Archive for October, 2019

Will Congress Find Time to Move on Education and Higher Education Bills?

The United States Capitol building with the dome lit up at night.

This blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide update information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

November 21 Deadline Looming to Fund the Government:  Will Congress Act?

Just before Congress left town for their 2-week recess, they passed a short-term funding bill to keep the government open, but only until November 21.  As that deadline comes closer, the pressure to act increases. The ball is in the Senate’s court, as the House has passed 10 of its 12 funding bills. 

The Senate is planning to move bills next week, but hot-button issues related to the border wall, homeland security, and abortion will likely crop up, as well as significant funding level differences between the House and the Senate that will likely hold things up. 

Possible outcomes include another short-term spending extension (perhaps through December),

2020 Annual Meeting Early Bird Registration Closes October 30

Time is running out to take advantage of the Early Bird Registration rate for AACTE’s 72nd Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia! This special offer expires October 30 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

At the Annual Meeting, you’ll get a high value for your registration dollar. Hundreds of enriching sessions, networking opportunities, multiple meals and receptions, and access to the latest research and best practices are all included—giving you  a great bang for your buck!

Get inspired at the Opening Session with keynote speaker Robin DiAngelo, who coined the term “white fragility” in an academic article and influenced the national dialogue on race. Then during the Closing Session, you will hear from keynote speaker Rodney Robinson, the 2019 National Teacher of the Year. Six Deeper Dive sessions, offered in three stand-alone time blocks, will provide valuable ideas and tangible tools you can take home to drive change in your local institution and community.

Join educators from across the nation in sharing research, experiences, and collegial feedback to move forward “Disrupting Inequities: Educating for Change.” Plan now to attend the AACTE 72nd Annual Meeting, February 28 – March 1, 2020, at the Marriott Marquis Atlanta Hotel. Register by October 30 to take advantage of our Early Bird registration rates.

Learn more about the conference theme, schedule, and venue at aacte.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and join the conversation using #AACTE20.

Register now for the State of the States Webinar on School Safety

State of the States Webinar Series

Around the country, regulators and legislators are demonstrating that they understand the urgent need to promote school safety. The 2019 state legislative session was an active one on the subject. Hundreds of bills were introduced covering every aspect of the matter from prevention to response.  Join me as I present a wide-ranging overview and analysis of some of the most noteworthy school safety bills introduced over the year, with a particular focus on legislation impacting student and teacher mental health, in an upcoming State of the States webinar.

We encourage you to register in advance for the member-exclusive State of the States webinar, which will take place Thursday, October 31 from 11 a.m. to noon ET.

There will be time at the end of the webinar for questions and answers. The webinar will be recorded and posted on the website for future viewing.

For questions, please contact me at wcummings@aacte.org.

CSU Campuses Receive Federal Grants to Increase STEM and Computer Science Teachers

Teacher working with a table of students

Photo: Courtesy of The California State University

This article and photo originally appeared on The California State University website and are reprinted with permission.

​​​Three California State University (CSU) campuses were awarded nearly $3 million from the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) program to recruit and prepare science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and computer science teachers to serve students in low-income and high-need schools throughout the state. California State University campuses in Chico ($1,027,195), Dominguez Hills ($1,028,844) and Monterey Bay ($811,719) have received a total of $2,867,758 in funding for the program.

“Collaboration is a key component among educators,” said Marquita Grenot-Scheyer, assistant vice chancellor for Educator Preparation at the CSU Chancellor’s Office. “By expanding the ongoing collaborative partnerships between the CSU and high-need school districts and through development of engaging STEM and computer science programs, more students will succeed in the classroom.”

MSU Receives Funding for Five-Year Project to Educate Teachers to Fill Jobs in Rural Montana

Rural Montana

Photo by Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez

This article and photo originally appeared on the Montana State University website and are reprinted with permission.

Montana State University’s Department of Education and its partners have received funding totaling $6.2 million for a program delivered mostly online that is designed to recruit, train and mentor dozens of high-quality educators to work in rural areas of Montana.

The funds include a $3.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education and more than $3.1 million in matching funds and services from nearly a dozen partner organizations. They will be used for a five-year project, “Addressing Rural Recruitment and Retention in Montana,” that aims to address a shortage of teachers in rural locations across the state.

“We are excited to provide training and professional development in the first two years of their teaching careers to residents of rural, high-needs communities along with the Montana Office of Public Instruction and our many statewide partners,” said MSU education professor Ann Ewbank, the project’s principal investigator.

“Our common goal is to ensure that every student, from Broadus to Lolo, and from Scobey to Troy, has access to highly effective educators,” Ewbank added. “The Teacher Quality Partnership grant has the potential to strengthen K-12 education in rural communities. When rural schools thrive, Montana thrives.”

AACTE Member Update: Association’s New Strategic Priorities

Last month, the AACTE Board of Directors approved the Association’s new strategic priorities. Along with our new vision, mission, and core values, these priorities will guide AACTE’s work. Our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion; inquiry and innovation; and quality and impact will permeate all of our initiatives. Please take a few minutes to watch the video (or read the transcript) to learn more.  

AACTE collaborates with its members and partners to revolutionize education for all learners. Learn more at aacte.org. And stay tuned for our November Board of Directors elections!

P.S. Secure your spot for AACTE’s 2020 Annual Meeting at the early bird rate by October 30!

U of A and University of Oklahoma Teaming up to Establish Razorback-Sooner Scholars Program

This article originally appeared on the University Of Arkansas website and is reprinted with permission.

Across the country, there’s a critical need for teachers who know how to use evidence-based practices to improve the adult outcomes of students with disabilities.

The University of Arkansas and University of Oklahoma have partnered to help meet that need with a unique program called Razorback-Sooner Scholars: Leaders for Transition.

Leaders for Transition will provide a unique, funded doctoral experience for 10 students at the two universities who want to be special education assistant professors interested in transition services for youth with disabilities and their families.

Recently, the universities were awarded a $2.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs to fund the program.

Richmond’s Rodney Robinson Aims to Shine Light on Lack of Black Men in His Field

This article and photo originally appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch and are reprinted with permission.

Calvin Sorrell was the only black male teacher Rodney Robinson had.

He taught in King William County for three dozen years and remembers Robinson as knowledgeable, caring and talented. Robinson was shy, though, lacking many teachers who looked like him.

“The potential was there; he just had to come out a little bit,” Sorrell said. “I knew he always had the ability.”

Robinson looked up to the one black male teacher he did have, who taught him how to play the trombone, baritone and tuba. He became a teacher to give students the teacher he had only once, among other reasons.

“Kids need positive role models,” Sorrell said of being a black male teacher. “It gives them someone to look up to, and he was no exception.”

It surprised him when Robinson became a teacher, but knowing Robinson now, a man driven to improve teacher diversity while getting to know his students, Sorrell was not shocked to find out last week that Robinson is the National Teacher of the Year.

If You Listen, We Will Stay



A majority of the nation’s public school students are students of color, but less than 20% of teachers are teachers of color—and only 2% are Black men. While more teachers of color are entering the classroom, data reveal that educators of color are also leaving at higher rates than their peers. To show the root cause of this problem and to identify solutions, The Education Trust and Teach Plus today jointly released new research that examines the challenges teachers of color face and documents the experiences of staff in schools that deliberately work to retain faculty of color.

If You Listen, We Will Stay: Why Teachers of Color Leave and How to Disrupt Teacher Turnover comprises authentic narratives of teachers of color and successful school leaders. For this report, researchers conducted focus groups with teachers who identify as Black or Latino who talked about their experiences in the workforce and what schools, districts, and states could do to keep them in the field. Researchers also conducted case studies in schools and districts that were selected for their intentionality around retaining teachers of color.

High-Level Findings

In the focus groups, five themes emerged, highlighting the challenges that teachers of color face in the workforce and the reasons many of them fall out of teaching: (1) experiencing an antagonistic school culture; (2) feeling undervalued; (3) being deprived of agency and autonomy; (4) navigating unfavorable working conditions; and (5) bearing the high cost of being a teacher of color.

Exploring Careers in Education at Teacher Scholars Summer Institute

This article and photo originally appeared on the Engage TU-Towson University blog and are reprinted with permission.

The Towson Univerity (TU) Teacher Scholars Summer Institute premiered this summer (July 15–18) in an effort to recruit high school students into teaching. This was also an effort to work more closely with our Teacher Academy of Maryland (TAM) program.

One of our main goals was to assist in recruiting more underrepresented students into the field of education, which is predominantly composed of white females across the nation. Conversely, about half of K–12 students are from diverse backgrounds and/or are male.  We are also facing a critical shortage of teachers in the U.S., and Maryland is facing the same issues. In fact, all 24 counties in Maryland are experiencing a shortage of teachers based on the last Maryland State Department of Education Staffing Report.  In addition, enrollments at TU and across the nation have been declining in education programs. Therefore, we were piloting this program to help create a pipeline of more teachers, as well as more diversity among teachers.

2019 Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson Will Headline AACTE Annual Meeting


A 19-year teaching veteran, Robinson employs the knowledge he has gained from his students to develop alternative programs to prevent students from entering the school-to-prison pipeline. In 2015, Robinson started teaching at Virgie Binford Education Center, a school inside the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center. He is a member of Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney’s Education Compact Team, which includes politicians, educators, business leaders, and community leaders, and is working with city leaders and local colleges to recruit underrepresented male teachers into the field of education.Be inspired at the AACTE 72nd Annual Meeting Closing Keynote Session featuring Rodney Robinson, the 2019 National Teacher of the Year, on Sunday, March 1. Robinson uses the whole child approach to education to help students who are most vulnerable. His classroom is a collaborative partnership between himself and his students and is anchored in him providing a civic centered education that promotes social-emotional growth. 

Read more about Robinson and join the conversation on “Disrupting Inequities: Educating for Change” at the AACTE 2020 Annual Meeting, February 28 – March 1. 

The October 30 early bird registration deadline is quickly approaching so secure your spot today! Visit aacte.org for conference details, and follow us on Twitter at #AACTE20 and Facebook.

Come experience the new AACTE Annual Meeting – One community. One purpose. One place.

Register Now

 

 

Do you have questions or need Assistance? Contact us at events@aacte.org

Join the Webinar: Partnerships for Preparing Principals

Last week, AACTE and National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) kicked off National Principals Month with the first webinar in a four-part series highlighting principal preparation, titled The Challenges and Success of Principal Recruitment and Retention. The webinar series is developed in partnership with the Wallace Foundation. The premier webinar focused on the challenges and successes of principal recruitment and retention. Three panelists shared their experiences and research related to principal preparation and retention: Ed Fuller from Pennsylvania State University, David Wick, president of NAESP, and Jamon Flowers, currently a doctoral student at William & Mary and former principal.

Collectively, the panelists stressed that context matters when it comes to principal preparation, placement, and retention. One size does not fit all when it comes to recruiting and retaining principals. In addition to leadership best practices, principal preparation programs should be helping principals to understand what it means to lead in specific settings and provide them with the necessary skills to be successful. Furthermore, the turnover rate for principals is high, especially in high-poverty schools. For insights into the potential causes contributing to this high turnover rate and for additional recommendations for principal preparation, watch the webinar recording.

20 AACTE Member Institutions Receive 2019 Teacher Quality Partnership Grants

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) celebrates its 20 member institutions that received the 2019 Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grants from the U.S. Department of Education announced last week. With grants totaling more than $20 million, the TQP is the only federal initiative dedicated to strengthening educator preparation at institutions of higher education.

“AACTE celebrates all of the grant recipients, especially our 20 AACTE member institutions, because our members work year-round to advocate for continual funding for this critical initiative,” said Lynn M. Gangone, AACTE president and CEO. “With so much volatility on Capitol Hill, we view the consensus to support teacher preparation programs as a huge victory. TQP grants empower our members to extend and elevate their innovative and exemplary work.”

Secretary of Education Awards University of North Florida $1.6M Grant for Innovative Teacher Prep

Secretary of Education Awards University of North Florida $1.6M Grant for Innovative Teacher Prep

The University of North Florida’s College of Education and Human Services was awarded a $1.6 million Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support innovative teacher preparation models that prepare prospective and new teachers to serve students in high-need schools.

 The Department of Education made 31 awards totaling $20.1 million, and UNF was the only university in Florida to receive the funding. Recipients include more than two dozen school districts, institutions of higher education, and nonprofit organizations.

 “We know a great teacher is the foundation of a great education,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “By ensuring teachers are able to continually grow and improve in ways that excite and challenge them, we can help students succeed. These grants will help foster meaningful professional development opportunities, especially in the often-lacking areas of STEM and computer science-focused training.”

Team Wins 5-year, $1.98 Million NSF Grant to Improve Teacher Preparation


A team of Penn State College of Education faculty led by P. Karen Murphy has won a five-year, $1.98 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to improve the preparation of undergraduate preservice elementary teachers.

Murphy, distinguished professor of education (educational psychology), is the principal investigator (PI) on the study. She is joined by co-PIs Gwendolyn Lloyd, the Henry J. Hermanowicz Professor of Teacher Education and professor of education (mathematics education); Amy Voss Farris, assistant professor of education (science education); and Rachel Wolkenhauer, assistant professor of education (curriculum and supervision).

With support from the NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education Program: Education and Human Resources, this project aims to serve the national interest by investigating whether teaching preservice elementary teachers how to use discussion-based pedagogy improves the quality of mathematics instruction in their classrooms. Specifically, the researchers will adapt Quality Talk (QT), a small-group, teacher-facilitated discussion approach, for use by teacher educators in STEM methods courses and classroom-based field experiences for future elementary teachers.

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