Archive for 2021

Using COVID Relief Funding to Address the Nation’s Teacher Shortage

Earlier this year, President Bident signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act, which included more than $125 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund. These funds are being used by state educational agencies and school districts to reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the nation’s students. 

In response, AACTE created a Toolkit to help educator preparation programs collaborate with their local partner districts to allocate the ARP ESSER funds towards strengthening the educator workforce by supporting residency models, grow-your-own programs, and other innovative approaches to develop a pathway into teaching.

Advocating for the Future PK-12 Student Today

This opinion article originally appeared in Diverse Issues in Higher Education and is reprinted with permission.

Rangasamy RamasamyThe demographics of our nation’s PK-12 student body are changing. In fact, a report from the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES, 2019 as cited in Burden, 2020) projects that by 2027 the Caucasian student population will decrease to 45%, Latinx student population will increase to 29%, and the African American student population will remain at 15%. Thus, tomorrow’s student body will be more diverse than today and that trend is expected to continue. To meet the needs of the future PK-12 student population, educator preparation programs (EPPs) must attract a greater number of diverse candidates to the teaching profession—and that requires advocating for policies that promote diversity in the classroom and address critical teacher shortages.

Meet the New UConn Holmes Scholars

In Fall 2020, the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education was selected to join the more than 50 higher education institutions nationwide currently sponsoring the Holmes Scholars Program. Meet the new Holmes Scholars through the following Q&As:

Meet Holmes Scholar Sandra Silva-Enos

Sandra Silva-EnosHometown: I was born in Lima, Peru, but grew up in both New London, Connecticut, and Waterford, Connecticut.

Which academic program are you in?
I am currently in EDCI [the Department of Curriculum and Instruction] focusing on Bilingual and Bicultural education.

Why did you seek to join the Holmes Program at UConn’s Neag School?
I sought to join the Holmes program because I believe in the power of mentorship and peer support. I think there is something so powerful in community support and mentorship, and as a student of color it is not always easy to find that community in the higher education world. The Holmes Program makes that world more of a reality.

Where were you previous to joining the program?
Prior to joining the program, I was working on a research project focused on sociocultural competence in the dual language classroom. I was and am working with a fabulous research team who are dedicated to the importance of critical consciousness and equity for our linguistically and culturally diverse students.

App State partners with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools to Prepare Equity-Focused School Leaders

Appalachian State University has partnered with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools (WS/FCS) as part of a five-year, $102 million initiative to prepare school principals who are capable of advancing equity in education.

The Equity-Centered Pipeline Initiative, sponsored by the Wallace Foundation, supports eight large, high-needs school districts in building evidence-based principal pipelines—with the goal of developing principals who can advance each district’s own vision of equity.

Your Membership Matters

AACTE thanks you for being a valued member. Your membership strengthens our collective voice to advance high-quality educator preparation and helps shape the future of education in America. 

As a fellow AACTE member, I know that AACTE is committed to providing us with tools and resources to help prepare educators for meeting the challenges in schools today. We can connect with peers on Connect360, learn how to collaborate with local district partners to allocate ESSER funds with the ARP Funding Toolkit, and access the AACTE Advocacy Center—our one-stop shop for member advocacy at the state and federal level. Membership also has cost-saving benefits including:

Urge Your Members of Congress to Support Educator Prep Programs and Fully Fund

AACTE recently posted two action alerts, which are a quick and easy way for you to urge your members of congress to support legislation pending before Congress.

The first action alert calls on Senators to include funding for educator preparation programs in the Build Back Better legislation it is currently negotiating.  Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed legislation that included more than $1 billion for these programs, an investment that is long overdue.  However, it is unclear if the Senate will include this funding in their version of the bill.  Your voice can help determine the fate of this critical funding.

Organize Your #AACTE22 Experience with the Annual Meeting Event Planner

Want to know everything that is happening at the 2022 AACTE Annual Meeting? The Event Planner has the entire schedule for each day (all times listed in the Event Planner are Central Time).    

Once you have logged in to the Event Planner, you will be able to

  1. Browse the Full Schedule – Use the search field at the top to locate sessions by presenter name (first or last), title, keywords, and other fields.
  2. Access Session Information – See a session you might be interested in? Just click on the session title to access a description and list of presenters.
  3. Share Your Work with Other Attendees – Want to get other attendees interested in your session? If you are the presenter of a session, upload your slides, handouts, and other documents at any time. Just click on your session and then click the “manage handouts” button on the bottom.

Using Video Reflection to Expand Support During Teacher Clinical Experiences

John HenningClinical experience is critical to the success of teacher candidates. It allows them to receive real classroom experience while they foster relationships with students and build their own instructional skills.

But, even with the skills they learn leading up to the clinical experience, teacher candidates can’t just enter the field and be expected to succeed. There’s a whole host of skills that cannot be taught in a college classroom or via a textbook. And, teacher candidates—just like classroom teachers themselves—need ongoing coaching and feedback to continuously improve their practice.

Arkansas Expands Educators Rising Initiative to Build Career Pathways for High School Students

Educators Rising, a national Grow Your Own career and technical education (CTE) program that inspires high school students to become educators, announced a partnership with the Arkansas Department of Education to expand to 30 schools across the state, with an emphasis on serving high-needs areas and recruiting diverse students into the profession. The partnership, partially funded through a generous grant from the Walton Family Foundation, more than doubles the potential footprint of the program in the state.

With chapters in all 50 states, Educators Rising offers students the opportunity to develop necessary classroom skills and experience teaching through co-curricular learning and supervised clinical experiences while still in high school. The program can be set up as an extra-curricular activity or as a co-curricular experience and offers a classroom-ready curriculum that can also be implemented at the school level. Educators Rising helps increase teacher diversity through tools and resources designed to address the needs of diverse students and broaden the types of students who explore teaching as a profession.

UTEP Bolsters Support for Special Ed, School Counseling Students


A quartet of educators from UTEP’s Department of Educational Psychology and Special Services earned a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to finance the education of 48 individuals who want to become K-12 counselors or special education teachers, as well as to develop technology-enhanced curricula and methods for greater collaborations. The members of Project BLESSED are, from left, Carleton Brown, Beverley Argus-Calvo, Anjanette Todd and Kristopher Yeager. Brown and Yeager are the co-principal investigators. Photo: Ivan Pierre Aguirre / UTEP Marketing and Communications

The University of Texas at El Paso is strengthening its support for school counseling and special education graduate students thanks to a five-year $1.1 million grant from The U.S. Department of Education. The award enhances the University’s ability to help these students finance their education and gives them access to enhanced technical instruction and supervision support.

Last Chance to Vote: Polls Closing Soon

AACTE Board Election

Now is your last opportunity to make your voice heard in AACTE’s Board of Director election. Voting closes November 30. Be sure to vote by midnight.

This year, there are 12 individuals running for 2 at-large seats and for seats representing AILACTE, HACU, NAFEO, and TECSCU.  In addition, members are asked to ratify a set of proposed technical changes to the Articles of Incorporation & Bylaws.

Lindenwood University’s Plans to Ensure Equitable Access for All Future Teachers

AACTE’s Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments (CREA) project recently released a framing paper titled The History, Current Use, and Impact of Entrance and Licensure Examinations Cut Scores on the Teacher-of-Color Pipeline: A Structural Racism Analysis. The paper addressed the following questions: (1) How are standardized entrance and licensure tests being used as a gateway into the profession? (2) Who determines cut scores for these tests? and (3) What is the historical significance and implications of these tests on the diversity of the profession today?

Lindenwood University represents one of fourteen lead institutions that comprise the CREA project. Tammy Moore, director of certification and field/clinical experiences at Lindenwood, reflects on the effects of entrance assessment requirements at her institution and her institution’s plans to ensure equitable access for all students who choose to pursue teacher education.

Tammy MooreWhy did Lindenwood University pursue membership in the CREA project?

Lindenwood University – College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) pursued the CREA project to participate in an initiative designed to support our continual efforts to recruit and retain teacher candidates of color. In direct alignment with Lindenwood COEHS commitment to “… an open, diverse, and inclusive learning environment that nurtures the growth and development of all …”  the CREA project embodies our commitment to diversifying the teaching profession.

New TAG Highlights Connection Between the Military and Educator Prep

Military Affiliation and Educator Preparation TAG“From the moment I stepped on the yellow footprints, I was teaching somebody something,” said SSgt. (Ret.) Isaiah Ybarra, who served as a Fixed Wing Crew Chief in the United States Marine Corps for nearly a decade. He now teaches social studies at an eastern North Carolina high school. He recalled palpable connections between serving in the military and serving as a teacher-leader, specifically reiterating the opportunity to change and improve the lives of others. Ybarra’s experience is not unique, as hundreds of new enrollments each year confirm education and teacher preparation are amongst the most popular fields for military-connected individuals.

New Podcast Explores Gaps in the Journey to Becoming a Principal

While the role of the principal remains essential, it has evolved over time. Throughout its evolvement, preparation programs, districts, and state policy makers have worked in silos, creating gaps between the skills learned in an educator leadership program and what a principal actually does on the job. In the second episode of AACTE’s new University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI) Podcast series chronicling this Wallace Foundation multi-year principal program redesign initiative, listeners will learn what the research says about what the gaps between “learning” and “doing” and how to address them.

In the “Gaps in the Journey to Becoming a Principal” podcast segment, listeners will hear how those findings are seen and implemented through the eyes of one of the UPPI’s Project Directors, Tim Drake.

Follow Us