Archive for April, 2022

AACTE Hosts Holmes Summer Professional Development Series

Holmes Scholars logoAACTE is excited to announce another free professional development series for its Holmes Scholars this summer. This series will incorporate and build on skills covered at this year’s Holmes Preconference to serve both those scholars who were unable to join their peers at the preconference while also expanding on the professional development themes of navigating the job market and writing skills.

AACTE invites all Holmes Scholars to review and register for the following sessions:

You Spoke, We Listened: Leaders Shape New Academy Experience

2022 Leadership Academy

During AACTE’s 2022 Annual Meeting last month in New Orleans, deans from across the country participated in a listening session with President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone. As has become tradition, this session provides academic leaders a platform to discuss the value of AACTE membership, as well as reflect upon how the association can best serve both their individual and institutional needs over the next year.  Some of the opportunities expressed during this session included the following:

  • Expanding access to virtual/online trainings that target various levels of academic faculty
  • Providing guidance and assistance in developing a career trajectory as an academic leader
  • Offering practices and exemplars for collaborating effectively with legislators
  • Demonstrating how current data can be used to inform programmatic decisions
  • Aligning advocacy at the national level with state affiliate initiatives
  • Utilizing technological platforms to expand and improve programmatic offerings

AACTE Thanks Volunteers During National Volunteer Week

Thanks you Volunteers!

In honor of National Volunteer Week, I would like to personally thank all volunteers who lend their time and expertise to advancing AACTE. Whether you are on the Board of Directors, a programmatic advisory committee, or volunteer for one of the state affiliates, AACTE is grateful for your service.

Given the challenges facing education and educator preparation, volunteering is no small task on top of your already challenging day jobs. Without your efforts, AACTE could not succeed and move forward as an organization.

In turn, volunteering brings personal and professional rewards and opportunities for you as a member. Why is volunteering for AACTE important? Read the thoughts expressed below by your colleagues Michael E. Dantley, Ed.D., current Board chair, and Liz Kolb, former chair of the Committee on Innovation and Technology.

Ohio History Teacher Named 2022 National Teacher of the Year

AACTE congratulates Kurt Russell, an alumnus of AACTE member institution the College of Wooster.

Kurt Russell - Teacher of the YearThe Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) today announced that Kurt Russell, a veteran high school history teacher, is the 2022 National Teacher of the Year.

Russell, currently in his 25th year in the classroom, teaches at Oberlin High School in Oberlin, Ohio, where he was born and raised. Inspired to become an educator by his first Black male teacher, Russell works to emphasize cultural relevance and diverse representation in the curriculum of classes he teaches, including African American history; U.S. history; International Baccalaureate History of the Americas; and Race, Gender and Oppression.

Russell is also the school’s head varsity basketball coach. He sees basketball as an extension of the classroom and a place to teach life lessons on adversity and success. Additionally, Russell is the faculty advisor to a student-led Black Student Union, whose work has led to positive impacts for students across racial groups.

Bringing Science Back Home: Ph.D. Candidate Tiffany Hamm Works to Expand STEM Access

This article originally appeared on Syracuse University School of Education website and is reprinted with permission.

Tiffany HammTiffany Hamm, a fourth-year science education doctoral student, formerly taught earth science in her hometown of Bronx, New York. She chose the School of Education to pursue a Ph.D. because she wanted to do more in the field. Making science accessible is key, she says, both in her pursuit of a doctorate and for the next generation.

“Bringing science back to the community in a tangible way can help students of color and students of underrepresented backgrounds gain interest,” Hamm says. “We need to keep showing different faces in science, keep diversifying the science field, and diversifying images of scientist and their contributions.”

Volunteer for a Leadership Position: If Not You, Then Who? If Not Now, Then When?

Engage as a Volunteer

Have you considered volunteering for a leadership position within AACTE? Whether you volunteer to lend your talent and expertise to one of AACTE’s programmatic advisory committees or seek a position on the Board of Directors, now is a great time to step forward. Nominations are due by April 30.

Educator preparation is an essential element in revolutionizing education and combatting the divisive issues threatening our nation’s education systems. AACTE is at the center of efforts to ensure that all students receive the expert instruction and support they need and deserve.

Registration Opens Soon for AACTE’s Washington Week, June 6 – 8

2022 Washington Week

Join AACTE June 6 – 8 in the nation’s capital for 2022 Washington Week. This annual, signature event is back in person, with state affiliate leaders, Holmes Scholars, deans, and educators joining together 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. Join us for a reimagined event featuring keynote speakers, strand sessions, constituency sessions, and networking opportunities. Targeted sessions will include the following activities:

Watch Recorded Discussion Addressing Teacher Shortages through Partnerships

U.S. Department of Education logo

The Department of Education hosted a national Roundtable addressing Teacher Shortages through collaborative partnerships on April 7, 2022.  The Strengthening Partnerships Between States, School Districts, and Higher Education to Increase the Number of Teacher Candidates Prepared to Enter the Classroom and Provide Immediate Support to Schools included Grow Your Own, Residency, and Apprenticeship Strategies to support pipelines into the education profession.

AACTE’s Jacqueline Rodriguez, vice president for research, policy, and advocacy, laid the context of the national educator shortage with data from AACTE’s recently released second edition of the National Portrait and Fall Member Survey. AACTE members Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Northern Colorado presented innovative programs that are supporting diverse candidates and para-professionals to enter the field. Gwen Perea Warniment, deputy secretary of teaching, learning and assessment for the state of New Mexico, shared the enormous financial investment New Mexico is contributing to state-wide residency programs. In addition to financial investments from the Department of Education, States, and local districts, Manny LaMarre, senior advisor to the Department of Labor, shared the newly established federal level apprenticeship program in teaching.

Focus Group Opportunity on Learner Variability Navigation Tool

AACTE logo | Digital Promise logo

AACTE, in its efforts to revolutionize education, is partnering with Digital Promise to support their work in tackling systems-level transformation that directly address the challenges students face. Digital Promise wants to ensure that each student has equitable access to educators and learning experiences that affirm and honor their identities, expertise, and cultures. Through professional development and its free and open-source tool, the Learner Variability Project LVN), Digital Promise empowers educators to deepen their understanding of learner variability and embrace equitable and inclusive practices that support the whole child. 

Sharon Porter Robinson Recognized for Civil and Human Rights in Education

This article originally appeared in Kentucky Teacher and is reprinted with permission.

Sharon Porter Robinson Sharon Porter Robinson has spent almost five decades working in and for education and a lifetime doing civil rights work. On April 7, she was recognized for her efforts with the 2022 Lucy Harth Smith-Atwood S. Wilson Award for Civil and Human Rights in Education at the 50th Kentucky Education Association (KEA) Delegate Assembly.

“I come here today accepting this award in all humility and with a sense of urgency, that I guess has never left me … since the early days,” said Robinson. “It was a journey of learning that was driven by a sense of urgency to make matters right.”

The Smith-Wilson Award is given annually to a person or organization that has made notable contributions in any of the following areas: encouraging and supporting minorities to enter the teaching profession; advancing opportunities, especially educational opportunities, for youth of color; initiating or continuing impactful work in the areas of human and civil rights; or leading in the field of innovative, creative, and equitable education for all students.

Members of Congress Call for Affordable Child Care, Expanded Access to Pre-K

Group of happy boys and girls in kindergarten holding color cardboard shapes and looking at cameraThis 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.  

It was a busy and historic week in Washington as Members of Congress prepare to head back to home states and districts for the upcoming two-week spring recess. On Thursday, the Senate confirmed the Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the United States Supreme Court. Justice Jackson is the first Black woman in United States history to serve in such a role. Earlier this week, the National Education Association (NEA) joined a coalition of 27 labor unions calling for the confirmation of Justice Jackson to the Supreme Court. In a statement the coalition notes:

AACTE Participates in STEM Roundtable with Department of Education

STEM education. Science Technology Engineering Mathematics. STEM concept with drawing background. Magnifying glass over education background.AACTE is a member of The STEM Education Coalition whose mission is to raise awareness among policymakers about the critical role STEM education plays in enabling the United States to remain the economic and technological leader of the global marketplace of the 21st century. The Coalition recently participated in a roundtable discussion with Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten and Assistant Secretary of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development Roberto Rodriguez on how best to advance STEM education for all students. Meredith Kier, associate professor of science education at the College of William and Mary, represented AACTE at the round table. 

Below is a summary of the discussion:

NAEd Releases Commissioned Papers on Evaluating and Improving Teacher Preparation Programs

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, teacher preparation programs, as well as key stakeholders such as states, accreditation bodies, and teacher unions and organizations, were grappling with shifting demands on teachers and consequently on teacher education. The pandemic has led to deepening staffing shortages exacerbating the needs of PK-12 schools and thus placing increased pressures on teacher preparation programs (TPPs) to creatively address the needs. As TPPs and stakeholders seek to address quality teacher preparation in these changing times, it is critical to understand the landscape of TPPs, teacher candidates, and TPP evaluation systems. The National Academy of Education (NAEd) just released two commissioned papers that specifically target these questions.

Landscape of Teacher Preparation Program and Teacher CandidatesIn Landscape of Teacher Preparation Program and Teacher Candidates, the authors Suzanne Wilson and Shannon Kelley discuss the contemporary teacher preparation landscape and the teacher candidates attending those programs. After providing an overview of the changing landscape of TPPs in the past three decades, the authors describe what is known about the teacher candidates who attend TPPs, including their demographics, academic ability, and motivations to teach. Given the need to attract new teachers, the authors offer a comprehensive synthesis of programmatic and policy approaches to recruiting and retaining new teacher candidates. The paper concludes with implications for policymakers, educators, teacher educators, and researchers as we face potential teacher shortages in the coming years.

Combatting Shortages of Educators Serving Students with Disabilities

AACTE will facilitate a webinar, “Educator Preparation Innovation: Creating Pathways to Strengthen Recruitment,” on Tuesday, April 19. The virtual session is part of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the CEEDAR Center 12-part webinar series focused on evidence-based strategies to strengthen and diversify the special education workforce.

According to multiple research studies, fully prepared teachers in special education are more effective and are more likely to remain in the teaching profession than are teachers who are not fully prepared. It is clear that public schools need fully prepared and credentialed special education teachers.

Recap and Reflection of AACTE and AERA Joint Session: Youth, Censorship, and Academic Freedom

Youth, Censorship, and Academic Freedom Panel

The white folk of Altahama voted John a good boy, – fine plough-hand, good in the rice-fields, handy everywhere, and always good-natured and respectful. But they shook their heads when his mother wanted to send him off to school. “It’ll spoil him, – ruin him,” they said; and they talked as though they knew. (W. E. B. Du Bois, 1903/2015, p. 173)

This excerpt is a great representation of the fear fueling the push behind the call for censorship of critical race theory (CRT) and stages the focus of a Deeper Dive session at the AACTE 2022 Annual Meeting for educators to discuss how to address some of the challenges related to the threat that banning CRT has on American democracy. The “AACTE and AERA joint session: Youth, Censorship, and Academic Freedom” was moderated by Marvin Lynn (Portland State University), and the panelists were Michael Dantley, (Miami University) Kimberly White-Smith (University of La Verne), and Jacob Easley (Touro College). The discussion started with recapping the timeline of efforts to constrain teaching about race in higher education, followed by organizing faculty and staff, the role of education leaders in advancing social justice, and how to work with state and national organizations to address issues of education and censorship.