I have learned firsthand that AACTE is passionately committed to the professional development of its members. From 2017 to 2020, I served on the AACTE Committee on Membership and Capacity Building and had the wonderful opportunity to meet and network with esteemed colleagues from around the country, as well as several fabulous AACTE staff. During my time on the committee, we delved into many thoughtful discussions about how to improve our engagement with our members and bolster their participation with the organization.
In addition to participating on the Membership Committee, I serve as an associate professor in the Doctor of Education in P-20 and Community Leadership at Murray State University (Murray, KY). Our College of Education and Human Services has a long, proud tradition of providing to faculty the opportunity to attend the AACTE Annual Meeting, and many of our faculty have served in leadership positions or presented at the conference. Over the last several years, my program director and I have sought those opportunities for our Ed.D. students as well—to attend, engage, and network at the AACTE Annual Meeting. More recently, our program has also been an exhibitor at the annual conference, sharing information with graduate student and new faculty attendees interested in pursuing their doctoral degrees, as well as providing materials for the many experienced members to take back to their campuses to share.
Meet Maria, a Mexican American student who entered school with a suitcase full of treasures—including her culture, family traditions, and experiences. She called her suitcase a maleta. Her teachers made it clear that her maleta was not welcome. While she was never explicitly told to leave her treasures at the classroom door, through their curricula, instruction, and assessment practices, her teachers made it known that her culture did not and have value and would hinder her learning. They gave her a new maleta, one filled with the U.S. culture; they believed this maleta would serve her better. As a result, she felt deep shame over the most essential elements of her humanity.
I am Maria—and to this day, I feel the pain of my teachers stealing my humanity.
Teacher evaluation at the center of inequity
Today, our nation is focused on inequities in our education and justice systems. While many school districts and universities have released diversity and social justice statements, the harsh reality remains that some areas within our education system are obstructions to racial equity in our schools—including teacher evaluation tools. This negligence has a profound, lifelong impact on culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) learners. It is time for education leaders to challenge white supremacy and racial bias in teacher evaluation.
The AACTE 2020 Washington Week will feature two virtual Holmes Program events: the Holmes Advanced Policy Course, September 2-3, and the Holmes Policy Institute, September 8-10.
Holmes Advanced Policy Course: September 2-3
The Holmes Program Advanced Policy Course will engage Holmes Scholars in “Moving Towards Equity Through Advocacy and Policy,” the theme of this year’s event. Participants in the Course will explore policy and advocacy principles and address current events that focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in education. The sessions include a deep dive into the 4 P’s of Policy and Advocacy, led by Jane West, AACTE Consultant for Government Relations, and will conclude with an engaging Q&A forum. Scholars will also hear from congressional staffers from Capitol Hill, who will address current issues and trends in education that align with DEI policies and practices.
Join the final session of the AACTE Back to School Webinar Series on August 26 where presenters will discuss how educator preparation programs will use the lessons learned this past spring during the COVID-19 pandemic and apply them to the upcoming academic year. This session is already at 80% capacity, so register soon!
AACTE and EdPrepLab – Preparing educators during COVID-19: Lessons learned and new challenges for Fall 2020
August 26, 2020, 3:00 – 4:00pm
AACTE and Educator Preparation Laboratory (EdPrepLab), an initiative of the Learning Policy Institute (LPI) and Bank Street Graduate School of Education, are excited to share lessons learned during COVID on effective teacher and leader preparation strategies this past spring. Panelists discuss how educator preparation has been shaped by the experiences of the spring and the demands of the new school year. The discussion also will address how programs are continually reimagining their structures and practices even as they maintain a focus on key commitments to deeper learning and equity. Questions addressed will include: (1) How are programs applying what they learned during the spring school shutdowns to adapt to emerging conditions in the fall? (2) How are programs continuing to adapt to new challenges including remote and hybrid school start-ups, social distancing requirements, and students’ social-emotional needs? (3) How are programs positioning themselves and their teacher and leader candidates, as assets for Pk-12 schools in providing equitable deeper learning opportunities for all students?
At Day on the Hill, AACTE’s premiere advocacy event during Washington Week, education leaders and students from around the country convene to advocate for teacher preparation. With the recent impact of the coronavirus and other societal trends on education, congressional leaders need to hear and learn about your successful strategies to advance the profession and ways to best address the challenges you face at your institution. Join the AACTE community for this year’s virtual event offered over a two-week period, and take advantage of the opportunity to build your advocacy skills and toolkit. Advocacy training sessions will take place September 9-10, and virtual congressional visits will be held September 15-16.
Day on the Hill: September 9-10
The first week of Day on the Hill offers attendees two tracks to choose from for part of the day that support differing advocacy skill levels. During these lively breakout sessions, you will develop and augment your skills, and learn from peers, colleagues, and government relations professionals. You will also learn about key legislations impacting education today and how to advocate for the profession with congressional leaders in a virtual environment. Congressional staff will provide special presentations on how policy is shaped and effective ways to advocate during AACTE’s virtual Hill visits that will take place the second week.
Virtual Congressional Visits: September 15-16
During the second week of Day on the Hill, attendees will join colleagues within their local state for virtual meetings with congressional leaders. Participants will be prepared with talking points, strategies to hold a congressional meeting, and key messages about how COVID-19 has impacted educator preparation programs to present to legislators. You will hear riveting greetings from invited guest politicians who will encourage your efforts in advocating for meaningful and equitable education policies.
Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with friends and colleagues, learn of national trends in education, share or discover best practices on common challenges, or develop your advocacy skills! Register now for AACTE’s Day on the Hill.
Visit aacte.org for more details about the AACTE 2020 Washington Week.
This article originally appeared on the Virginia Commonwealth School of Education website and is reprinted with permission.
As public school systems across the country are readying plans to reopen — in some fashion — this fall, a new study at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is investigating the preparedness of two school districts within the greater Richmond area amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The study, “Exploring PreK-12 Public School Systems’ Pandemic Preparedness During COVID-19 School Closures,” is led by Holmes Scholar alumnus Dwayne Ray Cormier, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Foundations of Education in the School of Education and a visiting iCubed scholar.
“I wanted to see: what do the protocols and processes look like?” Cormier said. “And I then want to see if there’s anything we can learn that can be shared throughout the state or throughout the country that would help schools prepare.”
This article originally appeared on The Seattle Times website and is reprinted with permission.
We see in our nation today the devastating repercussions of white supremacy and systemic racism practiced against communities of color for generations. It’s a grievous offense that our educational systems, which possess a duty to help every child achieve their full potential, often act as instruments to deny this opportunity to all.
As educators of color with decades of experience teaching and leading, we know that education is central to the elimination of racism in society and a more just future for all of us. Education can disrupt entrenched biases. It can amplify our communities’ stories of strength, and achievement and be a force for liberation and self-determination.
While there are many actions we can and should take at every level of our educational systems, the evidence is clear what our first priority must be: investing in a more racially diverse educator workforce.
Here in Washington state, half of K-12 students in public schools are youth of color. Yet only 11% of teachers are.
Inclusive leadership is better for schools, teachers, and all students. Every student deserves to attend a school led by a principal with the skills, knowledge, and training to promote equity for all students, including students with disabilities. Yet, general education teachers and school principals report being underprepared to effectively serve students with disabilities. Only 12 percent of a nationally representative sample of school principals and only 17 percent of general education teachers report feeling well prepared to serve and teach students with disabilities.
Support for Preparing Inclusive School Leaders During COVID-19
While the COVID-19 crisis has disrupted education for all students, students with disabilities face unique challenges in transitioning to remote learning and in their eventual transition back to the classroom. Like the pandemic and the systemic racism plaguing our nation, inequitable access to effective school leadership is more prevalent for underserved populations, including students with disabilities. A recently released brief from CCSSO, the CEEDAR Center, and the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders highlights key recommendations, examples, and resources to support educator preparation programs (EPPs) and Deans of Education in addressing the pressing challenges for school leaders posed by the COVID-19 crises.
Learning Policy Institute’s (LPI) new study, Measuring Student Socioeconomic Status: Toward a Comprehensive Approach, discusses the limitations of the popular measure and examines alternatives for state policymakers who are seeking to accurately count students from low-income families.
“Changing how we measure and address student poverty is more important than ever,” said LPI Senior Researcher Peter Cookson, who authored the study. “A shift away from the [federal Free and Reduced-Price Lunch] FRPL [program] measure was already long overdue and taking place in some states. This takes on deeper urgency now as learning for a generation of students has been upheaved by the COVID-19 pandemic. Accurately measuring family incomes is necessary if policymakers are to allocate school resources that meet the educational needs of students.”
Register today for the final two webinars in AACTE’s Back to School Webinars Series this month. On August 18, join AACTE and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) to review and discuss survey data and case studies that cover higher education’s ability to help PK-12 schools integrate technology. Then, on August 26, rejoin EdPrepLab to learn how educator preparation has been shaped by the experiences of the spring and the demands of the new school year. Read on for more webinar details.
ISTE: Integrating Digital Technologies in Remote K-12 Learning: Lessons for Higher Education Preparation Programs
August 18, 2020 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET
As a result of the global health pandemic, teacher preparedness to integrate digital technology into their teaching has become a leading topic of conversation in both the PK-12 and higher education communities. How well are PK-12 teachers being prepared to integrate digital technologies and the ISTE Standards into their PK-12 teaching? What is higher education doing well? Where are the gaps?
In this webinar, you will hear from AACTE Innovation and Technology Committee co-chair Liz Kolb and Victoria Carter from the University of Michigan about two survey results pre and post COVID-19. The first survey, pre COVID-19, investigates PK-12 teachers’ and administrators’ perceptions of how well new teachers are prepared to integrate technology tools and the ISTE Standards for Students. The second survey focuses on how teachers experience remote teaching and learning during the pandemic. While both are national surveys, we will focus on the state of Michigan as a case study. The presentation will include suggestions and implications for teacher preparation in higher education as well as PK-12 district professional development for moving toward high-quality preparation of teacher candidates for face to face, remote, and blended learning environments with technology tools.
As K-12 student populations continue to diversify, it is essential for educator preparation programs to ensure teacher candidates possess the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to meet the needs of all learners. Mixed reality simulation is an effective tool to facilitate the development of culturally responsive and sustaining educators and to foster self-reflection. Through virtual simulations, instructor and peers provide critical feedback and observation of candidates’ performance via video.
Join AACTE and Mursion for the webinar, “Fostering Critical Self-Reflection: Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners through Mixed Reality Simulation,” at 1:00 p.m. ET, Tuesday, August 18. This session will detail the process used in a STEM methods course to engage candidates in addressing the needs of English language learners and provide examples of how candidate thinking and planning changed as a result. The presenters include:
A June 2020 paper from the National Center for Education and the Economy offers interesting insights about how countries with top-performing K-12 education systems have responded to the wholesale move to distance education. In addition to summarizing what countries have done, the paper includes many examples of specific initiatives with links for additional information. Among the findings:
- Several countries affected by the SARS epidemic had emergency distance plans in place that they were able to activate when the pandemic struck. These plans included training for teachers on distance education and creation of repositories of materials for online learning linked to the jurisdictions’ curricula.
- Even countries not impacted by prior pandemics have made investments in creating support networks for educators that provided teachers with access to expert advice and support for teaching online.
- Because many top-performing countries had already invested in creating online repositories of teaching and learning materials, they were able to quickly develop guidance and supports for teachers when schools had to move online.
- Several countries leveraged expert teachers to create lesson materials for their online repositories and to provide support to less experienced teachers.
- As other countries have begun to re-open, they have prioritized in-person access for students with special needs and for students who have particularly struggled with online learning, relying primarily on the professional judgment of teachers to identify those students.
Washington State University’s Office of Academic Engagement (OAE) was notified by the U.S. Dept. of Education that it is awarding three student support services grants to benefit veterans, STEM students, and future teachers at the university.
OAE Executive Director Michael Highfill said the grants—totaling over $4 million—will each serve between 120 and 140 low-income and first-generation students annually.
“We are pleased with this federal investment in WSU and our successful efforts to serve students through ambitious and innovative programming,” said Mary F. Wack, vice provost for academic engagement and student achievement. She leads the university division of the same name—which uses the acronym Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement (DAESA) and is part of the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President.
The deadline for the AACTE 2021 Outstanding Dissertation Award is quickly approaching. Have you or someone you know recently completed a prize-worthy doctoral dissertation related to educator preparation? If so, applications are being accepted through our online submission system until August 21.
This award recognizes excellence in doctoral dissertation research (or its equivalent) that contributes to the knowledge base of educator preparation or of teaching and learning with implications for educator preparation. Overseen by AACTE’s Committee on Research and Dissemination, this award includes a $1,000 cash prize, as well as special recognition at AACTE’s 73rd Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA, February 26 – 28, 2021.
Take advantage of discounted rates for the virtual AACTE 2020 Washington Week! Join AACTE’s efforts to advocate for the funding and support colleges of education need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your voice matters now more than ever, and this year’s reduced rates allow your colleagues and students to participate in the political action as well.
Here’s what past attendees had to say about the value Washington Week offers:
“I’m excited that it’s time for Washington Week again! Last year was my first experience, and I loved every minute of it. [Activities included] learning the ins and outs of how to advocate, practicing advocacy skills, and visiting the House of Representatives [as well as] discussing mental health initiatives in schools, teacher shortages, and low wages for educators. It’s an awesome experience, one that I’ll never forget. Get excited for a great time you won’t regret!” − Danna Demezier, Florida Atlantic University
“In the past, I have attended three Washington Weeks. It was amazing! I had the opportunity to share my concerns as a former educator, teacher educator, and a constituent. Nothing compares to running around Washington with Deans and meeting staffers or legislators in Congress.” − Azaria Cunningham, Penn State University
“I attended the State Leaders Institute my first year as state chapter president. The networking and valuable information obtained from experts changed the way we did business in our state chapter. Our state chapter has grown because of SLI. It is the best professional development opportunity for state chapter leaders. It should not be missed.” − Mary Murray, Bowling Green State University