Archive for April, 2021

Helping the Nation’s School Recover from COVID-19

Teachers wait in the hallway to welcome students and enforce social distancing before classes begin for the day

Photo by Allison Shelley for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action

President Biden recently signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which includes $122 billion for the ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund. These funds are provided to state educational agencies and school districts to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the nation’s students. 

The U.S. Department of Education recently announced how much each state will receive through ARP ESSER and that the funds will be available for use through September 2023. The ARP ESSER funds are designed to help alleviate some of the challenges school district leaders face to “hire, recruit, and retain quality staff during severe labor market shortages while providing supplemental emergency benefits and compensation during the pandemic.”
 
AACTE encourages our members to collaborate with their local partner districts to allocate the ARP ESSER funds towards strengthening the educator workforce by supporting residency models, grow-your-own programs, and other innovative approaches to develop a pathway into teaching. Increasing financial support for teacher candidates is critical to developing and sustaining a diverse, profession-ready teacher workforce. Funding to support teacher candidates could be in place by as early as this fall to assist schools as they fully re-open and to help children overcome learning loss due to the pandemic.

Attend AACTE Webinar: Responding to Anti-AAPI Racism in Educator Preparation

ar, “Responding to Anti-AAPI Racism in Educator Preparation: Seizing the Present MomentAACTE is honored to welcome another esteemed panel for the third installment of its webinar series, “Combating Racism in Educator Prep.” The third webinar, “Responding to Anti-AAPI Racism in Educator Preparation: Seizing the Present Moment,” centers on the lived experiences of our Asian and Asian American friends, family, colleagues, and students. Valerie Pang, Nicholas D. Hartlep, and Shuhui Fan will discuss the often-omitted history of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community concerning civil rights and our P–12 education system. The panel will shed light on the current implications of that context for AAPI educators and students, as well as provide a space to discuss strategies and resources institutions of higher education (IHEs) and individuals can use to ensure policies and culture promote safety and belonging for all AAPI peoples in our education system.

Join AACTE’s Education Deans in Discussion: Leaning in and Leading Through Crisis

3d stainless human social network and leadership as conceptWe learned so much from our Education Deans during Annual Meeting, that we are hosting a webinar on April 29 to dive deeper into leaning in and leading through the COVID-19 pandemic, and the impact of systemic racism on campus and within their communities.

Educator preparation leaders, specifically, are managing the twin crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustice within and across the nation’s institutions. We can all agree that the shift we experienced in our personal and professional lives as we witnessed horrific tragedies grounded in racism and discrimination continues to rock our schools and communities. As equity-minded leaders, three deans addressed faculty and student needs by starting with empathy and ending with action.

Frostburg State University’s Innovative Residency Program Prepares Teachers in Critical Shortage Areas

Boyce C. WilliamsIn October 2019, Frostburg State University (FSU) was awarded a five-year, $4.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for the Maryland Accelerates: Teacher-Leader Residency for Inclusive Excellence program. This new program addresses Absolute Priority and Competitive Preference Priority I under the Department’s Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) Program. By leveraging partnerships in high-need and rural schools, this innovative teacher-leader residency program will help realize State priorities in preparing and retaining highly effective teachers in the critical shortage areas of science, mathematics, computer science, English, and elementary education.

Modeled after the recommendations of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education (also known colloquially as the Kirwan Commission), the program includes a full-year practicum, mentorship, extensive classroom observation, and research opportunities with an emphasis on culturally-responsive pedagogy, mathematical problem-solving, and computational thinking followed by an extended induction program. Graduates of the program receive a Master of Arts in Teaching degree and are mentored and supported through their early years of teaching to develop competency-based practices to move them towards achieving National Board Certification.

Opinion: Standardized Tests are Overused, Misused, and Should Be Eliminated for College Admission

This article originally appeared in the Opinion section of The Columbus Dispatch and is reprinted with permission.

Photo of students taking standardized tests.

I applaud Ohio University—together with more than half of four-year colleges nationwide—in adopting a test-optional pathway for admission for first-year applicants.

All institutions of higher education should lead the efforts to reverse structural roadblocks to potential students and provide access to the promise of an enriched life that education can provide.

For too long, standardized testing has been overused and misused in ways that either knowingly or inadvertently set up structures akin to institutional and structural inequities. Structural inequities consist of laws, rules or official policies in a society that result in and support a continued unfair advantage to some people—deep patterns of socioeconomic inequalities and disadvantage due to socioeconomic class or racism.

Though institutions of higher education should have standards for admission, they have an obligation to eliminate barriers for students and expand access to higher education. Newly proposed standards—such as those by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation—will succeed in this mission without negatively impacting academic quality or student

Changing the Narrative about Teaching through Stories of Transformation

Teacher Stories (written in cursive)I spent most of my career as a teacher educator and nothing has been more disheartening than the precipitous decline in the number of people across the country wanting to enter the teaching profession. In California, where I worked for the California State University (CSU), applications for credential programs dropped by 50% over a recent five-year period beginning about 2008. While application numbers are beginning to increase, we have a long way to go as the dwindling supply of new teachers has been a key contributor to severe teacher shortages adversely affecting students in most states.

What does this say about a democratic nation that cannot ensure that every student has access to a well-prepared teacher?

A big part of the problem, of course, is the pernicious narrative about the profession itself that causes many excellent would-be candidates to choose other career paths. In 2016, I helped found EduCorps, a systemwide teacher recruitment initiative designed to tell a more accurate and compelling story about the teaching profession. Since its inception, credential program staff at many of CSU’s 23 campuses have asked university and community college professors to nominate students they consider promising candidates for the teaching profession. These nominees have shown up in great numbers at celebration of teaching events where they hear about the rewards and the challenges of teaching from former credential students working in local schools.

AACTE Diversified Teacher Workforce TAG Hosts Building Culturally Efficacious University-School Partnerships Learning Lab

AACTE Diversified Teacher Workforce Topical Action Group (TAG)  Learning Lab on Building Culturally Efficacious University-School Partnerships Learning LabJoin the AACTE Diversified Teacher Workforce Topical Action Group (TAG) Learning Lab on Building Culturally Efficacious University-School Partnerships on Tuesday April 2O, 1:00 -2:30 p.m. (CST) via the Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8406529033

Across the field of education (PK-20) students, teachers, administrators, professors, and program leaders continue to witness and lament the chronic disparities in representation and lack of ethno-racial and linguistic diversity among teachers (relative to their students) in our nation’s schools. And in the wake of a global pandemic, enduring civil unrest, and calls for racial justice related to systemic anti-Blackness and anti-immigrant within all aspects of society, educational institutions are being forced to engage in introspection with greater magnitude. Teacher preparation programs in particular are feeling increased pressure to recruit, retain, and effectively prepare a highly-qualified, racially-literate, diverse pool of candidates as districts scramble to hire teachers with the content knowledge and pedagogical skills as well as the cultural and linguistic competencies needed to meet the needs of their increasingly diverse student populations.

AACTE Call for Entries: 2022 Dissertation Award

concept  image of the education,certificate,moartar board and globeHave you recently completed a doctoral dissertation related to educator preparation?  AACTE is now accepting application for its annual Dissertation Award, recognizing excellence in 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 74th Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA, March 4-6, 2022.

Applications for AACTE’s 2022 Outstanding Dissertation Award are now being accepted in our online submission system now through August 20.

Education Data 101: A Briefing Book for Policymakers

Education Data 101 - Briefing Book for Policymakers

Data Quality Campaign (DQC) released an updated version of it  Education Data 101: A Briefing Book for Policymakers. With information on everything from student growth data to state longitudinal data systems to teacher data literacy, our resource brings policymakers up to speed on the major data topics they need to know about. As policymakers make decisions to aid students, families, teachers, schools and districts in recovery, Education Data 101 offers the background information they need to make informed decisions.

JTE Podcast Interview: Studying Preservice Teachers’ Perceptions of Planning for CRDL

JTE CoverListen 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 Examining Preservice Teachers’ Perceptions of Planning for Culturally Relevant Disciplinary Literacy by Dr. Jamie Colwell, Kristen Gregory, and Valerie Taylor. The article was published in the March/April 2021 issue of the Journal of Teacher Education

Article Abstract

This qualitative multiple case study examined four preservice teachers’ planning and perceptions of planning for culturally and socially relevant disciplinary literacy instruction in secondary disciplines. Four disciplines were represented: art, English, history, and physical education (P.E.)/health. This research sought to understand how a secondary literacy course and its requirements, with a particular focus on culturally relevant disciplinary literacy (CRDL) instruction. Particularities of the four disciplines of study represented were also considered to inform cross-content literacy coursework. Findings indicated preservice teachers (PSTs) recognized potential of CRDL to engage students in critical thought. However, core disciplines (English and history) had varying viewpoints of the reality of such instruction compared with noncore disciplines (art and P.E./health), and all PSTs struggled to perceive CRDL as a primarily student-focused approach to instruction.

JTE Authors Discuss Use of Inquiry Community Framework in Clinical Setting

JTE banner

Check out a recent JTE Insider blog interview 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 interview features insights from the article Becoming Clinically Grounded Teacher Educators: Inquiry Communities in Clinical Teacher Preparation by Rachel Wolkenhauer and Angela Hooser. The article was published in the March/April 2021 issue of the Journal of Teacher Education.

Article Abstract: Calls for the renewal of teacher preparation through clinical practice have left many novice teacher educators to learn on the job. This article reports on the research of two such novices, studying their own practice. Addressing the need to better understand the approaches teacher educators take to clinically grounding their work, the authors used a hermeneutic approach to naturalistic inquiry to study their use of an inquiry community framework in a teacher preparation clinical setting. The authors found that within an arc of practitioner inquiry, explicitly teaching guided reflection and professional dialoguing skills within an inquiry community were key teacher educator practices. They found that an inquiry community approach holds promise as a structure and space for teacher educators to advance teacher preparation toward clinical practice.

AACTE NIC Video Case Study: Reducing Barriers for BIPOC Male Students

Black male teacher in classroom - Reducing Barriers

With the exacerbation of our nation’s teacher shortage brought on by the pandemic, the new White House administration will need to address this crisis strategically, keeping equity top of mind. As AACTE looks forward to improving the capacity and representation in the teacher workforce, it is essential for policy makers to tie decisions back to the historical context of structural oppression that has created barriers for a diverse teacher workforce in the past. As part of the AACTE Network Improvement Community (NIC) Black and Hispanic/Latino Male Teacher Initiative, NIC members identified a number of barriers and solutions to these obstacles, which are highlighted in Reducing Barriers, a segment of AACTE’s new NIC video case studies series.

How Would President Biden’s $2.5 Trillion Infrastructure Proposal Impact Education?

White HouseThis 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.  

President Biden Unveils Massive Infrastructure Bill with Billions for Education

On Wednesday, President Biden took his first steps towards a months-long sprint to pass a $2.5 trillion infrastructure and jobs bill. The robust plan includes an emphasis on rebuilding America’s schools, broadband access, and increasing access to Community Colleges. Biden is proposing  $100 billion to help repair crumbling classrooms and build new public school buildings. The plan includes $50 billion in direct grants for school construction and an additional $50 billion through bonds. The allocation is slightly less than what House Democrats have proposed in their school construction legislation. The bill, H.R. 604 (117), introduced by House Education and Labor Chair Bobby Scott (D-VA) calls for $100 billion in direct grants and another $30 billion in interest subsidies on bonds that states or school districts issue to pay for school construction. The President’s plan also has provisions aimed at allowing schools to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental policies, including helping school kitchens “go green by reducing or eliminating the use of paper plates and other disposable materials,” according to a White House fact sheet.

Build a Better Work Environment with AACTE Member Benefit

Office Depot - Exclusive Savings for AACTE members

Whether you are back on campus or still in your home office, you can create a workspace that suits your unique needs. You may spend 40-plus hours on the job every week –why not feel good while you’re there?

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