Gangone, Alliance Leader Hold Video Interview

On July 16, AACTE President/CEO Lynn M. Gangone met with Richard Long, executive director of the Learning First Alliance (LFA), for an interview about the challenges facing the teaching profession and where the field needs to go moving forward. Their conversation aired on Facebook Live and can be viewed at this link.

AACTE is a member of LFA, a partnership of leading education organizations dedicated to improving learning outcomes in America’s public schools. A recent report with contributions from LFA members, Elements of Success: 10 Million Speak on Schools That Work, outlines six elements that are vital for success in the classroom and provided the springboard for last week’s interview.

Long asked Gangone for her thoughts on what LFA members and other education organizations should be prioritizing to make a difference for tomorrow’s teachers and learners.

“We have a whole host of factors that are impacting how teacher education is moving forward,” Gangone said, citing as an example recent declines in enrollment in educator preparation programs. “At the end of the ’70s we had nearly 200,000 students enrolled in undergraduate programs [in education], and our most recent count is that we’re under 100,000.”

Gangone also spoke on the need to increase the prestige of the teaching profession, noting that many people have lost respect for teaching as a career, and she said part of the solution to staffing shortages must be recruiting and retaining more Hispanic and African American men as well as other underrepresented groups. She cited the AACTE Holmes Program as a model for supporting these groups. Gangone and Long also talked about improving the implementation of effective clinical practice in educator preparation.

Gangone concluded the interview with an assertion of her belief that teaching is the most important profession. She said teaching and the public education system are “fundamental to our democracy, and I think that it’s time for us to elevate that profession” in collaboration with partners such as the members of LFA.

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Samuel Santos

AACTE Intern