Archive for January, 2021

Senator Elizabeth Warren To Headline AACTE Opening Keynote Series

Senator Elizabeth WarrenAACTE is excited to announce U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren will address the AACTE community during its 2021 Annual Meeting Opening Keynote session on February 24. New this year, the conference session will feature a series of mini presentations from influential politicians and education leaders making a difference in shaping our post-COVID world.

Senator Warren will deliver an important message on paving the way forward for educators during this global pandemic. A former elementary teacher and law professor, Warren works to advance the U.S. educational system in her role on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP). Warren is recognized as one of the nation’s top experts on the financial pressures facing middle class families. Boston Globe has called her “the plainspoken voice of people getting crushed by so many predatory lenders and under regulated banks.”

In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Warren served as Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Her independent and tireless efforts to protect taxpayers, to hold Wall Street accountable, and to ensure tough oversight of both the Bush and Obama Administrations won praise from both sides of the aisle. Read Senator Warren’s full bio at

Critical Capacity: COVID-19 and the Future of Educator Preparation Programs

This article originally appeared in University Business and is reprinted with permission.

Kathleen DaBoll-LavoieAs we enter the new year, many education leaders are questioning the impact of the pandemic on educator preparation programs (EPPs) and the pipeline of new teachers entering classrooms in 2021 and beyond.

Will colleges and universities expand and invest in their education programs to meet the demand for new teachers as educators retire due to COVID-19 health concerns? Will they downsize their education programs due to budget cuts resulting from the pandemic? Will they find innovative ways to collaborate with other institutions to sustain their education programs?

While there are many uncertainties, what we do know is that if educational programs are scaled back or terminated, the national teacher shortage will be exacerbated.

Nominate Now for Teacher Exemplar Award: Deadline is Feb. 5

Star award against gradient background - Teacher Exemplar Award

The Teacher Exemplar Award is presented by the AACTE Diversified Teacher Workforce (DTW) Topical Action Group (TAG) to recognize exceptional student/clinical teachers of Color and PK-12 mentor/cooperating teachers who serve as mentors to student/clinical teachers in field experiences. The instructional pedagogies and practices embodied by the recipients of this award reflects the DTW TAG mission and goals and advances our current understanding of the importance of cultivating a diversified teaching workforce that enhances educational opportunities for ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse students. 

Recipients of these awards have demonstrated effective instructional/pedagogical practices, advocacy skills, and a service-minded disposition toward addressing inequities through their teaching, participation in local community, school, and/or grassroots service efforts. In recognition and honor of this important work, the recipients will receive a $500 honorarium each and be recognized in our 2021 DTW Virtual Institute. Also, the recipients will be asked to participate on the planning committee of the 2022 DTW Institute.

Interact with Roundtable and iPoster Presenters During #AACTE21

Roundtable Sessions - iPostersThe Annual Meeting Roundtable Sessions and Holmes Poster Session will look a lot different at this year’s virtual conference.  In past years, the Round Table sessions were set up with a presenter to speak to a small group of people on their subject matter and posters hung for the attendees to view and talk face-to-face with the author. With a virtual meeting, that is difficult to do. 

This year, we will be utilizing iPosters for the Round Table sessions and Holmes Poster Session. iPosters is an interactive presentation platform that displays high-resolution images, video, animations, and voice-over narrations. Participants will be able to scroll through the content of the poster, click on images, and watch and listen to videos and other enhancements the presenters add to their sessions.  During their scheduled session time, presenters and authors will have the opportunity to talk with the attendees via chat or other options to discuss their session topic. Make sure to virtually stop by the Poster Gallery during these times to talk with the presenters:

ISTE Report Guides States in Re-envisioning the Future of Learning with Technology

From Crisis Management to Sustained Change: States Leading the Future of Learning With the ISTE StandardsISTE has released its newest policy report, “From Crisis Management to Sustained Change: States Leading the Future of Learning With the ISTE Standards.”

Fueled by the rapid transition to online and blended instruction in response to COVID-19 and continued need to equitably improve student outcomes, educators, and leaders across the country have faced an unprecedented challenge to design, implement, and scale learning strategies made possible through technology. This challenge also presents a new opportunity, as systems and strategies used to address COVID-19 can also propel our schools forward towards the future of learning and better meet students’ and educators’ needs.

Cast Your Vote for 2021-22 Holmes Officers

VoteMeet the nominees for the 2021-22 Holmes Council Elections. Each Holmes institution is entitled to one vote, which must be submitted by the Holmes Program Coordinator. Program Coordinators are encouraged to confer with their scholars for input on each candidate prior to completing the e-ballot. E-ballots must be completed via the AACTE Voting System. The window to cast votes will begin on January 28, 2021, through February 12, 2021. 

You’re Invited to AACTE’s 2021 Annual Meeting

Ann Larson

As chair of the AACTE Board of Directors, I personally invite you to attend AACTE’s virtual 2021 Annual MeetingFebruary 24-26. This year’s conference will provide ample opportunities to engage with colleagues in meaningful discussion around the critical issues facing our profession.

During these challenging times, it is imperative to create an empowered mindset, to renew democracy, and to respond to an entrenched system of inequities and fear. Together, through our collective power, we can affect the change we wish to see.

The AACTE Annual Meeting addresses the most pertinent issues and trends impacting our classrooms, our communities, and our world today. Hear from dynamic speakers such as:

  • Bettina L. Love, who headlines the Speaker Spotlight Session, February 25, will focus on activism and teachings about the intersection of race, education, abolition, and Black joy. Learn more
  • Michael Beschloss, an award-winning presidential historian and scholar of leadership, will be the speaker at the Closing Keynote Session, February 26. Learn more

UW Professor Named ASTE Outstanding Science Teacher Educator of the Year

Andrea BurrowsThe associate dean of undergraduate programs in the University of Wyoming College of Education is the recipient of the Outstanding Science Teacher Educator of the Year Level One Award.

Andrea Burrows, a professor in the UW School of Teacher Education, received the award during the Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE) 2021 International Conference, which took place virtually Jan. 14-15. As part of the award, she received a plaque and a cash award from Carolina Biological Supply Co., and she will be recognized in the awards issue of the ASTE newsletter.

The award recognizes the individual achievements and contributions of ASTE members in the first 10 years of their careers. Burrows has inspired pre-service science educators at UW for over nine years. She has won past awards from ASTE, including the 2019 John C. Park National Technology Leadership Initiative Fellowship and the Innovation in Teaching Science Teachers Award in 2020.

“I am truly honored that ASTE would choose me as the 2021 Outstanding Science Teacher Educator,” Burrows says. “My goals as a science teacher educator include continuing research to discover the workings of interdisciplinary spaces involving STEM and providing high-quality professional development for K-20 teachers to use what we are learning. This award provides recognition of the value of this type of interdisciplinary work.”

Burrows was selected for the award based on numerous achievements throughout her career, including the $1.2 million National Science Foundation (NSF) Noyce grant she leads to recruit students with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) backgrounds into the teaching field. This novel program has helped recruit and support 51 secondary science and mathematics teachers since 2013. She also co-leads a $1 million NSF Computer Science for All grant, which has provided teacher professional development and support since 2019.

Hurry! Advance Registration Deadline is February 1

AACTE Annual Meeting logo

There is still time for you to register for the AACTE 73rd Annual meeting at a discounted rate.  The Advance Registration rates will be available until midnight Monday, February 1.  Please note, fees will increase to the late registration rate after this date.    

You won’t want to miss attending the virtual conference, February 24 – 26. The three-day event will include the same elements as the in-person meetings: concurrent sessions on trending topics centered on our theme, dynamic keynote speakers, and professional service providers in the Conference Community Center— plus much, much more.  Check out the Online Event Planner for the day-to-day schedule of events. 

We look forward to seeing you there. 

Register Now

Visit for conference details, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and join the conversation using #AACTE21.

Come experience the reimagined AACTE Annual Meeting – One community. One purpose. One voice.

Discover and Discuss Legislative Priorities at AACTE21

Gavel and American Flag

With the new administration at work and a new congress well underway, the need for AACTE and its members to engage with their elected officials is as important as ever. The existing shortfall of highly trained educators has been exacerbated by COVID-19. According to one study, prior to the pandemic, 100,000 classrooms in the United States were staffed by instructors who were unqualified for their jobs; in one month alone, 469,000 public school district personnel nationally lost their jobs and roughly 27% of teachers say they are considering leaving their job, retiring early, or taking a leave of absence because of the pandemic. Congress must understand the consequences of the shortage and what needs to be done to address it.

Your voice is key to educating lawmakers.

The Committee on Government Relations and Advocacy, one of AACTE’s standing committees, is hosting a session during the AACTE Annual Meeting to educate attendees about President Biden’s priorities for education and the composition of Congress and legislation it may consider.  The session will also focus on AACTE’s legislative priorities, as well as strategies to move them forward. The committee will also share how to use your voice and share your experience with your elected officials.

Do you have questions about this session? Email

The Biden-Harris Era Begins

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.

 Just two weeks after a riotous mob vandalized the Capitol, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris took the oath of office on the steps of the very same building. Setting the tone of unity, President Biden urged us to “see each other not as adversaries but as neighbors” and to “join forces, stop the shouting, and lower the temperature.” With three living former presidents (Clinton, Bush, Obama) from both sides of the aisle joining together to send a message of support to incoming President Biden, a hopeful tone is set for moving forward.

With astounding speed, the new Administration got right to work. President Biden signed 17 executive orders, memoranda, and proclamations on the first afternoon of his Presidency. Among them were orders to rejoin the Paris climate accord, end the former Administration’s travel ban on predominantly Muslim and African countries; impose a national mandate requiring masks and physical distancing in all federal buildings, on all federal lands, and by all federal employees; and to pause Federal student loan payments through September.    

On Thursday, the president took further  executive actions that aligned with his pledge to reopen most K-12 schools in his first 100 days in office. These orders will help support the reopening goal by way of developing a national strategy to get the coronavirus under control. One executive order  will direct the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services to provide reopening guidance to schools with a focus on masking, testing and cleaning. A separate presidential memorandum will offer reimbursement to schools for purchases of personal protective equipment through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster relief fund.

The AACTE National Office Has Moved!

Lynn M. Gangone

Greetings! This new year brings new opportunities, as AACTE has moved its National Office to a new address. In this video, I share updates about our new location and how you can stay connected with our Association.
Please take a moment to watch the video message above and discover more about the relocation. Stay tuned for more updates about what is happening at AACTE next month. Meanwhile, please join me at the AACTE 2021 Annual Meeting, February 24-26.

Warm Regards,

Call for Applications: Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments

Call for ApplicationsAACTE is pleased to announce the Call for Applications for the Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments (CREA). Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the purpose of the Consortium is to convene stakeholders across various states to (1) examine how cut scores for entrance into educator preparation programs are currently set, (2) identify guidelines and recommendations for setting equitable cut scores for Praxis I and similar assessments, and (3) develop model state policies that seek to attract and prepare diverse teacher candidates for the profession. 

The Consortium of state teams shall be comprised of educator preparation programs and representatives from state and local education agencies. Participants must commit to one full year of participation, which will include quarterly meetings and pre-work between meetings to accomplish the goals of the Consortium.

AACTE Welcomes New Scholars

AACTE is proud to welcome new Holmes Scholars from the University of Portland. The program, led by Assistant Professor Benjamin Gallegos, launched last winter with three outstanding scholars that AACTE is pleased to welcome to the Holmes Community: Kiko Garcia, Yvonne Ayesiga, and Ana Lia Oliva.

Kiko Garcia

Kiko GarciaGarcia is pursuing a Ph.D. in educational leadership and neuroeducation at the University of Portland. His family showed him the value of education at a very young age. Coming from an immigrant family who has strived to be a meaningful part of its community while growing up in California, he vows to do the same in Oregon. As a nonprofit administrator and educator in the greater Portland area, Garcia’s goal is to help communities to be empowered by creating meaning within their own journeys.  Educational leadership and neuroeducation have helped him to forge an understanding about how we learn. His philosophy is that the world outside is the classroom and there are always opportunities to improve upon this classroom through social justice, equity, and recognition that our neurodiversity, as well as different abilities, are the true path to authentic learning and community-making.    

Talisa Jackson Named Holmes Scholar of the Month

Talisa JacksonCongratulations to Talisa Jackson, the January Holmes Scholar of the Month. Originally from Natchez, Mississippi, Jackson is a doctoral candidate at George Mason University where she is studying science education research. Through her research, Jackson seeks to examine the representation of girls of color in STEM-related picture books with the goal of increasing the number of underrepresented populations in the STEM field. Since 2019, Jackson has worked at the National Science Foundation as a program assistant.  Additionally, she is recipient of a 2020 College of Education and Human Development Completion Fellowship from George Mason University.

Prior to pursuing her doctoral studies, Jackson taught kindergarten and fourth grade in Title I schools in North Carolina and Virginia. Her experience in Title I schools, where 70% or more students receive free or reduced lunch, opened Jackson’s eyes to STEM education inequalities. This led her to research the various ways girls and people of color can be encouraged to participate in the STEM field.