Archive for March, 2021

Annual Meeting Keynote Presenters Address Policy and Practice Post COVID-19

#AACTE21 Keynote Speakers

The Opening Keynote session at the virtual AACTE 73rd Annual Meeting included five speakers, each addressing the theme, “Policy and Practice for a Post-Pandemic World.” The keynote presenters were Jack Reed, Alma Adams, Karen Marrongelle, Leslie Fenwick and Elizabeth Warren.

AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone and Edthena CEO Adam Gheller opened the Keynote session with insight about AACTE resources. Gangone talked in depth about the COVID-19 resource hub that AACTE made available through its website, and the state policy tracker map. A tool that helps teachers identify certification and policies in their respective states. Gheller stressed the importance of video observation in today’s educational climate, and how Edthena is helping 20 AACTE Member institutions with a grant to implement its use.

Apply Now: AERA-GSU Conference on Professional Development Schools Research

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) Professional Development School Research Special Interest Group (SIG) in partnership with Georgia State University (GSU) has received a Research Conference Grant Award from AERA. The purpose of the grant award is to support a three-day conference in September of 2021 on advancing PDS research and creating a collaborative national research agenda. Researchers, scholars, scholar-practitioners and doctoral students from different regions of the country, representing diverse perspectives, and varied domains of inquiry will be invited to present their visions, views, theories, research and research approaches. The conference will be in-person at GSU and remote for a number of individuals starting on Friday, September 17 through Sunday, September 19.

New UCLA Research Effort Aims to Increase Diversity of Educators in California

Professor interacting with small class of students

This article originally appeared in Ampersand, the UCLA Ed & IS online magazine, and is reprinted with permission.

The Center for the Transformation of Schools at the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies is launching a new research initiative to inform and strengthen efforts to increase the racial, cultural and linguistic diversity of educators in California.

The project will bring together expert researchers and K-12 and higher education representatives from a variety of backgrounds to examine and identify the factors that fuel the gap in the racial identity of California’s educators and the students they serve.  The research will produce an evidence-based landscape study of the challenge, as well as additional research and policy briefs that build public awareness and set forth strategies and models for state and local efforts to increase the diversity of the education workforce. The project is funded by a grant from the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation and from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of a national effort to increase educator diversity.

AACTE Applauds Passage of COVID-19 Relief Legislation

AACTE today expressed its appreciation to Congress for passing the American Rescue Plan Act. The legislation was passed to help the nation recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our nation and the world. The Act includes funding to support schools and colleges in creating safe learning environments to enable P-12 students and teachers to successfully return to face-to-face instruction as soon as possible.  President Biden is expected to sign the Act into law. 

While there are calls to immediately open schools and colleges, teachers and others are hesitant to return unless their safety can be assured. AACTE believes this legislation is critical to helping the nation’s schools to do just that—reopen safely.

“Rethink, Reshape, Reimagine, Revolutionize: Growing the Profession Post Pandemic”

Call for Proposals - AACTE 2022 Annual MeetingNow through May 28, AACTE is accepting session proposals for the 74th Annual Meeting, to be held in New Orleans, LA, March 4-6, 2022. We also invite applications by May 14 from AACTE member faculty to review proposals.

The conference theme is “Rethink, Reshape, Reimagine, Revolutionize: Growing the Profession Post Pandemic,” conceptualized as follows in the call for proposals:

The events of 2020 challenged the field of education in dramatic and unprecedented ways. The advent of the pandemic thrust educators into uncharted territory and created a dramatically different, virtual context for teaching and learning. As the COVID‐19 crisis unfolded, teachers and teacher candidates quickly adapted their instruction to incorporate multiple modes of delivery, including virtual, hybrid, and in‐person instruction constrained by masks, plexiglass, and social distancing. The enormous investment of energy required to make the sudden shift, the isolation imposed by the threat of the pandemic, and the separation from colleagues tested the intellect, energy, and emotional resilience of educators. In the midst of this unforeseen and uncharted environment, a pressing challenge arose: addressing the striking inequities of access to technology and learning, clearly delineated along socioeconomic lines, which stood to further expand the achievement gap between white students and their classmates of color.

Structures for Success: Supporting, Developing and Retaining Black Male Educators

Black male teacher working with students in the classroom

Learner-centered design (LCD) has become a key component of digital products and platforms; curriculum and lesson planning; and non-didactic pedagogical approaches. This paradigm foregrounds the needs of learners by meeting learners where they are. LCD proposes that all designed environments should be built around the goals, needs, activities and educational contexts of users. In essence, LCDs allow for the incorporation of the whole learner by using their preferences, strengths, weaknesses, and interests as assets that can be leveraged to strengthen learning experiences.

Cardona Takes Office Amidst School Openings and Spring Assessments Controversies

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.

Biden Administration Forges Ahead on School Reopening/Vaccines for Teachers as Secretary of Education Cardona Takes Office

American flag on a blackboardOn Tuesday evening Miguel Cardona was sworn in as the nation’s new Secretary of Education. The Senate voted 64-33 to confirm Cardona, a former public school teacher, principal and state superintendent. Cardona assumes the Education Department’s top job as the debate around how to safely reopen schools has grown increasingly bitter. President Biden in response is now walking a political tightrope, reassuring teachers they should be prioritized for the vaccine while recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that vaccinations should not be a prerequisite for reopening schools. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said last month that vaccinating all teachers against COVID-19 before reopening schools is “non-workable,” Cardona wasted no time, diving into the debate over school reopening—with a USA Today op-ed posting as his swearing-in ceremony concluded. In the article, Cardona reaffirmed his commitment to safely reopening schools, announcing that he will convene a “national summit on safe school reopening” later this month.

AACTE Welcomes 2021-22 Holmes Council

Holmes Program Logo Banner

AACTE is pleased to introduce the 2021-22 Holmes Council, an elected body comprised of current Holmes Program doctoral and master’s students. The Council serves as a student voice to AACTE on the programmatic needs of the Holmes Program. All newly elected officers will serve a one-year term, with exception of the president and vice president who will each serve for two consecutive years.

UTRGV Ranks Among Highest in Texas for Teacher Production, Retention

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) is among the top universities to produce the largest number of teachers in Texas, and has among the highest retention rates, according to the 2020 Performance Analysis for Colleges of Education (PACE) study.

The study’s results are from research generated at the University of Houston’s Center for Research, Evaluation, & Advancement of Teacher Education (CREATE).

“Retention of novice teachers in the profession is a very important measure of success for teacher preparation programs given the huge numbers of teachers that leave the profession every year contributing to the tremendous teacher shortage in the state,” said Alma Rodriguez, dean of the UTRGV College of Education and P-16 Integration.

The PACE report also shows that graduates from the UTRGV teacher preparation program have a 91%, 5-year retention rate in the teaching profession. The rate was calculated through a five-year study (from 2015 to 2019) of first-year teachers who graduated from the different educator preparation programs in the state of Texas.

JTE Podcast Interview: Program Completer Surveys and Teacher Effectiveness

Podcast MicrophoneListen to the recent JTE Insider podcast by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team. This blog is available to the public, and AACTE members have free access to the articles in the JTE online archives—just log in with your AACTE profile.

This podcast interview features insights from the article “What Do Surveys of Program Completers Tell Us About Teacher Preparation Quality?,” by Kevin Bastion, Min Sun, and Heather Flynn. The article was published in the January/February issue of the Journal of Teacher Education

NASSP Seeks Feedback on Special Education and LGBTQ+ Students and Educators

A person drawing and pointing at a We Want Your Feedback Chalk IllustrationCalling all educators! Your review and your voice is requested. AACTE is proud to work collaboratively with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) in the Learning First Alliance coalition. Our colleagues at NASSP, alongside their Board of Directors recently stated its intent to adopt two new position statements on LGBTQ+ Students and Educators and Supporting Principals as Leaders of Special Education—and your feedback is critical. Public comments are open now through March 31.

Federal Action Removes Long-Standing Obstacle to School Integration

This article originally appeared on the Learning Policy Institute blog and is reprinted with permission.

Janel GeorgeWhen Congress passed the mammoth $2.3 trillion federal funding legislation—the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021—last December, most of the press focused on the package’s much-needed COVID-19 relief funds and the narrowly averted government shutdown. But nested within the legislation is game-changing language that removes a long-standing obstacle to states and school districts fulfilling Brown v. Board of Education’s promise of eliminating separate and unequal schools. Effective January 1, 2021, there is no longer a prohibition on the use of federal school transportation funds to support school integration.

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College Convenes Education Stakeholders to Tackle Big Questions

This article originally appeared in Arizona State University News and is reprinted with permission.

For two days in January, more than 270 educators and education experts from around the country gathered virtually at the invitation of Arizona State University’s (ASU’s) Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College to address a big question: What should the next education workforce look like so that schools can provide better educational experiences to learners and better professional experiences to educators?

The event, Next Education Workforce: Building the Next Normal, was the outgrowth of work that Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College has been pursuing for four years. The goal, says Carole Basile, dean of the college, “is to shift thought, conversation and action about education challenges from discrete programs and initiatives to systemic and structural approaches.”

AACTE National Office Welcomes New Staff

AACTE is delighted to introduce the newest additions to its national staff: Ana-Maria Gutierrez, manager, digital content and IT, and interns Ann Marie Wernick and Gaëlle Gilbert.

Ana-Maria Gutierrez 

Ana-Maria Gutierrez has 20 years of experience working in strategic communications, technology applications, graphic design, and social media. In her last position, she worked in the Disabilities Studies and Services Center at Family Health International (formerly the Academy for Educational Development) serving as deputy director for several national projects funded by the U.S. Department of Education and Health and Human Services. Her career has been focused in the special education field, working primarily to promote the use of assistive technology (AT) to serve the needs of children and youth with disabilities. As the technical lead for a national AT information and training series of more than 100 webinars, she had contact with hundreds of special education teachers, pre-service teachers and post-secondary educators, which has provided her a unique perspective on the needs of educators as well as students.

AACTE Partners with National Science Foundation to Advance Science Educator Preparation

AACTE | NSF logo

The American Association of Colleges Teacher Education (AACTE) has launched a new initiative to advance the use of simulation in science educator preparation. AACTE recently received the National Science Foundation (NSF) Discovery Research PreK-12 convening grant to address the critical need for well-qualified science educators who can teach effectively in a variety of face-to-face and virtual school settings and meet the needs of diverse learners.

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