Advisory Council of State Representatives: A Collaborative Network of State Chapters
One value of being a member of AACTE is the national advocacy for the profession and information about federal regulations influencing the field. What does not go unnoticed is the need and priority of work at the state level. The state level ACTEs provide a space for influencing state policies that ultimately guide the profession. AACTE values these essential contributions, and recognizes the value of this work as also informing advocacy going forward. A third, and critical, addition to this professional triumvirate is AACTE’s Advisory Council of State Representatives (ACSR) community, which serves as a collaborative network of State chapters. ACSR provides a place to share common issues, goals, events, white papers, advocacy tips, etc. at the regional level during monthly meetings. This serves each state well as our shared goal is to serve our students, pre- and in-service teachers and leaders, which is tertiary to our desire to prepare quality teachers and leaders for today’s and tomorrow’s P-12 children. Here we share a brief snippet of some of the contributions of ACSR.
A regional Google Drive contains many folders such as policy briefs, instruments, DEI resources, state conferences, etc. the team would continually use to add and pull resources. Examples shared at these meetings and in the drive include the following:
- The Michigan Association for Colleges of Teacher Education (MACTE) shared the white paper with other midwest states they had presented to the Michigan Senate Education Committee and House Reform Committee after successfully advocating for the removal of the SAT as a gatekeeper for admission to Colleges of Education. This paper has been used by other states to propose a change in cut scores and admission tests during this time of teacher shortage.
- Indiana’s ACTE created a four-part series for their chapter on exploring, investigating, preparing, and taking action for anti-racism change. AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone was one of the four speakers. IACTE shared their agenda and invited the midwest region to attend.
- The Northeast Region Google drive includes updates on accommodations their states made in response to the pandemic, including suspension or waiver of licensure/certification assessments and adjustment of student teaching requirements. Since there is a lot of state-to-state mobility among teacher education graduates, this helped facilitate advisement of soon-to-be graduates. Northeast Region ACTEs also shared discussions they had with their state departments of education along with written resources on alternatives to commercial performance assessments for the benefit of states considering modifying performance assessment requirements permanently.
ACSR’s four regional chairs share state happenings at executive board meetings and are able to pair each with needs expressed by state leaders. When Oklahoma ACTE’s response to the National Council of Teacher Quality (NCTQ) ratings was shared, regional chairs shared this with their teams as many state ACTE leaders were discussing this need. Michigan ACTE’s white paper and information about Indiana ACTE’s successful series were also shared to the other regions. Further, Indiana ACTE’s president presented at the ACSR annual business meeting.
ACSR is just another example of AACTE’s commitment to supporting programs in their shared pursuit to maintain high quality educator preparation nationally, regionally, statewide, and locally as we advocate for each other and the field.
Ann Tapp is ACSR chair-elect, Beth Kubitskey is ACSR Midwest Region representative and president of the Michigan Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, and Christine Gorowara is ACSR Northeast Region representative and President of the Delaware Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.