This op-ed originally appeared in Diverse Issues in Higher Education and is reprinted with permission.
Kimberly White-Smith and Jacob Easley
I love America more than any other country in the world and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually. – James Baldwin
The momentum of social and racial justice fueled by recent events finds us at a significant crossroad with divergent paths—one path opening to opportunity and one leading to entropy. The approach we choose to follow will affect society and the lives of many for generations to come. Should we choose the way of opportunity, we must seriously grapple with the debates and our commitment to preserving a true democracy. Should we select the other, we accept the deterioration of hard-earned civil rights—choosing to abdicate to systems, laws, and politics that have historically disadvantaged those unable to make a living wage and people of color. As deans of educator preparation programs who work closely with the nation’s two largest school districts (New York City Department of Education and Los Angeles Unified School District), we understand the relevance of education. It is the core vehicle for liberatory practice and for championing American democracy. If education is the road to national mobility, and we believe it is, we must preserve the mechanisms and freedoms to critique and examine the governing structures of our society.
AACTE expressed its strong support and appreciation for the historic funding for educator preparation programs included in President Joseph Biden’s Build Back Better framework, which was released today. This funding will help ensure that our nation’s classrooms are led by profession-ready and diverse educators. AACTE strongly urges Congress to pass this legislation as quickly as possible to help address the shortage of educators our nation has been experiencing and that has gotten worse in recent years.
Last year, the AACTE Board of Directors created a State Chapter Taskforce to study the relationship between the national office and its state affiliates. After a year-long, wide-ranging set of discussions with state leaders to determine how the relationship between AACTE and state associations could be strengthened, the State Chapter Taskforce released its recommendations.
Over the summer, the Taskforce delivered the recommendations related to communication, advocacy, and governance that were endorsed by the AACTE Board of Directors. One of the recommendations was to implement new state association agreements that affirm the benefits of collaboration between AACTE and state associations; provide maximum flexibility and autonomy for state associations; protect the interests of AACTE and its members; and update and standardize agreements across all states.
AACTE continues to work with its national coalition partners toward enhancing and improving the state of education and the educator preparator profession in the United States. To that end, the Association added its voice this month to the chorus of supporters of the Biden Administration’s Build Back Better education agenda.
In a letter to congressional leaders who are currently engaged in negotiating the elements of the president’s budget package, AACTE expressed its specific support for a key higher education component of the Building Back Better agenda: America’s College Promise. Contained within America’s College Promise is a historic, first-of-its-kind tuition-free community college program; an increase to the Pell Grant; and a retention and completion grant program.
The Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments (CREA) at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education has released its first report, The History, Current Use, and Impact of Entrance and Licensure Examinations Cut Scores on the Teacher of Color Pipeline: A Structural Racism Analysis. The CREA project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, engages 14 states in examining their cut score setting process for entrance examinations into teacher preparation programs. The recent report chronicles the history of teacher preparation entrance and exit assessments and their impact on the diversity of candidates pursuing teaching as a profession.
The report’s author, Leslie T. Fenwick, AACTE dean in residence (who is also a former School of Education dean), discusses in detail the intentional misuse of entrance licensure examinations after the Brown v. Board of Education (BOE) decision in 1954. According to Fenwick, there is a little-known history associated with how licensure examinations were created after Brown to block integration of Black teachers into desegregating schools:
Our world is changing rapidly as cultures, ideas, conflicts, and viruses transcend borders. The global pandemic COVID-19 highlighted the multitude of ways the world is interconnected socially, technologically, environmentally, economically, and politically. Local-level responses alone have not been enough to mitigate the virus. The World Health Organization and United Nations have called for global coordination, information sharing, and most importantly, global solidarity to solve the crisis. As such, COVID-19 also illustrates the importance of globally competent teaching to build global solidarity, combat xenophobia, understand global systems, cut through misinformation, learn from other countries, and respond with empathy. Globally competent teaching prepares students to communicate and collaborate across borders in an effort to solve global challenges.
Figure 1. Created by authors in Piktochart.
From left, Ben Wilner, Terry Nguyen, Monika Williams Shealey, and John Woodruff, director, Accessibility Services
This article originally appeared on the Rowan Today news website and is reprinted with permission.
On October 20, Rowan University announced an expansion of support and services, establishing a first in New Jersey Center for Neurodiversity on the Glassboro campus.
Rowan’s expansion of services for neurodiverse students stems directly from President Ali A. Houshmand’s commitment to access and inclusion throughout the University.
The reading and mathematics scores of 13-year-old students fell between 2012 and 2020—the first time in the almost 50-year history of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) long-term trend (LTT) assessment—according to results released today by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The performance of 9-year-olds remained the same in both subjects compared to 2012.
In both age groups and subjects, the scores of lower-performing students declined since 2012, the previous assessment year, mirroring patterns observed in other subjects assessed by NAEP, also known as The Nation’s Report Card.
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.
As you will recall, in July the House Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill . The bill included historic increases for education from the FY 2021 level—a 41% increase for the Department of Education, which would bring the Department’s total budget to $102.8 billion. This week, a bit unexpectedly, Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT) released drafts of the nine remaining fiscal year (FY) 2022 Senate appropriations bills, including the Labor-HHS-Education bill. This is an unusual move, as we usually don’t see bills until they have gone through the Subcommittee markup. These drafts have not been approved by either Subcommittees or the full committee. Rather, they are intended to be a marker to keep the process rolling.
Mississippi State’s College of Education is announcing the newest MSU alumni among this year’s Mississippi Association of Colleges for Teacher Education award winners.
“I would like to congratulate the college’s 2021 MACTE award winners. These outstanding educators are making a difference in the lives of students and families across Mississippi,” said MSU College of Education Dean Teresa Jayroe.
The University of North Florida is a proud partner of the AACTE Holmes Program and recently expanded its Holmes cohort to include five new doctoral students pursuing degrees in education. Read their bios below to learn more about the Holmes scholars’ backgrounds and research interests.
The University of Rhode Island’s Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Education and Professional Studies will represent the state as a lead institution in the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education’s Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments, an initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that engages 14 states in a study of state-level tests and qualifying scores for entry into educator preparation programs.
URI will collaborate with the Rhode Island Department of Education, Rhode Island College, Central Falls School District, and Pawtucket School Department to examine state data and practices, as well as engage in quarterly convenings to inform guidelines and recommendations for setting qualifying cores for educator preparation program entry and exit.
As the door closes on another successful State Leaders Institute (SLI), I want to thank all the attendees and participants for helping make 2021 SLI the enjoyable, informative, and successful event that it was. Thank you to AACTE for renewing their commitment with the new State Affiliate Agreement. We look forward to many years of advocacy and collaboration.
SLI is one of the few occasions when state leaders can come together as a physical group and discuss best practices, learn about the latest developments in educator preparation, and fellowship. The demands placed on all of us as professionals and individuals over the past couple of years have made gatherings such as SLI especially meaningful. I miss meeting as a group and look forward to seeing everyone next year in person. Though this year’s SLI had to be virtual, judging from the energy and comments, everyone enjoyed themselves and took full advantage of the occasion.
The University of Northern Colorado (UNC) is hosting its National Field Experience Conference April 3 – 5, 2022. The purpose of the conference is to share information, practices, policies, and research pertaining to teacher candidates’ experiences in school settings. Presentations will address the preparation, supervision, and evaluation of teacher candidates for their knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Logistics and management of these placements will also be addressed.
Proposals are being accepted through January 1.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has appointed Kay Schallenkamp to the Board of Technical Education effective November 1. A former AACTE Board Chair, Schallenkamp will replace Scott Knuppe. She was appointed along with local township board member Brad Greenway.
“The new members of the Board of Technical Education will ensure that South Dakota’s technical colleges remain the very best in America,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “Kay and Brad’s expertise will help put our kids and grandkids on a path to lifelong success.”