Archive for January, 2019

#AACTE19 Closing Keynote Speakers Announced

AACTE is pleased to announce the keynote speakers for the 71st Annual Meeting Closing Session are Mary Dilworth, editor of Millennial Teachers of Color, and Leslie Fenwick, dean emerita of Howard University. The session will take place at the Kentucky International Convention Center on February 24, 2019.

Join this dynamic duo in a provocative discussion that probes beneath the surface to address how the millennial generation of teachers and those of color, in particular, have become agents of change in education. Discover why the missing link in the recurrent conversation about teacher diversity and inequities is the millennial generation—the most diverse, educated, socially connected, and now largest generation in the workforce.

Attend Free #AACTE19 Preconference Events

Arrive early and attend a free AACTE preconference workshop prior to the 2019 Annual Meeting in Louisville, KY. AACTE is excited to offer these special workshops at no cost this year! Now is your chance to delve into pressing topics critical to advancing educator preparation with colleagues who share your specific academic and research interests.

The full list of AACTE preconference events held February 21 is as follows:

Advocacy PreCon in Louisville will focus on “A Return to Discourse”

As you prepare for AACTE’s Annual Meeting, I would like to highlight a new opportunity for attendees— an advocacy preconference! Preconferences happen on Thursday, February 21, and this one is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Join members of the AACTE Committee on Government Relations and Advocacy as well as other colleagues in the field for “A Return to Discourse: A Foundation for Effective Advocacy.”

The Institute of Education Sciences Releases First Look at IPEDS Winter 2017-18 Data

Early last month, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) National Center for Education Statistics released its “First Look” at the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) winter 2017-18 data collection. This includes fully edited and imputed data and four survey components: graduation rates for selected cohorts 2009-14, outcome measures for cohort year 2009-10, student financial aid data for the academic year 2016-17, as well as admissions for fall 2017.

Would you like to learn about or receive other releases from IES and its component centers and regional labs? Sign up for email updates from the U.S. Department of Education. Once registered, you have the option to manage your preferences to receive only those newsletters and updates that will serve you. Similarly, you can sign up to receive updates at your state level to stay abreast of your state’s Department of Education.

New CCSSO Report Offers Guidance for Building a Diverse and Learner-Ready Teacher Workforce and AACTE’s 2019 Annual Meeting Amplifies This Effort

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) released yesterday A Vision and Guidance for a Diverse and Learner-Ready Teacher Workforce, a report that outlines key recommendations state education chiefs, leaders in educator preparation, local education agencies, and others can take to ensure each child in the public school system is taught by a diverse and learner-ready teacher workforce. The report highlights actions for attracting, preparing, placing, supporting, and retaining teachers from diverse ethnic or racial backgrounds and socioeconomic experiences. It identifies specific policy levers state education agencies (SEAs) have authority over that should be activated to achieve the vision of what success can look like for students and teachers as well as highlight distinct responsibilities of SEAs where they have a moral imperative to lead for equity. Additionally, the report appendix references some of the best practices and policy recommendations states have implemented to push this work forward.

Along with state chiefs, AACTE and other national education organizations partnered with CCSSO on its new initiative to diversify the teaching profession through its Diverse and Learner-Ready Teachers (DLRT) Initiative. The collaboration led to the production of the new report—a viable resource for state teams that provide model research- and evidence-based state best practices and policies.

Doctoral Students Receive Jane West SPARK Award for Policy Work on Special Education

Congratulations to Ashley L. White and Cassandra B. Willis (pictured left to right) for receiving the 2018 Jane West SPARK Award at the Teacher Education Division (TED) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) conference in November. The award, established in 2016, is given annually to individuals who advocate for special education in teacher preparation (e.g., government relations, letter writing, visits to Congressional members), and is committed to continuing this work in the future.

Ashley L. White
A doctoral student at the University of South Florida (USF), White received a 2015 doctoral fellowship for the Special Education Policy Studies, a grant specifically designed to prepare doctoral scholars as leaders in the field of special education policy. The following year, she was accepted to the Higher Education Consortium for Special Education’s (HECSE) Doctoral Short Course. HECSE is an organization that advocates for the “appropriate educational opportunities and effective school outcomes for millions of American children and youth with disabilities.” Since becoming involved in HECSE, her advocacy activities have included interning at the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) where she engaged in policy matters including but not limited to regulatory reforms, ED/OSEP grant priorities, and engagement with advocacy organizations. White also served as an HECSE intern, with responsibilities that included connecting faculty at USF with HECSE committees, distributing USF documents to its Congressional representatives, and arranging Hill visits for university faculty as well as all of HECSE’s Florida members.

AACTE at the Table for Higher Education Negotiated Rulemaking

The U.S. Department of Education (Department) is moving forward with negotiated rulemaking around a large number of issues dealing with federal student financial aid in the Higher Education Act, commonly known as “Title IV,” and AACTE will be at the table. Last fall, the Department put out a call for nominations for negotiators to be part of a full committee and three subcommittees, and this week announced the list of negotiators, which includes 18 AACTE member institutions.

The full committee will cover issues around accreditation and innovation, and the subcommittees will advise the full committee on the following issues: faith-based entities, distance learning, and TEACH grants. The first committee and subcommittees sessions will take place next week, January 14–18.

In addition to AACTE member participation, I will be representing the Association and its members on the TEACH grant subcommittee. Negotiators also include a number of AACTE partners. To see the full list of negotiators for the full committee and each of the subcommittees, along with the supporting materials, visit the U.S. Department of Education website.

Would you like to learn more about the law that establishes the processes around negotiated rulemaking? Review the Negotiated Rulemaking Act of 1990, or read a five-page summary of the negotiated rulemaking process.

Call for Proposals to Improve Outcomes for Students in Higher Education

The U.S. Department of Education Office (USDOE) of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, recently published a funding opportunity geared to help improve the outcomes of postsecondary students, specifically underrepresented students. The Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) has issued a Funding Announcement and Request for Proposals on “Building Rigorous Evidence about How to Improve Postsecondary Success.

According to the USDOE newsletter, “LJAF is interested in funding research and evaluation projects testing interventions related to postsecondary success (including student learning, persistence, completion, time to completion, job placement, and post-college earnings). They are particularly interested in interventions that promise to improve success among underserved students, such as low-income students, students of color, adult students, and veterans. LJAF has committed up to $10 million for these grants.”

Letters of Interest are due by January 31, 2019.

(Please note: AACTE is sharing this opportunity; it is not an endorsement of the foundation or its work.)

To stay abreast of other funding opportunities and updates, subscribe to the USDOE newsletters.

AACTE Board Election Results

Congratulations to the following individuals who will join the AACTE Board of Directors effective March 1, 2019.

Patricia Alvarez-McHatton, University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities Representative


Jennie Carr, Bridgewater College (VA)
Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education Representative


Educators hope that ‘Year of the Teacher’ could be first of many

This article and photo originally appeared on Cronkite News and is reprinted with permission. 

A record 1,800 teachers were on ballots across the country this fall, and the National Education Association estimates that as many as 1,100 of them won their races. 

Not a perfect score, but good enough for educators to boast that what they have been calling the Year of the Teacher could be just the first of many such years. 

“Educators stepped out of their classrooms and into the public realm to run for the legislature and they did it fearlessly, and they did it in a way that made all us proud of them,” said Joe Thomas, Arizona Education Association president.

Learning First Alliance Issues Joint Statement on Federal School Safety Commission

AACTE and fellow members of the Learning First Alliance issued a joint statement on December 19, 2018 that emphasizes the Federal School Safety Commission should help schools provide mental health resources to prevent violence. LFA members said the federal government should focus its next steps on resources and training more mental health specialists to ensure safety of students and school staff:

A new federal report misses a high-profile opportunity to bring leadership and resources to social-emotional and mental health needs in K-12 schools, the Learning First Alliance, a coalition of 12 major national education organizations that represents 10 million parents, teachers, administrators, school counselors, specialists, teacher educators, and school board members, stated in response to recommendations by the federal Commission on School Safety, led by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Simply talking about the need for something to be done without creating the ability for schools to have the tools to reach more students in need avoids a core responsibility.

AACTE Response to the Federal School Safety Commission Report

AACTE President/CEO Lynn M. Gangone issued the following statement on December 20, 2018 regarding the latest Federal School Safety Commission report:

On December 18, 2018, the Federal School Safety Commission released its final report, outlining the background of its work and providing recommendations for action across three broad areas: 1) prevent, 2) protect and mitigate, and 3) respond and recover. While AACTE appreciates the effort of the current Administration to explore the critical issue of school safety, the report raises significant concerns and poses further questions.

The Commission’s report talks about the social-emotional and mental health needs of our K-12 students; however, it does not address capacity building for schools to have the tools to reach more students. The recommendation to rescind the current guidance on school discipline, created to combat the disproportionate suspension and expulsion of students of color, students with disabilities, and LGBTQ youth, is also highly problematic and contrary to our Association’s values of equity and inclusion. AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone testified before the Commission and joined others in strongly discouraging the use of federal funds to arm teachers as a solution to ensure school safety, yet the report does not eliminate the option of training and arming school personnel with firearms.

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