State Legislators Want Input from Teacher Educators
Last week, I joined a small group of AACTE staff attending the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) Legislative Summit with over 5,000 state legislators, legislative staff, and trade associations.
One key takeaway from our interactions with state legislators and staff is that they are eager to hear from educator preparation programs. Some of the topics that state legislators referenced as their priorities:
- Examining licensure requirements
- Offering more pathways into the teaching profession
- Boosting the rigor of educator preparation programs
- Aligning the educator pipeline with school districts’ needs and challenges
Many of these topics are embedded in the recently released Advisory Council of State Representatives “State Policy Statements to Enhance Educator Preparation” available here. I highly recommend that you share these statements with your state legislators to highlight the views of over 1,100 educator preparation providers on three priority areas.
Next year, all 50 state legislatures will convene and now is a great time to start/continue your conversations with legislators and make your voice heard. State chapters and member institutions can serve a vital role as a resource to state legislators. As a reminder, AACTE has created a state-by-state list of state policy makers and their contact information. Furthermore, AACTE’s State Policy Tracker is a vital tool for state chapters and member institutions to stay informed and be proactive on state legislation and regulations.
At the Legislative Summit, NCSL’s Education Committee, cochaired by Representative Sharon Tomiko Santos (D-WA) and Senator Howard Stephenson (R-UT), reaffirmed an existing policy directive on the state-federal partnership in postsecondary education. This policy directive cites educator preparation as a key area requiring a careful balance of federal and state roles:
States have taken the lead in advocating for higher standards for teacher preparation and performance, and vigorously acted to improve assessments of quality. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) encourages the expansion of several programs embodied in the Higher Education Act and other federal legislation that focus on teacher quality. At the same time, NCSL insists that states be allowed to implement their own programs and be given the opportunity to demonstrate their effectiveness. The federal government must refrain from setting national standards. (pp. 9-10)
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about AACTE’s state policy resources and chapter work.
Tags: state policy