By Linda Minor
Your voice is needed at the AACTE 2020 Washington Week! Convene virtually with policy leaders, education partners, and colleagues from across the country during interactive sessions addressing current issues facing the profession. With a focus on activism and advocacy, AACTE will elevate the innovative diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategies of its members. You can participate in the call for member strategies to address DEI by August 14.
This year’s schedule of events covers provocative topics you won’t want to miss!
Holmes Advanced Policy Course: September 2-3
Experienced Holmes Scholars will explore advocacy strategies and current policies that focus on diversity, equity and inclusion in education. This course is limited to 20 participants. Complete the course application to request your spot by August 14.
By Meghan Grenda
While many educator preparation providers are transitioning to virtual instruction, it’s no surprise that some individuals may feel isolated and “out of the loop.” Connecting with colleagues can be hard enough under normal circumstances, but the coronavirus pandemic has taken it to a new level. If you are looking to network with your peers, stay up-to-date on the latest research and trends, and participate in the ongoing conversation, the AACTE Topical Action Groups (TAGs) are here to help!
TAGs are member-driven working groups that provide a forum in which individuals from member institutions can exchange information on issues related to education and collaborate with each other on a variety of topics.
By Jacqueline King
More than ever, AACTE members are focused on disrupting inequities and advancing racial justice. AACTE is offering two great new opportunities for members to engage in this work with colleagues from across the country. The AACTE Board of Directors recently created two new committee:
- Advisory Committee on Educator Diversity
- Holmes Program Advisory Committee
These committees will advise AACTE on how it can best help members attract and retain diverse future teachers and other educators and on AACTE’s signature program for future scholars and leaders of color, the Holmes Program.
If you are interested in serving on one of these important new committee—or if you would like to nominate a colleague—please act now! Nominations close on August 7. Learn more and submit your nomination.
By Mark Atkinson
Education leaders’ outlook for the 2020-21 academic year anticipates a widening gap in the supply of new teachers, according to a recent survey of nearly 200 responses from individuals in leadership roles at colleges of education. The survey, conducted by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting educator preparation programs, reveals that nearly half of respondents indicated that field placements (student teaching) have been discontinued for at least some of their students.
Teacher preparation is multidimensional, and clinical experience is an essential aspect in becoming a successful educator. However, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, teacher candidates’ face-to-face classroom training has come to a halt, causing them to miss out on the opportunity to hone their in-class, instructional skills before they are in front of their own students.
“Our survey examines the critical demands in teacher preparation as we continue to navigate the global health pandemic and prepare for the academic year beginning in the fall,” said Lynn M. Gangone, AACTE president and CEO. “With critical shortages already in the teacher pipeline, it is more important than ever to use technology innovation to move field placements forward.”
By Jacqueline Rodriguez
AACTE’s annual Washington Week is going virtual and we are excited to expand the advocacy campaign from a week to a month! This September will be filled with advocacy events that are sure to engage Members of Congress and their staff. Given the national climate, AACTE would like to elevate your invaluable work in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the midst of the many challenges we are all facing in 2020.
At this year’s Day on the Hill event, we will provide our Members of Congress with a “handbook” comprised of collected strategies by our members, describing their successes at their educator preparation programs (EPPs) in pursuit of diversity, equity and inclusion.
By Jacqueline Rodriguez
As a nation, we are facing racially and ethnically grounded injustices, which disproportionately impact our BIPOC students and educators. In a recent letter to Holmes students, AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone noted “that generations of citizens are molded by their educators, and so the work of fighting for racial equity begins in our member institutions—on your campuses.”
Sadly, the nation’s P-20 educators have never reflected the rich diversity of the students they serve. Gangone notes that while “the work that needs to be done to sow seeds of racial justice in our curriculum and in our teaching practices should not and cannot be solely completed by our students and faculty of color, the invaluable teaching and scholarship contributions of our diverse educators and candidates are the underpinning for system of education each student in our country deserves.
By Jane E. West
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.
COVID Relief Package Progress Stalled
The Congress is scheduled to go into recess in two weeks. The election is about 100 days away. The nation is in crisis. Yet this week brought us a back and forth between the White House and Senate Republican leadership that yielded leaks of morsels about a proposed COVID relief package followed by retractions, clarifications and proclamations by individual Republican Senators that they have not seen any proposals nor been able to weigh in. Democrats are growing antsy—with two proposals on the table—HEROES Act in the House and the Coronavirus Childcare and Education Relief Act in the Senate. they are ready to negotiate. But no one is at the table yet.
A Senate Republican leadership bill was promised this week. A sketch of a proposal was leaked with the caveat that nothing had been finalized or agreed to. With Monday and Tuesday focused on honoring Rep. John Lewis in the Capitol, the business week will be short. The promise of that August recess is looking dim. With the federal unemployment checks scheduled to end at the end of the month and 1 in 5 workers now collecting unemployment benefits, much is at stake. Educators in both higher education and K-12 are struggling to make decisions now about school openings with little clear guidance and no sure knowledge of when or if there will be additional federal support.
By Aurelia Grayson and Lauren Pescatore
Principals’ leadership is a critical factor in schools’ success, and school leader preparation programs play a key role in facilitating that success. Specific strategies and resources can support the growth of a strong pipeline of principals who are able to lead teaching and learning in today’s schools. AACTE supports the Wallace Foundation’s principal preparation work, which includes research and initiatives such as the Principal Pipeline Initiative and the University Preparation Programs. The following is a an announcement from the Wallace Foundation’s most recent research featuring three reports that examine efforts being taken in large districts across the country to shift the principal supervisor role from a focus on administration to supporting principals as instructional leaders.
The Wallace Foundation released a trio of reports examining the benefits school districts gained from changing the principal supervisor role to focus less on administrative duties and more on supporting principals in improving instruction. Teams of researchers from Vanderbilt University, the University of Utah, Mathematica, and the Council of the Great City Schools collaborated with the foundation to design and administer surveys that show how the supervisor role may be changing in large districts nationwide. The reports build on earlier research suggesting that effective supervision is part of a comprehensive principal pipeline, with aligned parts, that can lead to benefits for student achievement.
By Azaria Cunningham
Congratulations to Breahannah Hilaire, Holmes Scholar of the Month for July 2020. Hilaire recently completed the first year of her doctoral program at the University of Central Florida (UCF), where she is pursuing her Ph.D. in counselor education and supervision.
Prior to attending UCF, Hilaire completed her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling at Rollins College. She is currently a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern and holds counseling certifications in both clinical hypnosis and university and college counseling.
By Sara Skretta
Andrew Carnegie once described teamwork as, “… the ability to work together toward a common vision and the ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives … It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” Carnegie was describing the challenges and opportunities that often arose in the business world of the early twentieth century, but the quote has a particular resonance today as the people of the world come together to defeat a global pandemic.
Teamwork is also how Nebraskans have chosen to face the many challenges related to the Coronavirus in our state—challenges that have expanded beyond healthcare to the economy and to education. And teamwork is at the heart of our efforts to ensure that teacher preparation continues on schedule. To that end, Nebraska education officials and state educational institutions are working together to put in place the program, licensure, and other modifications necessary to keep our student teachers on track.
By Dustin Wunderlich
This article originally appeared on the University of Washington website and is reprinted with permission.
When Professor Geneva Gay began her career as a high school social studies teacher more than four decades ago, the concept of multicultural education was still in its infancy. No university had even started offering a doctoral program in the field.
This July, Gay will retire following a 29-year career at the University of Washington College of Education in which her internationally-recognized scholarship has advanced the field in profound ways — while making clear the essential role of multicultural education in an increasingly diverse and interconnected world.
By Linda Minor
Join AACTE at its inaugural, virtual 2020 Washington Week this September. You will be able to connect with peers from around the nation under the event’s theme Your Voice Matters. Whether you’re joining the State Leaders Institute, Holmes Policy Institute or Advanced Policy Course, and/or Day on the Hill, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn, work, and advocate together!
Here’s what past attendees had to say about the events:
By Ashley White and Jane E. West
In Part 2 of this Q&A feature, AACTE consultant Jane West, a former teacher with a doctorate in special education and 30 years of policy experience in the nation’s capital, and Holmes Program Alumna Ashley L. White, assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin and 2019-20 Joseph P. Kennedy Fellow, share their mentoring/mentee relationship and how it has evolved over time to address race. (Read Part 1.)
Q: Describe a good white ally.
White: This is not an all-encompassing definition and I am not the monolithic expert—I am speaking from my experiences in dealing with White people all my life, some who get it and many who do not. Allies of any kind have to accept the reality of system and practices that have put them in a position of privilege while disenfranchising others (e.g., the notion of heterosexuality or “able-bodies” as superior forms of existence). Allies must value the whole over the self. Allies must recognize that if one suffers, all suffer, even if not immediately. Allies must embrace their ignorance and lack of understanding in order to counteract these.
As it pertains to the subject of racism in society, racism in education, White allies have to accept the reality of racism in every system and they also have to accept that no matter the topic, particularly as it relates to education, issues of race cement long-standing inequities that cannot be resolved without centering the issues of race. In other words, White allies don’t avoid our country’s foundation, which is built upon individual and systematic racism for the gain of the dominant class. White allies must learn to be quiet when Black and Brown folks are speaking about their experiences and perspectives. White allies must learn not to interrupt and to question themselves, especially when they feel defensive, undermined, or fearful. White allies have to stop hiding behind rhetoric of equity and understanding when their actions demonstrate the very opposite. White allies have to be willing to ask questions, not to prove they are right, but because they know they are wrong.
By Stephen Canipe
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, many teachers, students, and parents rushed to navigate online learning. Some schools may reopen with social distancing guidelines in place, while others may incorporate a virtual component. To limit COVID-19 exposure while maintaining the quality of education for students, educators will need to embrace online instruction.
Navigating new technology can be a big hurdle for veteran teachers. As many school districts are announcing plans to incorporate virtual learning for the upcoming school year, there will be little time for teachers to prepare. Seasoned educators will need a lot of training to master remote instruction and help their students succeed.
Teacher candidates enrolled in online programs can help bridge the gap. These candidates have developed technology skills and experienced asynchronous learning, which puts them in a great position to pivot to remote teaching. With 50 years of experience in distance education and online learning, Walden University faculty are prepared to provide teacher candidates with the knowledge and experience needed for online instruction in PreK-12 schools. Walden even helps teacher candidates develop and practice their skills for the classroom through virtual reality training simulations.
By Jerrica Thurman
Ed Prep Matters features the “Revolutionizing Education” column to spotlight the many ways AACTE, member institutions, and partners are pioneering leading-edge research, models, strategies and programs that focus on the three core values outlined in the current AACTE strategic plan: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Quality and Impact; and Inquiry and Innovation.
In this final installment of the first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion video series, AACTE members discuss the importance of preparing high quality teachers to educate the growing population of English language learners in the U.S. Statistics show English language learners currently represent 25% of the student body and are expected to grow to 50% within the next five years.
In “Effectively Serving English Language Learners,” Jacqueline Rodriguez, AACTE Vice President, Research, Policy and Advocacy said, “according to the U.S. Department of Education, we’ve seen dramatic increases in English language learners across the country. Some states have increases of over 40% since 2010.” “It’s very important now that we see how our population of students is changing, and what our teacher candidates are facing in the future,” said Cathleen Skinner, director of world languages for Oklahoma State Department of Education. “[We need] to ensure that we are providing our candidates with a kind of content to meet the needs of today’s diverse students, and to make sure that they are comfortable and have had experiences working with families and communities that differ from their own,” said Wanda Blanchett, dean of the graduate school of education at Rutgers University New Brunswick. “That means the teachers are going to have to develop relationships with people outside the educational community,” said Brian Williams, director of the Alonzo A. Crim Center for Urban Educational Excellence at Georgia State University.
Watch the full video.
View the complete first series of AACTE’s DEI videos on the Video Wall. Stay tuned for the second series of the DEI videos coming this fall. Help AACTE spread the word by sharing the videos with your social network!