State ACTEs Opening Channels for Communication, Common Interest

Members of the Alabama Association of Colleges for Teacher Education meet with officials from the state department of education and Alabama’s representatives to the Southern Regional Education Board’s Teacher Preparation Commission.

One of the benefits of state chapter affiliation with AACTE is the opportunity it provides, through the Advisory Council of State Representatives (ACSR), to network with those from other states who share the work of preparing educators. Our collaboration is facilitated through participation in regional conference calls, AACTE Annual Meetings, and the State Leaders Institute as well as communications like the monthly State Directions e-newsletter. As we learn how others are responding to federal, state, and local education initiatives, we find opportunities for mutual support and ways to present a united voice.

In a recent conference call for chapters in the southern region, the conversation revealed a common interest in the work of the Southern Regional Education Board’s Teacher Preparation Commission. Several participants in our call were able to share knowledge about the Commission’s work thanks to direct connections to Commission members, and we agreed to continue communicating with each other as additional information became available to us. Throughout our discussion, the importance of networking and partnerships with other state entities was a common theme.

To that end, the Alabama Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (ALACTE) asked several state legislators who are members of the Commission to meet with the deans of our colleges and universities to talk about a common vision for educator preparation in Alabama. On April 27, we convened at the state house in Montgomery with 22 institutional representatives from both public and private higher education, four state legislators, one state school board member, the State Superintendent of Education, and two other state department of education officials.

Beyond a doubt, the meeting solidified a collective interest in better communication among all those who have a vested interest in the preparation of teachers and leaders for Alabama’s schools. We are confident this is the beginning of a meaningful and ongoing effort—one that places state chapter members at the forefront of conversations and decisions about educator preparation.

Anna McEwan is past president of ALACTE and current South Region Representative on the ACSR Executive Committee. To subscribe to the monthly State Directions e-newsletter, click here.

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Anna E. McEwan

University of Montevallo