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Archive for February, 2020

America’s Colleges for Teacher Education Gather in Atlanta

AACTE Conference Addresses How to Disrupt Inequities in Education

AACTE20 participants

Nearly 2,000 teacher educators kicked off the 72nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis yesterday. The conference, themed “Disrupting Inequities: Educating for Change,” is being held February 28 – March 1. Attendees include deans, faculty, students, and administrators from undergraduate and graduate education programs, community colleges, and K-12 schools, as well as representatives from state and federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, and foundations.

America’s educator preparation community is keenly aware of and uniquely positioned to change the systemic challenges occurring in PK-16 environments that serve the nation’s most vulnerable populations—students of color, students with disabilities, students from immigrant families, students from low-income families, and LGBTQ students. Under its 2020 theme, the AACTE conference offers attendees hundreds of concurrent sessions that explore how to redefine the meaning of success for all students and encourage them to become active learners, productive citizens, critical thinkers, and leaders in their communities and across the globe.

Disrupting Inequities: Educating for Change

Black male teacher working with students in a computer lab

The American education system was not created to support the liberation of the powerless. Instead, it was designed to instill skills, habits, beliefs, and discipline that would allow for better control of the masses. The colonizers who became the architects of this country built a system that perpetuates the status of white-skinned privilege and wealth, while leaving those in the lower and middle classes burdened with the laborious task of building and supporting our nation’s economy and infrastructure.

Throughout the history of the United States, minoritized racial groups and those who live in poverty have suffered disparities in education through laws and policies that prohibited them from socioeconomic advancement, physical safety, and basic civil rights. The anti-literacy laws enacted before, during, and after the Civil War are just one example of how white-skinned privilege and power was used to perpetuate the oppression of enslaved Blacks and concretize a system that generated more wealth for those in power.

Our current education system continues to enable inequity through policies and practices that claim to be fair, colorblind, and neutral, but tend to privilege a small, elite portion of the U.S. population. We can no longer live by the adage “pull yourself up by your bootstraps,” when those who deserve a better education continue to be plagued by disparities. Addressing the persistent opportunity gap between our nation’s socioeconomic classes requires sustained engagement from leaders across every field of education.

Secretary of Education to Defend Big Education Spending Cuts on Capitol Hill

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

Secretary DeVos to Defend President Trump’s Budget Proposal before House Labor/HHS/Education Appropriations Subcommittee Next Week

Next Thursday, February 27 at 10:00 a.m., Secretary Betsy DeVos will make her annual appearance before the House Subcommittee on Labor/HHS/Education to defend President Trump’s budget, which calls for a $5.6 billion cut in education spending. If past is prologue, we can expect feisty questions from Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and other members of the Committee — none of whom have ever warmed to a Trump education budget proposal. There is likely to be high praise for the recommended $763 million increase for Career and Technical Education in the Trump budget, but little else. Even school choice proponents are likely to balk at the recommendation to fold the $400 million federal Charter School program into a block grant. The $5 billion “Education Freedom Scholarship” proposal (aka vouchers) has never gained traction anywhere on Capitol Hill — nor amongst most voucher advocates — who don’t want the federal government and all the regulations it brings in the middle of voucher initiatives.

Podcasts: University of Washington Interviews Upcoming AACTE Annual Meeting Presenters

The articles below originally appeared on the University of Washington College of Education website and are reprinted with permission.

JoTeacher working with studentsining doctoral research and teacher education program improvement

While incorporating issues of equity and social justice in the preparation of future teachers has long been a focus at the University of Washington College of Education, it wasn’t well understood until recently how that commitment is reflected in graduates’ daily teaching practice. 

That picture is getting clearer thanks to an internship for UW doctoral students in teacher education launched three years ago. In a new podcast, Patrick Sexton, assistant dean for teacher education, and Cristina Betancourt, a graduate student in teaching and curriculum, discuss the College’s work to marry teacher education program improvement with the learning of its doctoral students through its Teacher Education Research and Inquiry (TERI) internship. 

Sexton and Betancourt are part of a team who will present their work developing case studies of recent alumni for program improvement at the 2020 meeting of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. 

Read more.

Incorporating disability studies curriculum in teacher education

While Washington has recognized October as Disability History Month for more than a decade — and schools are asked to honor the month in some fashion — teachers have had limited resources available to help them actually enact disability studies curriculum in the classroom.

Upending Stereotypes About Black Students

This article first appeared in Education Week on October 9, 2013 and is reprinted with permission from the author, AACTE Dean in Residence Leslie T. Fenwick.

 There’s a troubling undercurrent to the national conversation about the black-white gap in student achievement. The (mostly) unspoken belief about black students is tied to broader perceptions about black people. So, let’s just say it: Some believe the gap is a function of weak family and community structures, male joblessness, drug use, and permissive cultural values—which they assert predominate in the black community.

Others believe that blacks constitute a community that is largely beyond intervention and that no amount of funding or special programs can fix what ails the perpetually troubled. An attendant assertion is that blacks who do achieve have outsmarted stereotype vulnerability and are outliers. Some say these blacks are exceptions and are successful because they embrace and actualize a white cultural-value system.

HBCU Teacher Education Topical Action Group to Convene at #AACTE20

HBCU TAG Reception graphicAs the AACTE 72nd Annual Meeting theme suggests, decades of societal inequities extending into and from our P-16 institutional environments have left us hungry for change. Persistent achievement gap disparities and teacher shortages trouble us and often make us wonder how we will achieve the changes we seek. In terms of teacher diversity, one solution that many have found are the Educator Preparation programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). While making up only 3% of the nation’s higher education institutions, HBCUs provide over 50% of the nation’s African American teachers.

Several research projects and partnerships on the district and institutional level are demonstrating the capacity for HBCUs to bring their unique positionality to bear in the broader conversation on teacher diversity. A recent project involving Virginia Commonwealth University and Tennessee State University bears the potential to help the academic community understand more about creating a culturally responsive teacher workforce. Similarly, the “Call Me Mister” program and the “Florida Fund for Minority Teachers” historically have involved HBCUs in recruiting African American teachers. Through a variety of works, HBCUs continue to improve on their capacity to influence the teacher diversity conversation.

This year’s HBCU Teacher Education Topical Action Group (TAG) Business Meeting, which will take place February 27 at 3:00 p.m, will bring together AACTE members with over two dozen HBCU affiliations. Participants need not be HBCU graduates or currently working at an HBCU. The meeting will feature conversations on HBCU-led research agendas, proposed partnerships, CAEP accreditation, and improving preservice teacher performance on the Praxis. We are excited to have Ereka Williams of Fayetteville State University, Kathy Pruner, director of Professional Educator Programs at ETS, Jennifer Young-Wallace, Association of Teacher Educators board members, and Clara Young of Tennessee State University as contributors to this year’s business meeting.

The President Recommends Big Cuts for Education: Will the Congress Agree?

A pair of scissors representing cuts in education concept

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

Bad News for Education in President Trump’s FY 2021 Budget Proposal

The FY 2021 appropriations process was officially launched with the release of the President’s budget proposal on Monday. The budget is thematically similar to previous Trump budgets, in that it calls for big spending cuts all around and proposes federal support for private schools in the form of a tax credit for donations to scholarship programs (called “Education Freedom Scholarships”). The proposal represents an overall 7.8% cut ($5.6 Billion) to the Department of Education.  Key features of the proposal include the following:

Elementary and Secondary Education

  • Twenty-nine K-12 grant programs will be consolidated into a single block grant (“Elementary and Secondary Education for the Disadvantaged Block Grant”) designed to provide maximum flexibility for state and local systems at $19.4 Billion – a $4.7 Billion cut from current spending.
  • The prized charter school grant program is consolidated into the block grant.
  • The big winner in the budget proposal is Career and Technical Education which is slated for $763 million increase.
  • Education Freedom Scholarships (tax credits for private schools) would cost $46 Billion over 10 years.
  • All IDEA programs are level funded; however, Part B of IDEA receives a $100 million increase.

Podcast: Hearing the Voices of Mentor Teachers

Teacher working with mentee

This article originally appeared on the University of Washington College of Education website and is reprinted with permission.

While mentoring novice teachers is a complex task, particularly as it happens inside the action of teaching, mentor teachers typically have little preparation for their role.

Addressing that gap was the focus of a recent effort by University of Washington teacher educators in the UW Accelerated Certification for Teachers (U-ACT) program that will be presented during the 2020 meeting of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

In a new podcast, Megan Kelley-Petersen, U-ACT director, and Taylor Stafford, U-ACT instructor and doctoral student in teacher education and math education, discuss findings of their work to create opportunities for mentors to become both teachers of teachers and learners of teaching.

Win Prizes, Network with Colleagues at AACTE Gallery in Atlanta

AACTE Annual Meeting attendeed in the AACTE galleryWe invite all attendees of the 72nd Annual Meeting to visit the AACTE Gallery. This year, the Gallery will feature poster presentations, small group discussions to network with colleagues, multiple opportunities to win prizes, and even a chance to win a free registration for the 2021 Annual Meeting!

Poster Presentations
AACTE Holmes Scholars and National Association of Community College Teacher Education Programs (NACCTEP) members will present their research in the Gallery during the timeslots below:

  • NACCTEP Poster Session: Friday, February 28 from 10:00 – 11: 00 a.m.
  • Holmes Poster Session: Saturday, February 29 from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Coffee and Conversations
The Gallery will feature small roundtable discussions where members can meet, learn from each other, and join the conversation on a variety of topics facilitated by the AACTE Topical Action Groups (TAGs). Below are just a few of the conversations taking place:

Learn to Build a Framework for Developing Candidates’ Global Competencies at #AACTE Preconference

In acknowledging the diversification of the P-12 population in U.S. classrooms, is your college or university prepared to develop candidates’ global competencies? AACTE’s Committee on Global Diversity is hosting a preconference workshop, “Internationalization of Teacher Education: Building a Strategic Framework for Developing Candidates’ Global Competencies,” which will assist in this process. 

This preconference event will explore methods to infuse global competency into the curriculum and provide strategies for educator preparation programs to incorporate local and international opportunities—with a focus on developing successful partnerships to facilitate these opportunities.

Participants will actively engage with AACTE award recipients as well as influential experts in the field. Together they will hold meaningful discussions on best practices, innovative experiences and partnerships and, importantly, ways to develop authentic and meaningful programs that prepare mindful teacher candidates who advocate for and insist on multicultural education and diverse global perspectives within the classroom.

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