• AACTE 73rd Annual Meeting

  • It's time to renew your membership

  • AACTE Reports

Archive for March, 2020

Students Share Perspectives on COVID-19

AACTE Responds to COVID-19

DISTANCE ONLINE EDUCATION

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, higher education institutions and its students are facing significant challenges and uncertainties. Graduate students enrolled in colleges and schools of education, in particular, have had to respond to the current circumstances and find solutions to continue their academic pursuit and scholarly productivity. AACTE recently interviewed three graduate students from our member institutions about how the current crisis has affected them. The following themes emerged from these interviews.

Challenges with Adapting to Distance Learning

As a result of campus closures, graduate students have found themselves having to engage in distance learning fully. Although some have had experience in taking and teaching online courses, there are still unique challenges when all learning occurs virtually. These challenges are more common for students who are parents and have to oversee instruction for children in PK-12 schools during daytime hours. Additionally, students who are in a household with multiple adults teleworking or engaging in distance learning places a strain on their ability to focus and on resources like Wifi connectivity. Graduate students have expressed having to complete their studies during abnormal hours due to these distractions in their home environments.

Strategies for Staying Sane While Staying Home

AACTE Responds to COVID-19

Houses Sketch

This article originally appeared on the ASCD InService blog and is reprinted with permission.

Social distancing. Stay-in ordinances. Home schooling. Experiences many of us never thought we would be living at the beginning of 2020. Now, the “new normal,” at least for the near future, involves students of all ages at home all day and parents trying to move their work to a virtual format. Managing the stress of change is a lot, but trying to do it while entertaining a kindergartner or overseeing a high-schooler’s online activities is enough to ramp up anyone’s stress level.

Just as businesses are trying to figure out how to sustain their work by renegotiating how to run the corporate world, so too must parents and caregivers renegotiate how things are done at home.

How the $2 Trillion COVID-19 Relief Bill Supports Education

AACTE Responds to COVID-19

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.

I am in awe of the incredible work of our colleague educators who are managing their ever-changing personal situations, while still stepping up to creatively deliver for our students.  And hats off to Hill staff who have worked relentlessly and around the clock to put this third COVID-19 response package together. 

Congress Will Pass Third COVID-19 Stimulus Bill with a Boost for Education

The frenzied activity on Capitol Hill has yielded the single largest funding bill in our nation’s history at $2 trillion.The 888 page bill—H.R. 748, the CARES Act—passed the Senate late Wednesday night with a vote of 96-0. (Four Senators were absent due to the virus, including Sen. Rand. Paul (R-KY) who has tested positive, and 3 others who are self-quarantining.) The House is looking to pass the bill today [Friday, March 27], hoping that a voice vote will work—meaning that no Member of the House would object. President Trump has indicated that he will sign the bill.

Quality Matters Shares Emergency Remote Instruction Checklist for Faculty

AACTE Responds to COVID-19

Quality Matters LogoTo assist education institutions in transitioning to temporary remote instructions of classroom-based courses, Quality Matters (QM) has created an “Emergency Remote Instruction (ERI) Checklist.” The three-tiered list includes considerations, tips, and actionable strategies, according to prioritized needs. The QM ERI Checklist is organized into three columns to first provide instructors with recommended actions, then add a brief explanation of the action’s importance and impact, and finally, a column to reference related Specific Review Standards from the QM Higher Education Rubric™, Sixth Edition.

This checklist is a useful tool for individual faculty as a prioritized checklist for remote teaching and as guidance for instructional designers and/or educational technologists who are working with faculty in a rapid development process to temporarily move classroom instruction online.

Below is an abbreviated list of the “Recommended Actions for Instructors.” For access to the complete tool, link to QM Emergency Remote Instruction Checklist.

Secretary DeVos Suspends Federal Student Loan Payments, Waives Interest During National Emergency

AACTE Responds to COVID-19

U.S. Department of Education logoU.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today that the office of Federal Student Aid is executing on President Donald J. Trump’s promise to provide student loan relief to tens of millions of borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency.

All borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days. In addition, each of these borrowers will have the option to suspend their payments for at least two months to allow them greater flexibility during the national emergency. This will allow borrowers to temporarily stop their payments without worrying about accruing interest.

SAGE Publishing Supports Educator Preparation Community During COVID-19

AACTE Responds to COVID-19

The response to COVID-19 has impacted virtually every industry in this unprecedented time, and the publishing industry is no exception. Here at SAGE Publishing, proud partner of AACTE and publisher of the Journal of Teacher Education, we’ve focused our response on supporting the higher education teaching and research communities we serve as we navigate this difficult time together.

We are committed to doing what we can to support the researchers, teachers, and students in our community. We know that the work of the research and teaching community will be critical to addressing the challenge of COVID-19, and we’re happy to share the resources we have with the readership of the Ed Prep Matters blog.

AACTE Recommendation to Support PK-12 Students with Disabilities During COVID-19

AACTE Responds to COVID-19

Disabled schoolboy on wheelchair using digital tablet in library

The following AACTE Statement was sent to the National Governors Association.

During the health emergency of COVID-19, AACTE is encouraging its members, as well as states and districts, to explore partnerships between district and educator preparation programs to address the increased workforce demands for special educators in our nation’s schools. In particular, we urge stakeholders to

Identify opportunities for special education teacher candidates to continue their contributions to educational opportunities for students with disabilities (e.g. clinical practice opportunities or paraprofessionals in temporary positions) for the duration of the impact of COVID-19 on our school system.

ISTE Convenes Sector wide Response to Support Educators in Responding to COVID-19

AACTE Responds to COVID-19

ISTE Education Coalition Member BadgeAACTE has joined this coalition to provide support to the nation’s teacher leaders and educators during the coronovavirus pandemic.

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), an education nonprofit that works with the education community to accelerate the use of technology to solve tough problems and inspire innovation, today announced the launch of COVID-19 Education Coalition—a diverse group of education organizations focused on curating, creating, and delivering high-quality tools and support for educators as they keep the learning going during extended school closures caused by the global pandemic.   

“In this time of uncertainty and rapid change, school system leaders and educators are being inundated with information. This is an effort to cut through the noise, and provide a coordinated response to the urgent need for accurate information, responsive professional learning and contextualized resources,” said Richard Culatta, CEO of ISTE. “We’re coming together with over 50 of education’s trusted associations and nonprofit organizations to help ensure educators have what they need to support students and families.”  

Third Federal Stimulus Package: Education Provisions

AACTE Responds to COVID-19

On March 25, 2020, the U.S. Senate passed the bipartisan third stimulus bill known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, aka the CARES Act. The U.S. House of Representatives will take up the measure on March 27, sending it to the president for his signature.  At this point in time, conversations are beginning on whether or not a fourth stimulus package is necessary.

Read the full CARES Act.

Read the Title-by Title Summary

The CARES Act includes the following  in regard to education:

Funding  

Education Stabilization Fund:  This includes flexible funding that will get out the door quickly and go directly to states, local school districts, and institutions of higher education to help schools, students, teachers, and families with immediate needs related to the coronavirus, including:

AACTE Extends Membership Renewal Deadline

AACTE Membership Deadline Extended

The AACTE national office team is thinking of everyone in our community during this uncertain time.  While we also are experiencing the upheaval resulting from this pandemic, our primary goal is to continue to serve all of our members. To that end, AACTE is engaging in a number of efforts to support our members at this time.

To empower you to continue to access critical support and resources, AACTE is extending the membership renewal deadline to April 30, 2020. We want to ensure members remain informed as matters related to COVID-19 continue to develop.

Register for AACTE Webinar on Transitioning to Online Learning

How to Transition to an Online Learning Environment

At a time when the nation’s universities and colleges are moving to an online learning environment, AACTE is prepared to support the transition through webinars, resource sharing, and engagement. Next week, technology and online learning experts from the AACTE Innovation and Technology Committee are hosting a 90-minute webinar, Thursday, March 26 from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. The webinar is open to all AACTE members.

The How to Transition to an Online Learning Environment webinar will address transitioning to online instruction for 30 minutes, followed by a 60-minute Q&A session for members to ask questions of AACTE resident experts. Much like virtual office hours, AACTE members can access our Innovation and Technology Committee members with questions specific to their local context.

The webinar will be recorded and hosted on our resource page for members to access at any time.

Register today.

Simulation: Creative Solutions to Observing Student Teaching Competencies

Teacher using TeachLive virtual classroom

The University of Central Florida (UCF) has moved their work with TeachLivE to remote servers to allow teacher candidates throughout the duration of the COVID-19 Pandemic to use simulations of classrooms to observe student teaching competencies. UCF invites teacher educators from other teacher training institutions to use the TeachLivE platform.

TeachLivE now has the capability to observe student teachers interacting with elementary (option for inclusive setting), middle, and high school (option for inclusive setting) classrooms. Users may request English Language Learning avatars (Spanish).We also support preparation for parent-teacher and teacher-principal conferences. These virtual simulations can occur with an instructor observing a prospective teacher interacting remotely with students in one of the TeachLivE environments or used in an online setting with peers watching each other to provide feedback. The instructor can record data about specific student teaching competencies and providing feedback to the prospective teachers.

Updates: Department of Ed and Other Federal Agencies on COVID-19 Resources for Education

AACTE Responds to COVID-19

As the United States responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, federal agencies connected to the education and care of our nation’s higher education and PK-12 students are releasing information and guidance for taking action, as well as flexibilities and waivers offered.

The U.S. Department of Education offered a phone call to K-12 stakeholder on Friday March 20, 2020, with officials from the Department, the CDC, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Department has posted a readout of the call, with links to resources on servicing students with disabilities, student loan relief, student privacy, and more.

Main Links for COVID-19 Information

U.S. Department of Education

U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service

Centers for Disease Control

How Will COVID-19 Emergency Spending Bill Help Education?

AACTE Responds to COVID-19

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.

Washington Continues to Respond to the Coronavirus Epidemic

The Congress and federal agencies are likewise making changes by the moment. A 50,000 foot overview includes the following.

Legislative activity 

  • On March 6, Congress passed the first COVID-19 stimulus bill – an $8 billion package to help states and localities address the pandemic.
  • On March 18, Congress passed the second COVID-19 relief package, which ensures paid sick leave to certain employees, expands SNAP and Medicaid, and provides emergency assistance.
  • Congress is now considering the third COVID-19 relief package, a measure which will total between one and two trillion dollars and may address issues as far reaching as increases in unemployment insurance payments, financial assistance for hospitals and health care providers, a “state stabilization fund,” direct cash payments of $1,200 per qualified person, small business guaranteed loans, and billions in loans for industries, such as airlines. Provisions related to education are also on the menu, as described in the next article.

Secretary DeVos Publishes New Resource on Accessibility and Distance Learning Options

U.S. Department of Education logoU.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today the Department has released new information clarifying that federal law should not be used to prevent schools from offering distance learning opportunities to all students, including students with disabilities. This new resource from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) explains that as a school district takes necessary steps to address the health, safety, and well-being of all its students and staff, educators can use distance learning opportunities to serve all students.

“It was extremely disappointing to hear that some school districts were using information from the Department of Education as an excuse not to educate kids,” said Secretary DeVos. “This is a time for creativity and an opportunity to pursue as much flexibility as possible so that learning continues. It is a time for all of us to pull together to do what’s right for our nation’s students.”

AACTE Tools

Follow Us