It’s Election Season, But Save Some Attention for Other Matters

As this year’s presidential election promises a tumultuous campaign season, the work of policy development goes on. So while the conventions and tweets capture our attention, the U.S. Department of Education is keeping to its tight timeline for the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), including releasing proposed regulations for public comment (see this recent blog for the latest opportunities).

This week, AACTE submitted comments to the Department through the Federal Register on the proposed regulations for accountability and the state consolidated plans for ESSA. Key to our response was recommending that educator preparation be at the table so that the entire educator pipeline is engaged throughout the ESSA implementation process. We also focused on the work of inclusion and equitable distribution of teachers to ensure that all students have a profession-ready teacher in their classroom. As always, we remain diligent in seeking transparency and clarity wherever possible.

Of course, responding to regulations is just one process by which AACTE continues to engage and to work with the Department on priorities for educator preparation. As our work continues, so must yours. I encourage you to reach out to key officials in your state and make the case for educator preparation to be at the table as ESSA implementation progresses. Look into Title II allowable uses of funds and see what innovations you can offer with strong collaborations and partnerships across your state. Learn from successful colleagues and replicate their residency programs, induction programs, and recruitment strategies to entice a more diverse population into the profession.

After all, it’s not just election time. It is time to create, in concert with our PK-12 partners, the 21st-century education system that our nation not only dreams of, but demands.

For more information on implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act and how to engage on it, please contact Deborah Koolbeck, AACTE Director of Government Relations, at or 202-478-4506.

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Sharon Robinson

President and CEO, AACTE