Archive for September, 2021

Elon University Education Faculty Present at NCACTE Fall Forum

This article originally appeared on the Elon University News site and is reprinted with permission. 

Three faculty in the Dr. Jo Watts Williams School of Education, Elon University presented at the North Carolina Association of Colleges and Teacher Education (NCACTE) 39th Annual Teacher Education Forum. In addition, one alumnae was recognized as a finalist for the North Carolina Student Teacher of the Year award.

The North Carolina Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NCACTE) held the 39th Annual Teacher Education Forum on Thursday, September 23 through Saturday, Sept. 25. The theme of the virtual forum was “Rethink, Reshape, Reimagine, Revolutionize: Growing the Profession Post Pandemic.”

NJACTE Welcomes Its First African American President

Stacey LeftwichThe New Jersey Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (NJACTE) is proud to introduce Stacey Leftwich as its first African American president. Leftwich steps into this leadership role at a time when racial and ethnic inequities and other issues of social justice are in the news every day. The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified these disparities, making this a truly historic and challenging moment for the field of educator preparation. It is also moment in which NJACTE is grateful and honored to have someone as remarkable as Leftwich serve as president.

Leftwich originally hails from Atlantic City, NJ and has spent the past five years as the executive director of the Office of Educator Support and Partnerships at Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ, where she previously held a faculty position for 18 years. Her educational background is testament to her longtime interest in education, as she holds a B.A. in Education from Glassboro State College (now Rowan University – yes, she is a proud alum who works where she went to college!), an M.A. in Reading Education from Temple University, and a Ph.D. in Reading Education from the State University of New York, at Albany.

Reimagining In-Person Learning

In this article, Tammy L. Henderson of Lamar University reflects on her experience as an attendee at the first session of the 2021 Leadership Academy Series held August 8. 

Tammy L. HendersonWhile Congress and the National Conference of State Legislators (Smalley, 2021) monitor and update the public on the impact, resources, and policies used to address COVID-19, administrators in educational institutions have their boots on the ground. During the first session of the virtual Leadership Academic Series, When We all Get Together Again: Returning to Campus with New Opportunities, administrators, the essential workers of learning, met to discuss, share, and identify innovations. When disclosing and reimagining ways to promote quality education, health, and overall well-being, participants shared the significance of following policies, negotiating ways to teach and touch base with students, negotiate pathways of safe, sound instructional delivery, and adhering to the requirements of state governors, the Centers for Disease Control, and their administrative leaders. My reflections around self-care and leading with compassion became more profound in my awareness while listening to others. I left the session with a renewed sense of energy and ideas to champion health, innovations in education, and administration innovations for contemporary times.

Advancing and Advocating for the Profession

In this post, Joseph Peters of Georgia State University reflects on his experience 2021 Washington Week Day on The Hill attendee.

This year’s AACTE Day on the Hill, themed “Your Voice Matters,” was a fantastic experience. The Hop-In virtual platform made it easy to participate in the event. AACTE’s Research, Policy and Advocacy staff provided excellent speakers to prepare everyone for the congressional visits. Our Georgia team was led by Georgia State University’s Project Nurture TQP Grant Director Norma Green. In addition to Georgia State University, Georgia College and State University, Fort Valley State University, and Middle Georgia State University participated in the event. We were able to set up meetings with both Georgia Senators’ staff, as well as the educational policy staff of four Georgia Representatives.

Congress Passes Legislation to Improve TEACH Grants

An elementary art teacher instructs second-grade students attending in person and remotely at Wesley Elementary School.

Photo by Allison Shelley for EDUimages

This week, the House of Representatives passed the Consider Teachers Act, which would make certain improvements to the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants program.  The TEACH Grant program is intended to encourage individuals to enter the teaching profession by providing recipients with grants of up to $4,000 per year to pursue coursework that leads to a certification in teaching. AACTE has long supported this program to help address the nation’s shortage of educators.

AACTE’s 2021 Virtual Washington Week Concludes With State Leaders Institute – September 30 Through October 1

AACTE and ATE State Leaders Discuss State Policy Trends and Advocacy for Educator Preparation

 The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) concludes its month-long Washington Week programming with the State Leaders Institute (SLI), September 30 through October 1. SLI brings together state chapter leaders from AACTE and the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) to augment their impact on state level educator preparation policy issues and to advocate for promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in education. This program affords leaders the opportunity to gain insight from each other, learn how other states organize their state-level conferences and outreach efforts, and identify key advocacy strategies together.

House Passes Stopgap Funding Bill and Reconciliation Gains Momentum

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.

Gavel in front of U.S. flagAs you will recall, after returning last week from the August recess Members of Congress were off to the races to get four major pieces of legislation passed and ultimately to keep the government running. The big four are the bipartisan infrastructure bill, the reconciliation bill, a continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown, and legislation to raise the debt ceiling to avoid the government from heading into default on its obligations. On Tuesday evening House Democrats took an initial step towards warding off a government shutdown, passing a short-term spending bill that would keep the government funded through early December and lift the limit on federal borrowing until after the midterm elections in 2022.

Member Spotlight: Kari Vogelgesang

AACTE’s Member Spotlight features an individual from a member institution, highlighting how their work makes a difference in classrooms across the country. Nominate yourself or another member by providing a response to the following questions and sending to

Kari VogelgesangMeet Kari Vogelgesang …

Position/Institution: clinical associate professor and director, professional development at Iowa Center for School Mental Health, Baker Teacher Leader Center
College of Education, University of Iowa

      1. How long have you been a member of AACTE?
        I’ve been a member with AACTE for 7 years.

      2. Why did you join AACTE?
        The University of Iowa has had a membership for our teaching and learning faculty since I was hired … and maybe before I was hired?

      3. Why did you decide to enter the field of educator preparation? 
        When I was a practicing elementary school teacher and started working with student teachers, I knew that I wanted to move over to educator preparation. In addition, while completing my master’s program, I surprisingly fell in love with research—particularly research that focused on better understanding classroom practices that can lead to healthier outcomes for our students. 

Books or Bombs?

This article originally appeared in Inside Higher Education and is reprinted with permission from the op-ed author. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

September 2 marked the anniversary of the National Defense Education Act, the law signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958 to vastly expand funding for colleges and universities. The country has been the better for it ever since. Eisenhower famously warned about the military-industrial complex and how every dollar spent on a bomber could have been spent on a school.

Today, Americans realize the futility of spending $2 trillion over 20 years fighting a lost war in Afghanistan. What would the world look like if that money had been spent on education in that country and in ours? Now is the time for every college in the country to fight hard for the next massive investment in higher education. Quite simply, they should lobby for our future.

Unfortunately, higher education institutions have historically played defense when it comes to advocating for their own interests. For the past four years, colleges have spent lots of time and money responding to chaotic Trump-era proposals on immigration, free speech on campus, graduate student taxes, Title IX changes and restrictions on research. In most states, funding to higher education is much lower today than it was 20 years ago.

Join Us in ‘Thinking Wrong’ on October 20

This year’s attendees of the AACTE Virtual Leadership Academy Series are committed to enhancing their leadership skills, especially during these difficult times. Here’s what a couple of your peers had to say about this year’s virtual Leadership Academy first session:

“I loved the meeting, even though I wished we could be there in person. I attended the academy several years ago in Pittsburgh and got so much out of it. I think that the presenters did an amazing job of engaging everyone in interactive polls and breakout rooms. Our discussions were right on target for what we need to get started in leadership this year with its many challenges. I appreciate the opportunity and I’m definitely looking forward to the next meeting.” – Sue Corbin, Ph.D., Notre Dame College

TAMIU Selected to Consortium Addressing Barriers to a Diversified Teaching Workforce

James O'Meara

James O’Meara, dean, College of Education

Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) has been selected as a lead institution representing Texas in the  AACTE Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments (CREA), which will engage 14 states in a study of their state-level tests and qualifying scores for educator preparation program (EPP) entry.

The initiative is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and its goal is to examine the processes and considerations that states use to determine cut scores, and how they can be refined to attract, rather than exclude, potential teacher candidates.

AACTE Contributes to the Committee for Education Funding’s Budget Book

Council for Education Funding - Education MattersOne of the important coalitions AACTE is a member of is the Committee for Education Funding (CEF), which is the oldest and largest coalition of education associations and calls for an increase in federal funding for education. CEF’s current campaign is “5 Cents Makes Sense,” which calls for 5 cents of every federal dollar to be spent on education. The campaign’s official hashtag is #5Cents4EdFunding. 

Each year, CEF publishes a Budget Book, which analyzes the President’s budget proposal and its impact on federal education programs.  AACTE contributed two articles to the Book.  One is on TEACH Grants, the federal program that supports the recruitment of high-quality teacher candidates for hard-to-staff fields and schools. The other article is on the Teacher Quality Partnership program, which is the only federal initiative designed to strengthen and reform educator preparation at institutions of higher education.

NASSP Calls on Federal Officials to Protect School Leaders from Threats and Violence

NASSP logoThe National Association for Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is calling on federal officials to provide support for school leaders being threatened and undermined by those who disagree with school guidelines on COVID-19 best practices.

While the pandemic has impacted every one—school leaders are bearing the brunt of conflicts over masks, quarantines, vaccines, and other highly charged issues. They have been faced with hostile community members, threats to their own safety or safety of the school, and with non-compliance with rules that are meant to keep us all safe.

Teresa M. Hill, Principal at Walden Grove High School in Arizona and NASSP member, tells of her experience with threats at her school: “One month ago, seven people refused to leave our campus demanding a quarantined student attend class. After a lockdown of the front office for three hours, we were forced to arrest three of them. This has resulted in multiple threatening and intimidating voice messages, emails, and social media comments directly targeting me. Calling me a Nazi, a fascist, using profanity, and being told to ‘eat the end of a shotgun’ is beyond disturbing. Two weeks later, three men threatened and intimidated an elementary principal in my area by demanding a citizen’s arrest while holding zip ties in their hands.”

‘Policy is Personal’ and ‘Information is Currency’

This article is a personal reflection of the 2021Washington Week Holmes Policy Advanced Policy Course by attendee Shauna Torrington.

Shauna TorringtonMy takeaways from my participation in the Holmes Advanced Policy Course have been threefold. This course has impacted me as an international student, an advocate, and as a practitioner.

As an international student, I have a greater understanding about the terminology that is normally used in policy advocacy. This new knowledge has enabled me to follow along with a clearer understanding during discussions on policy. The words representative, senator, and congressperson also now have greater meanings for me. I am aware of the basics of the legislative process and can better follow the process of how a bill becomes a law. I now know what it means to introduce a bill or to sponsor a bill. Additionally, I know what a “markup” means and what is the process that comes after a markup. I know where to look to find information on my senators and my representatives. I know how to contact their offices or to see what issues they voted for or against.

AACTE’s Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments Needs You

Marketing segmentation, target market, target audience, customers care, customer relationship management (CRM), human resources recruit and customer analysis concepts, bokeh in background.The Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments (CREA) is seeking your help to recruit teacher candidates, teachers, and faculty for its upcoming focus groups. The Consortium, which is comprised of educator preparation programs (EPPs) and state and local education agency representatives across 14 states, is examining the processes and considerations that states use to determine cut scores for entrance (i.e., Praxis Core) and teacher licensure examinations.

Through data collection of key stakeholders, analysis of trends and policies, and shared learning, the Consortium will produce recommendations and guidelines to establish equitable criteria for setting qualifying scores and model state policies that promote equity and diversity in the profession.