This weekly Washington Update is intended to keep members informed on Capitol Hill activities impacting the educator preparation community. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
Congress may have been on recess for the past two weeks, but it certainly did not feel like that behind the scenes. There has been a flurry of activity surrounding the President’s FY2023 Budget Request. Education advocates are working diligently to get their appropriations requests to Members — hopeful to see historic increases for education funding making it across the finish line.
The Debate over Student Loan Forgiveness Continues as the Department Cancels $238 Million in Debt for 28,000 Borrowers
On Thursday, President Biden confirmed reports that he is considering canceling “some” amount of federal student loan debt. “I am considering dealing with some debt reduction,” The President said in remarks at the White House. “I am not considering $50,000 debt reduction.”
During Second Chance Month, the U.S. Department of Education announced actions to help incarcerated individuals access educational programs as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s broader efforts to support reentry, empower formerly incarcerated persons, enhance public safety, and strengthen our communities and our economy. The Department has invited 73 colleges and universities to participate in the third round of the Second Chance Pell Experiment, an initiative first launched by the Obama-Biden Administration to expand access to Federal Pell Grants for incarcerated individuals enrolled in participating programs. The expansion will bring the total number of schools able to participate in the Second Chance Pell Experiment to 200. The Department is also announcing changes to policies to help incarcerated individuals with defaulted loans, including affirming that incarcerated individuals qualify for a “fresh start,” which returns borrowers with defaulted loans to repayment in good standing and allows them to access programs like the Second Chance Pell Experiment. The Department will also allow incarcerated individuals to consolidate their loans to help them exit default in the long term.
School leadership is second only to teaching among school-related factors in its impact on student learning, and school leader preparation programs play a key role in facilitating that success. As the leading voice in educator preparation, AACTE has launched a new podcast series, “Revolutionizing School Leadership Through Research”. This new podcast series highlights three cutting-edge research reports from the Wallace Foundation’s Knowledge Center on School Leadership. The three-episode series defines the evolving role and expectations of the principalship, the corresponding preparation required to meet those expectations, and the state policy levers that can be pulled to increase the number of qualified, equitable leaders in that position.
The first episode takes a macro look into the connection between school leadership and school outcomes. AACTE speaks with the lead author, Jason Grissom, of the Wallace commissioned report, How Principals Affect Students and Schools, A Systematic Synthesis of Two Decades of Research”, Grissom walks through the major landscape shifts in the past 20 years, with key insights into how preparation programs can be effective, equitable leaders.
AACTE is hosting its second Public Policy in Action webinar, “How Educators Can Better Manage their Federal Student Loans,” on May 19 at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). These public policy events are designed to help members understand critical policy updates originating from Congress or the Biden Administration. May’s webinar is focused on two critical items related to the educator workforce: the potential restart of payments on Federal student loans and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. We hope that attendees will also share policy developments related to student financial aid in their states.
Congratulations to Anthony L. Webster, Holmes Scholar of the Month for April 2022.
Webster is a Ph.D. candidate at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. He was raised in Greenville, MS, and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Jackson State University (JSU) and a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs at Eastern Michigan University.
The AACTE 74th Annual Meeting brought together attendees from across the country to discuss, explore, reflect upon, and learn about the current challenges and innovative plans for the future of educator preparation. Over the 3-day conference, presenters addressed the theme, “Rethink, Reshape, Reimagine, Revolutionize: Growing the Profession.” AACTE is excited to share the video recordings of the general sessions and deeper dive sessions on Connect360. These attendee-only resources are available to access on-demand for continual professional development.
#AACTE22 Keynote – Derek W. Black
#AACTE22 Closing Keynote – Leslie T. Fenwick
Are we there yet?: Honoring the Legacy of HERS 50th Annivesary and Women’s Experiences in Higher Ed
JTE Editors Deeper Dive
Apprenticeships for Teaching: A National Model
The AACTE Co-Teaching in Clinical Practice Topical Action Group (TAG) held our annual business meeting during the AACTE 74th Annual Meeting in New Orleans in March. Among food and new friends, we elected new officers, reviewed the past year of work, and shared current themes in co-teaching. Amber Bechard, University of La Verne, is continuing as co-chair and I will continue as secretary (Kelly Meyer of University of Minnesota-Twin Cities). Newly elected as co-chair is Wendy Murawski, California State University-Northridge. We are still seeking a treasurer for this TAG.
Leslie T. Fenwick, Ph.D., is being appointed a member, Board of Visitors to the U.S. Military Academy, which provides independent advice and recommendations to the President of the United States on matters related to morale, discipline, curriculum, instruction, physical equipment, fiscal affairs, academic methods, and any other matters relating to the Academy that the Board decides to consider. Fenwick will be one of six members of the Board appointed by the President and serve a term of 3 years.
Fenwick is noted for her expertise in leadership and ethics; public policy; and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workforce. She is dean emerita of the Howard University School of Education and a tenured professor of leadership studies and education policy. A nationally-recognized scholar, Fenwick is a former Harvard University Visiting Fellow and Visiting Scholar, and Salzburg Global Fellow. Since 2017, she has been engaged at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point as a McDonald Conference for Leaders of Character Senior Fellow, the 2019 Corbin Distinguished Lecturer, and the 2017 Black History Month Lecturer. She has delivered hundreds of national and international invited and distinguished lectures on equity, leadership, and ethics to convenings for college/university leaders, elected officials and government agencies, and corporate CEOs and senior leaders. She earned her Ph.D. at The Ohio State University and her bachelor’s degree at the University of Virginia.
As the academic year draws to a close and you reflect on your accomplishments and struggles, now is the perfect time to think about a leadership role with AACTE in the year ahead. Educator preparation is an essential element in revolutionizing education and combatting the divisive issues threatening our nation’s education systems. Now more than ever, your association needs committed, talented, and thoughtful leaders.
If you are ready to assume a leadership role in the national educator preparation community or know someone who is, AACTE is extending the nomination deadline to serve on the AACTE Board of Directors or a programmatic advisory committee to May 15.
Join AACTE in Washington, DC, June 6 – 8, for this year’s annual signature event, 2022 Washington Week, “Educating the Future: Policy and Advocacy as Levers of Change.” AACTE and ACSR state affiliate leaders, Holmes Scholars, and deans and faculty will join together in the nation’s capital to advocate for education and teacher preparation.
With legislative and other critical challenges facing educators and students throughout the country, this is the year to get involved and make your voice heard.
What’s new and different?
This year, AACTE combines the best programming from three separate events—the State Leaders Institute, Holmes Policy Institute, and Day on the Hill—into one reimagined mini-conference.
In an effort to find a lasting solution to the teacher shortage crisis in the United States, Austin Peay State University (APSU) and Clarksville Montgomery County School System (CMSS) of Tennessee developed and successfully implemented an educator preparation-program called “Grow Your Own.” Given the program’s success, the Tennessee Department of Education became the first state to establish a permanent model of the program in January of 2020. The Apprenticeships for Teaching: A National Model session of the AACTE 2022 Annual Meeting brought together the pioneers of the apprenticeship program to share their success stories, which could serve as a national model. The speakers included Prentice Chandler, dean of the APSU Eriksson College of Education; Lisa Barron, associate dean and director of teacher education at APSU; and Sean Impeartrice, chief academic officer of CMSS.
Now is the opportune time to use your AACTE Office Depot Savings Program to tackle spring allergies and transform your office space. From Kleenex® tissues and hand sanitizer to organizing your office with calendars and planners, notepads, and markers, you’ll find just what you need to be prepared for what the new season has to offer.
Save up to 75% off on Office Depot’s Best Value List of preferred products — compared to the regular retail price offered on officedepot.com. Plus, you’ll enjoy free next-business-day delivery on qualifying orders of $50 or more within local delivery areas.
Shop now with your AACTE membership.
More Ways to Save: Use these exclusive member-only coupons to help you get started. Get up to $50 off your next qualifying purchase.
Performance assessments that serve as a gateway to teacher preparation programs (i.e., Praxis Core, similar state-developed assessments) are intended to measure students’ basic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics. While these skills have no correlation to a candidate’s ability to be successful in a preparation program or relationship to effective teaching, many states require educator preparation programs (EPPs) to ascribe to the use of entrance assessments as a perquisite for program admissions.
The AACTE Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments (CREA) is examining how cut scores are being set for these assessments and its impact on aspiring teachers and the teacher-of-color pipeline. In its recent infographic, The Impact of Program Entrance Assessments on Aspiring Teachers and the Teacher of Color Pipeline, AACTE highlights key themes and findings from focus groups held with in-service teachers, teacher candidates of color at various institutions, and faculty of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
The AACTE 74th Annual Meeting culminated with a closing session keynote address by nationally renowned educator, education policy scholar, and best-selling author, Leslie T. Fenwick, Ph.D. Throughout her career, Fenwick has made significant contributions to the field of education, serving as the dean of Howard School of Education, and currently as AACTE’s dean in residence. In the closing keynote session, Fenwick shared insight and key themes from her book, Jim Crow’s Pink Slip: The Untold Story of Black Principal and Teacher Leadership, and she concluded with a series of recommendations to diversify the nation’s educator workforce and redefine school reform.
Derek Black J.D., a law professor at the University of South Carolina, is among the nation’s foremost experts in education law and policy. He’s published extensively in prestigious journals and been cited by the Supreme Court of the United States. In his book, Schoolhouse Burning: Public Education and the Assault on American Democracy, Black explored the legal and historical basis for the right to public education.
According to Black, the inspiration for Schoolhouse Burning came from the teacher strikes in 2018. Seeing tens of thousands of teachers expressing their right to peacefully protest compelled him to “pay homage to all that [educators] are bringing to the American public.” It is with this spirit that he addressed the attendees at AACTE’s Opening Session at it 2022 Annual Meeting.
The guiding question behind Professor Black’s book is simple: are we moving closer to the original vision of public education, or further away from it? That is, his book chronicled the fight for public education. Using historical and legal precedents such as the Northwest Ordinances of 1785 and 1787, The Colored Peoples Convention in Charleston in 1865, and the Brown V. Board of Education decision, Black explained why the state must provide education as a democratic necessity, and how formerly enslaved African Americans were among the key figures in the fight for educational equality for all.