Ohio University Holmes Scholar Asks Policymakers ‘Hard Questions’ at Washington Week
For the first time in three years, AACTE will be hosting its 2022 Washington Week in-person in Washington DC, June 6 – 8. This annual educational policy and advocacy event draws together AACTE’s State Chapter Leadership, Holmes’ Scholars, deans, and faculty for an opportunity to learn and advocate for education and high quality educational preparation programs throughout the country.
This year, AACTE is combining the best programming from three separate events — State Leaders Institute, Holmes Policy Institute, and Day on the Hill — into one reimagined mini-conference for enhanced collaboration and networking. The 2022 Washington Week program includes shared keynotes and strand-based sessions on today’s most critical issues in education and teacher preparation: censorship, educator shortage, and educator diversity. Attendees can choose to align with a particular strand throughout the event or select sessions from among the three strands.
Holmes Scholar and Ph.D. student from Ohio University, Shauna Torrington attends Washington Week because she loves how the training has helped her to find her voice, “I have been better able to articulate my views to support my stance on any subject.” Torrington shares the rest of her thoughts about Washington Week with AACTE.
I have shared [former AACTE Consultant] Jane West’s framework for advocacy with others. I always explain that advocacy is framed by people, policy, politics, and processes. It has helped me in grounding my views in a way that can easily make sense to others.
How have you been able to apply what you have learned in Washington Week?
During a recent state conference and professional workshop, I contributed [to the discussion] about teacher shortages and policy implications.
How has the ‘Day on the Hill’ event shaped your views about education policy?
It has inspired me. It made me join some of AACTE’s TAGs (Topical Action Groups), and it has also allowed me to view teacher training through an international lens.
Why should someone make the investment and attend the 2023 Washington Week?
You can be your authentic self while advocating for a cause you are passionate about. It is also a space in which you can interact with people who are also passionate about [systemic] changes and policymaking. Additionally, it is beneficial to have people in the room [well-versed] in federal policy making, and you get to ask them some “hard questions.”