Archive for 2021

Hear From Past Attendees About AACTE Washington Week

Connect with peers from across the nation during the virtual AACTE 2021 Washington Week. Themed Your Voice Matters, the conference unites AACTE’s collective efforts to advance education policy and funding to support programs at your local institutions. Hear what past attendees had to say about the value of Washington Week events in these testimonial videos:

Christine Carrino Gorowara, Ph.D.
Past president of the Delaware Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
University of Delaware
Christine Carrino Gorowara, Ph.D.

House Marks Up Proposed Build Back Better Act

Signing paperwork with a fountain paperwork. The image has added grain and styling.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.

The following is an interim update on the big development in the House this week—the Committee on Education and Labor’s markup of the long-awaited Reconciliation bill, which features significant investments in the educator workforce.  

The House Education and Labor Committee Begins Mark Up on Reconciliation Proposal 

As you will recall, several months ago President Biden proposed two significant investments in the nation’s infrastructure—both human and physical: the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan. The human infrastructure component is now being developed by Congress, in the form of a reconciliation bill. Yesterday, the House Education and Labor Committee began to mark up its portion of the reconciliation proposal. The 289 page proposal, with a $761 billion price tag—otherwise known as the Build Back Better Act—is part of the larger $3.5 trillion proposal.

As described by the Committee, the proposal would lower costs for families, secure good-paying jobs for American workers, and set a strong foundation of America’s children. The three major education programs in the bill include Universal Pre-K, Tuition-Free Community College, and Child Care.

New Tools to Support Your Advocacy

White House in the fall

As we enter September, we are just weeks away from AACTE’s Day on the Hill, the Association’s premiere advocacy event.  Participation in the event is critical to helping advance AACTE’s legislative priorities and highlighting the importance of teacher preparation programs.  If you have not participated in Day on the Hill, or if you need a refresher, you may be wondering what attendees will be advocating for during their meetings with Members of Congress and congressional staffers. The AACTE team has posted a variety of Washington Week resources on the to help guide participants. 

In many cases, you will be familiar with the issues: the importance of TEACH Grants, which are critical to helping students enter the teaching profession while helping to address shortages in hard-to-staff fields and schools; Teacher Quality Partnerships (TQP), which helps strengthen the teacher pipeline; and a variety of other bills that will help make sure our nation’s classrooms are staffed with profession-ready, diverse group of educators.

While it is helpful to review these materials ahead of Day on the Hill sessions, please know that we will discuss the political landscape and AACTE’s legislative priorities before meeting with members of congress to help you become more comfortable with advocacy. And there will be several other panels to help you understand why advocacy is important and how you can have successful meetings.

If you haven’t already, I hope you will plan to join us for our Day on the Hill. To register, please visit AACTE’s website



UW College of Education Launches Competition to Spark Interest in Teaching

University of Wyoming - WY TeachThe University of Wyoming College of Education and UW Trustees Education Initiative (TEI) have partnered with Mursion, a company that develops virtual reality training simulations, to present the inaugural College WYTeach competition.

UW and Wyoming community college students who are freshmen or sophomores and interested in becoming teachers can participate in the contest. The top three participants will be awarded scholarship money to UW or a Wyoming community college.

In Wyoming and across the nation, schools are experiencing a shortage of teachers. The WYTeach competition was developed to get students interested in teaching careers and provide a stream of highly qualified teachers into classrooms. This exposure will provide students the opportunity to practice their professional skills and put their teaching abilities to the test by leading a class of students inside a virtual reality simulation.

Washington Week Viewpoint: Why State Leaders Institute?

Beth KubitskeyBeth Kubitskey, ACSR Midwest Region representative and president of the Michigan Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, recently shared her experience as a State Leaders Institute attendee and what she’s looking forward to at this year’s virtual event during Washington Week. 

Why do you believe it is important for AACTE members to actively advocate for education?  

One of the reasons I think it is vital for AACTE members to advocate for education is because we are the experts. Still, often we are so busy doing the work that we do, we have to remind ourselves that we need to be proactive, not reactive. Often by the time we finally receive word on a bill, law, or state policy, it has already moved through many processes.

And so, we are not aware of those kinds of things before they get to far down the road, and we lose our opportunity to have an impact. There are multiple examples of where we are more likely to succeed if we can get that information early and be proactive.

Workshop Recording Available: How to Use ESSER Funds for Ed Prep

In case you missed it, there is another opportunity to learn about how to use ESSER funding to recruit into Educator Preparation Programs (EPP).

As you know, in the past year, Congress has set aside billions for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. To help educator preparation programs effectively allocate those funds, AACTE created an Advocacy Toolkit with examples from EPPs across the nation who are expanding their recruitment using federal dollars.  In this workshop, GoReact and AACTE put together a panel of national, state, and university teacher preparation professionals. We explored one state—Tennessee—which used ESSER funds to support a statewide Grow Your Own Program to address teacher shortages and diversify the profession.

It’s Renewal Season at AACTE

It's time to renew your membershipAs the Fall 2021 semester kicks off, AACTE would like to remind you to renew your membership for 2022.  With our member’s support we have been able to provide you the tools and resources necessary to successfully navigate the past 18-months. Below are just a few of the essential tools and initiatives AACTE has developed in the past year. 

  • Connect360 – Join this new, members-only, virtual platform that brings together AACTE’s community of over 15,000 individuals in a collaborative way.  Share best practices, connect with colleagues, and engage in ongoing conversations.
  • Research, Reports and Briefs – Receive the latest information from the field, including the update to our popular Colleges of Education: A National Portrait, coming this fall.
  • Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments (CREA) – Discover how AACTE, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is evaluating cut scores and how they can be refined to attract, rather than exclude, potential candidates.
  • ARP Funding Toolkit – Learn how members can collaborate with their local district partners to allocate ESSER funds toward strengthening the educator workforce.
  • Webinars – Explore the latest in the AACTE Webinar library: Leading in and Leading Through Crises: AACTE’s Education Deans in Discussion, Growing and Sustaining White Racial Justice Allyship in Education, and Combating Racism in Educator Prep: Justice and Joy for BIPOC Individuals.

Telling Our Stories on Capitol Hill

Unrecognizable woman having videocall with her african american boss, using laptop in office, cropped. Lady employee having business training online, business woman talking to partner online, collageIn a couple of weeks, I’ll participate in my first Day on the Hill as a member of the AACTE Committee on Government Relations and Advocacy.  I am really excited by the opportunity and want to invite you to participate.  Like many AACTE members, I have worked with city and state elected officials, policymakers, and representatives from state agencies.  But speaking with members of Congress and their staffs offers an opportunity for even greater engagement.

As leaders in education, AACTE members all know that we must be outward facing, managing our colleges while we tell our story to many stakeholders.  That story is what enticed most of us to get in this line of work in the first place.  We all advocate for our needs and interests all the time, and although our interests may not be identical, they are often closely related regardless of our institutions.  Some of us push for greater equity in teacher preparation programs.  We want to diversify the teacher pipeline and the resultant teacher workforce, knowing how vital representation along the lines of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, and sexual identity is to students across the country.

AACTE Invites Entries for 2022 Awards

2022 AACTE AwardsThe 2022 AACTE Awards Program is open for submissions. Do you know someone who or an institution that has made significant contributions to the field of educator preparation? To submit your nomination, visit AACTE’s online submission site. Winning entries will be decided by AACTE’s Programmatic Advisory Committees and recognized on stage at the 2022 Annual Meeting, March 4-6, in New Orleans, LA. 

Entries for the Outstanding Dissertation Award are due September 15. The due date for all other award submissions is October 8.

AACTE’s awards program has been recognizing member institutions’ exemplary programs as well as individuals who have made noteworthy contributions to education preparation for 25 years. For an overview of the 2021 award winners, see this press release.

For 2022, we invite nominations or applications for the following awards:

Member Spotlight: Shandra Claiborne-Payton

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

Get to know Shandra Claiborne-Payton …

Shandra Claiborne-PaytonPosition/Institution: Assistant Professor, Virginia State University
(Also serving at Executive Director for VSU CENTERS STEM Initiatives)
Number of years in your position: 5 years
Alma Mater(s): Ed.D Curriculum and Instructional Leadership, Northcentral University
Hometown: Chesterfield, VA

  1. How long have you been a member of AACTE?
    I have been a member of AACTE for 6 years.

  2. Why did you join AACTE?
    AACTE was the first professional organization I was introduced to as a young faculty. I was also intrigued by their mission to be the leading voice for educator preparation. AACTE provides a variety of opportunities for its members to grow, connect with like-minded individuals, and to learn how to be an advocate for teacher education. Joining AACTE has been a great fit for me to spread my wings and get active.

Majority of Americans Support Local Public Schools on Ongoing Pandemic Response

The 53rd annual PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools reveals that despite the challenges of the pandemic, Americans have high opinions of their local schools and teachers in particular. Similarly, respondents have an overall positive opinion on their local school’s ability to handle potential challenges in the new school year.

The poll found that about two-thirds of adults overall, and as many K-12 public school parents, give their community’s public school teachers an A or B grade for their pandemic response. More generally, 63% of the public give their community’s public schools overall an A or B grade. As is customarily the case, public schools nationally fare less well with about 4 in 10 adults giving the overall national public school pandemic response and A or B grade.

In Memoriam: Mark R Shibles Jr.

Mark R. Shibles JrMark R. Shibles Jr., former member of the AACTE Board of Directors and former dean and professor emeritus for the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut, passed away on Tuesday, August 24 at the age of 83. 

With an unwavering commitment to education, Dr. Shibles’ career began as a high school history teacher, followed by 30 years of service as a faculty member and former dean of the Neag School of Education.  During his tenure, he taught graduate level courses in educational leadership and served as advisor for over 130 Ph.D. students. 

In addition to being a longstanding AACTE member, Dr. Shibles served on the AACTE Board of Directors, was president of the National Association of Colleges and Schools of Education in State Universities and Land Grant Colleges and Affiliated Private Universities, and was the founder and director of the University of Connecticut Center for Education Policy Analysis.