teacher, as the 2024 National Teacher of the Year.

Testerman served as a first and second-grade teacher at Rogersville City School in Rogersville, TN, for three decades before taking advantage of the state’s Grow Your Own initiative and adding an ESL endorsement three years ago. She currently works as an ESL specialist at Rogersville City School, where she teaches K-8 students who do not speak English as their first language and supports them in all academic areas. A staunch advocate for students, teachers, and families, Testerman prioritizes instruction that ensures her students have the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve. She knows families are extensions of the classroom and often advocates for her families who speak little English.