This blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide updated information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
As you know, all eyes are focused on the Senate impeachment trial this week. And with the House being in recess, there is no Congressional business underway directly related to education. This may be the case next week as well, since the trial will continue in the Senate. We will keep our eyes peeled. But meanwhile there is a lot going on over at the Department of Education.
Secretary DeVos Announces new Civil Rights Compliance Center
The Department of Education is launching a new unit in the Office for Civil Rights, which is intended to assist schools and universities in “proactively” complying with federal civil rights laws before complaints are filed. Dubbed the Outreach, Prevention, Education and Non-discrimination (OPEN) Center, the initiative will provide targeted support to schools, educators, families, and students in relation to federal non-discrimination laws.
AACTE member institution University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) Cato College of Education is working to address the shortage of special education teachers through a new recruitment initiative. Its department of special education and child development received a grant to produce a video to recruit future special educators to the university. Led by Christopher O’Brien, associate professor and special education undergraduate program director, the production features faculty, students, and alumni of the special education teacher preparation program.
The special education program at UNC Charlotte’s Cato College of Education prepares teacher candidates to
If you are planning to attend the AACTE 72nd Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, you already know there are great educational sessions being offered, fantastic restaurants to eat at while you are in the city, and fun attractions to see and do, but did you know …
- The city got its current name from railroad engineer J. Edgar Thompson. It is thought to be a shortened version of “Atlantica-Pacifica.” Before being named Atlanta, the city was originally named Terminus and Marthasville (the latter for Governor Wilson Lumpkin’s daughter).
- Atlanta is one of two cities in the world to have housed two Nobel Peace Prize winners: Jimmy Carter and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. President Carter received his Nobel in 2002. Dr. King received his in 1964 and when he. won, Atlanta threw him a dinner party that was almost cancelled due to opposition. Coca-Cola’s CEO at that time threatened to move the company out of the city because he thought it was an embarrassment that the city’s people wouldn’t honor their Nobel Prize winner.
- The city’s symbol is the mythological creature “phoenix.” During the Civil War, General William Sherman burned the city on his infamous “March to the Sea.” Following the city’s surrender to Sherman in 1864, only 400 structures remained standing. However, like the mythological phoenix, Atlanta rose from the ashes stronger and more beautiful, a scene depicted in Gone with the Wind. Atlanta resident Margaret Mitchell wrote Gone with the Wind because an ankle injury kept her from walking and she was really, really bored.
- The Varsity is the largest drive-in fast food restaurant in the world and serves more Coca-Cola by volume than anywhere else in the world. Housed on more than two acres in Downtown Atlanta, the Varsity has been an Atlanta institution for more than 75 years. The restaurant makes two miles of hot dogs, 2,500 pounds of potatoes, 5,000 fried pies and 300 gallons of chili from scratch each day. Be sure to stop by while you’re in town.
Congratulations to Francisco J. Ocasio, Holmes Scholar of the Month for January 2020. Ocasio is pursuing a doctorate in Teacher Education and Teacher Development at Montclair State University (MSU). His primary doctoral research interests include the disadvantages of LGBTQ+ staff members working within schools. He is passionate about creating safe spaces for developing critical thinkers and providing opportunities for educational risks.
Ocasio began his Holmes journey as a Masters student in 2015 at William Paterson University. His many accolades include being a Fulbright-Hays Scholar in 2017 in Israel, the commencement speaker for the graduate commencement ceremony in 2017, and the NJ Distinguished Student Teacher State Award in 2010.
Ocasio has worked as a teacher for 11 years. He currently works as an English honors educator at Passaic County Technical Institute Vocational High School. Ocasio supports the LGBTQ+ community within his high school. He is consistently involved with helping teachers and students with extracurricular activities via Supplemental Educational Service (SES), the Hispanic Heritage Club, and the Teacher Talent Show. Ocasio is a board member on the Friends for the Hispanic Research Institute Center, a community group that partners with the Newark Public Library to support the New Jersey Hispanic Research and Information Center (NJHRIC) with funding. NJHRIC is a non-profit organization that fundraises to maintain and preserve Latinx historical records and resources for the state of New Jersey.
Developing Trauma-Informed Teachers: The Story Of One Teacher Preparation Program
Long before the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) survey illustrated the dire consequences of adverse events on children, educators have known that today’s students are more stressed than previous generations. They face greater challenges developing executive functioning skills needed to succeed in social-emotional and academic tasks. Trauma-informed school approaches have flourished in an attempt to more effectively teach students suffering the consequences of home-based or social-cultural trauma. But we know that this challenge requires more than just offering teachers conferences or webinars on trauma-informed school techniques. We need multi-level systemic change in the way our profession conceptualizes what it truly means to incorporate advances in the neurobiology of trauma and learning.
In our open access, no cost text Trauma-Informed School Practices we address this challenge by detailing systemic change processes in the application of trauma-informed knowledge. The Trauma-Informed School Practices Tri-Phasic Model (diagram #1) outlines best-practices as applied to students. It is embedded in the Six Elements of Education System Change (diagram #2) needed to ensure a lasting incorporation of this paradigm shift. The reality is, we can’t place the burden of change on current teachers; all of us need to participate.
This article originally appeared on the Lipscomb University website and is reprinted with permission.
More than 10,000 books are being distributed to children in high priority schools in Metro Nashville Public Schools and Murfreesboro City Schools through a partnership between Lipscomb University’s College of Education and Middle Tennessee State University as the result of a $50,000 grant from First Book.
Suze Gilbert, lead faculty for reading speciality in Lipscomb’s College of Education, and Katie Schrodt, assistant professor in MTSU’s Department of Elementary and Special Education, collaborated with nonprofits Read TO Succeed and Book’Em on this initiative. The grant provides 10,000 books to children and teachers in high priority schools in MNPS and Murfreesboro. In addition to the books, the grant also provides funding for professional development for teachers in those schools. Gilbert and Schrodt are hosting teachers from MNPS and Murfreesboro City schools on both the Lipscomb University and MTSU campuses throughout the winter months to engage in professional learning on Family Literacy Nights and Disciplinary Literacy. Each participating school will receive books to give to children during a Family Literacy Night to be held at each school and books to build classroom libraries.
A new year brings with it the start of the Second Session of the 116th Congress. The 2019 holiday season brought its own gift: On December 20 of last year, the president signed into law the appropriations bills that funded programs important to the profession—and many programs saw increases.
What can we expect as the Fiscal Year 2021 process begins to unfold? Will the increases remain, are cuts possible? What impact(s) can we expect, if any, from the Impeachment Trial in the U.S. Senate? How will the election affect both appropriations and legislation? In addition, the Census is starting; are you ready to help with the count on campus? This member exclusive webinar opportunity will cover these questions and also answer your questions in a Q & A session after the presentation.
Please note: there will be no webinars in February. Get your federal update live at the AACTE Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA. Hurry! Registration closes on January 24.
Plan to attend the January 2020 Update
Tuesday, January 28 5:00 – 6:00 pm Register
Wednesday, January 29 12:30 – 1:30 pm Register
This article originally appeared in Bowling Green Daily News and is reprinted with permission.
A federal grant award topping $1 million to Western Kentucky University will help address a shortage of special education professionals seen regionally and across Kentucky.
“The shortages are felt nationally, but definitely in an acute manner in our rural communities,” said WKU College of Education and Behavioral Sciences Dean Corinne Murphy, whose college is heading up the effort called Project PREP, or Preparing Rural Educators and Professionals for Students with High-Intensity Needs.
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education said there’s a shortage and a lack of diversity of fully prepared and credentialed special education teachers in public schools across the country.
Advocating in education policy can seem a daunting endeavor. From federal engagement to statehouse meetings to local councils and school boards, the field can look overwhelming and individual impact feel scattered. At the heart, though, education and educator preparation are state issues. Engaging at the state and local level is the best way to have a direct impact on behalf of students and the profession.
The Committee on Government Relations and Advocacy, one of AACTE’s standing committees, is offering a preconference at the AACTE Annual Meeting focused directly on helping you develop your advocacy skills for state and local engagement. Your Levers of Civic Power: Moving the Gears of Democracy is half-day interactive session designed to provide information and practice in three important areas of state and local advocacy: participating in town halls, speaking before a committee or commission, and engaging candidates during a debate.
Happy New Year! Today we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I encourage you take a moment today to reflect upon Dr. King’s work and consider what each of us can do to further his vision. AACTE is committed to keeping his dream alive by elevating social justice, equity, and diversity in education.
Join us in Atlanta next month, as we work together to disrupt inequities at the 2020 Annual Meeting. Please take a few minutes to watch the above video and learn more about what the conference has to offer.