Archive for December, 2021

Opinion: How UNI and Others are Confronting the National Educator Workforce Crisis

Reversing the Trend of a Declining Educator Workforce is Going to Take a Bold National Strategy

Mark NookThis article originally appeared in the Des Moines Register and is reprinted with permission.

Our nation’s economic prosperity, global competitiveness, and civic vitality rely on a strong educational system. As the leading producer of educators in the state of Iowa, at the University of Northern Iowa we know a highly qualified and diverse educator workforce is critical for preparing each generation to lead their workplaces and communities while serving as role models at home.

Pause on Federal Student Loan Repayments Extended

Young asian college student hold a sign of student loanThe Department of Education announced on December 22 that it would extend the pause on student loan repayment, interest, and collections through May 1, 2022. 

When COVID-19 began to wreak havoc with the lives of millions of people in March 2020, Congress passed legislation to temporarily suspend federal student loan payments.  In addition, borrowers were not charged interest on their loans and debt collection efforts were suspended.  The pause was extended several times and was due to be lifted on January 31, 2022.

AACTE Announces Leslie Fenwick as the 2022 Annual Meeting Closing Keynote Speaker

AACTE's 74th Annual Meeting - Closing Keynote Speaker: Leslie Fenwick. Ph.D.AACTE is excited to announce nationally renowned educator, education policy scholar, and best-selling author Leslie T. Fenwick , Ph.D., as the closing keynote speaker for its 74th Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA. Described as a “fearless voice” for educational equity, Fenwick will take center stage on Sunday, March 6, to discuss her new book, Jim Crow’s Pink Slip: The Untold Story of Black Principal and Teacher Leadership (Harvard Education Press, 2022). The book has been referenced by the New York Times and listed as the #1 New Release in Education History by Amazon.  

Join Colleagues to Discuss the Pandemic’s Continuing Impact and Plans for 2022

As PK-12 schools, colleges, and universities around the country cope with a surge of coronavirus cases, and concerns rise regarding the Omicron variant, AACTE is offering a webinar to look back on the pandemic’s impact on educator preparation and discuss plans for 2022.

Since spring 2020, when schools and colleges around the country switched to online instruction due to COVID-19, AACTE has periodically surveyed members on the impact of the pandemic on educator preparation. A new report updates that series with information collected in fall 2021. It describes how conditions have changed since 2020, highlighting the lasting effects of the pandemic.

New Podcast Episode: Districts and Programs Collaborate in Commitment to Equity

Principal preparation programs serve two major consumers: the candidate’s that enter their programs and the districts that hire them. Therefore, it is essential to align program redesign efforts to district needs, which we have learned vary across the state. In episode four of AACTE’s new University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI) Podcast series chronicling the Wallace Foundation multi-year principal program redesign initiative, Franciso Edobedo, superintendent of the Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD), located in southern San Diego County, shares what superintendents are looking for in principals and other school leaders entering the field. Also featured is Douglas Fisher, professor and chair of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University, who discusses why and how prep programs should work with districts like CVESD.  Their collaboration led to various redesign improvements over the course of Wallace’s UPPI Initiative, but this episode dives deeper into how they were able to share, evaluate ,and act on data through an equitable lens.

Listen now to Episode 4: Districts and Programs Collaborate in Commitment to Equity

Kirsis Dipre Named Holmes Scholar of the Month

Kirsis DipreCongratulations to Kirsis Dipre, Holmes Scholar of the Month for December 2021. Dipre is currently a doctoral student in the Counselor Education and Supervision program at Syracuse University. She is also a visiting assistant professor in counseling at the University of Saint Joseph in Connecticut. 

Dipre’s professional background includes over 3 years of experience as a counselor working with children, adolescents, and adults. In her work, Dipre has primarily served racially and ethnically minoritized populations who are often impacted by systems of oppression. She is currently the mentorship committee chair for the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD) and is a National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) Minority Fellow with expertise in clinical mental health and multicultural counseling.

As Congress Heads Home, Unfinished Business Remains

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.  

Build Back Better

Congress Looks to Head Home for the Holidays Leaving Unfinished Business for Next Year 

With the temporary fix to fund the government completed (until February 18) and the debt ceiling extension completed, the one big item left on the agenda for this week for Congress was passing President Biden’s Build Back Better plan.  With the House already having passed the bill, the ball was in the Senate court where Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) had promised a vote before the holidays.  That promise evaporated this week as it became clear that it would be impossible to corral all Senate Democrats to vote yes—a requirement for passage. Even after multiple conversations with President Biden and other Senators, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) was unwilling to offer his support for the $1.7 trillion bill.  So reluctantly, Senators turned their attention to other matters, such as confirming Biden nominations and considering strategies for securing support for voting rights reform.

Local Alabama Program Shows Promise in Putting More Black, Male Teachers in Classrooms

This article originally appeared on and is reprinted with permission.

When Wesley Lindsey first met his fourth-grade student, the boy, who is also Black, was reading on a preschool level.

Other teachers had referred the student to special education numerous times and wouldn’t even let him walk in the hallway alone due to behavioral problems.

From fall to spring, Lindsey managed to coach the young boy to nearly a third-grade level. The behavior problems stopped, and the student started mimicking Lindsey in the classroom, telling other students to quiet down and do their work.

Doing Community

The Joy and trepidation of Attending In-Person Convenings and Conferences

This article originally appeared on Inside Higher Ed and is reprinted with permission.

Mary ChurchillWe often use the word “community” as a noun, but lately I have been thinking a lot about the process of doing community, especially as we tentatively and cautiously return to in-person convenings and conferences.

I lead our college’s participation in the AACTE Special Ed NIC (the field of education loves acronyms). Spelled out, that stands for the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education Reducing the Shortage of Special Education Teachers Networked Improvement Community. I realize that is a mouthful. Let’s start with the NIC part. So, what exactly is a networked improvement community? The short definition is an “intentionally designed social organization, each with a distinct problem-solving focus.” A major component and benefit of a NIC is being in community and working together, doing community.

Check Your Mailboxes: Renewal Season 2022 is Upon Us

Have you picked up the latest edition of the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE)?  Did you access one of AACTE’s free downloadable resources, such as the Toolkit for Local Advocates: Teaching Diverse and Inclusive Curricula Materials and Defending Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion or the ARP Funding Toolkit? If so, don’t forget to renew your AACTE membership for 2022 to continue receiving these types of resources.

Your 2022 membership invoice is in the mail.  AACTE membership runs from January 1 to December 31. To ensure you do not miss out on the many members-only resources, please renew your membership before December 31, 2021.

Member Spotlight: Beth Kubitskey

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 it to

Meet Beth Kubitskey …

Current Position: Dean, School of Education and Human Services, University of Michigan-Flint
Number of years in your position: 3 months 
Alma Mater(s):  Ph.D. educational studies – teacher education, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; M.S. physics education, Eastern Michigan University; B.S. chemistry, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Hometown: Milford, MI

  1. Beth KubitskeyHow long have you been a member of AACTE? 
    I have been an active member of AACTE since 2007.   

  2. Why did you join AACTE?
    In 2007, I submitted my dissertation for the AACTE Outstanding Dissertation Award and was fortunate enough to win.  That was my first AACTE Conference. I was impressed with how the presentations represented high quality research that was applicable to the work I was doing in preparing teachers. It was where scholarship and practice met, and I loved it. 

In Memoriam: Janet Arndt

Janet ArndtJanet Arndt, dean of Gordon College’s School of Education, passed on Monday, December 13, 2021, following a brief hospitalization for COVID-19. An active AACTE member, Dr. Arndt was the president of the Massachusetts Association of Colleges for Teacher Education at the time of her death.

Dr. Arndt was a 1968 alumna of Gordon College, where she returned and served for more than 25 years in teaching and administrative roles that included Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) licensure officer and director of graduate programs in education. She developed and implemented the Master of Arts in Leadership degree program in 2016 and was instrumental in  establishing the School of Education in 2019, being named dean upon its inception.

Using American Rescue Plan Funds to Address Teacher Shortages

Smiling teacher and boy giving high five in classroom at school

In March, President Joseph Biden signed in to law the American Rescue Plan Act (commonly referred to as ‘ARP’), which included more than $120 billion to help schools safely reopen for in-person learning. The funding can be used in a variety of ways, including to address the nation’s teacher shortage by placing teacher candidates in K12 classrooms. AACTE created a Toolkit to help members navigate conversations with state or local education leaders about using ARP funding for this purpose.

Delve Deep and Be Inspired at #AACTE22

The need for enhancing educator preparation, policy, advocacy, and support has never been greater. Engage with colleagues and inspire change at AACTE’s 74th Annual Meeting, March 4-6, 2022, in the “Big Easy,” New Orleans. You don’t want to miss this year’s in-person event with our expert speakers, impactful topics, and “Deeper Dive” sessions that explore critical issues as we rethink, reshape, reimagine, and revolutionize the profession post pandemic.

In addition to the Deeper Dives announced in the November blog, check out these additional sessions available at this year’s conference: