Archive for May, 2022

Why Attend AACTE’s 2022 Leadership Academy: Hear from This Year’s Participants

Earlier last month, AACTE announced that its signature, Leadership Academy convening would be returning in 2022 with a new, in-person format. The reimagined programming allows academic leaders to customize their learning experience while minimizing time spent out of the office. And at a reduced price point, attendees can participate in essential professional development while saving money on registration and hotel costs.

But why should new and seasoned leaders attend the Academy? Here’s what a few of this year’s confirmed registrants had to say regarding their decision to attend in 2022, and what they hope to gain from the experience:

Join Your Co-Teaching in Clinical Practice Colleagues

The Co-Teaching in Clinical Practice Topical Action Group (TAG) is hosting their end of year virtual chat for all AACTE members and you are invited to join.

What: Co-Teaching in Clinical Practice Topical Action Group

When: Wednesday, May 18

Time: 8:00 p.m. EST / 5:00 p.m. PST

Registration Information:

  • Meeting ID: 834 1795 8707
  • Password: COTEACH

AACTE’s TAGs are action-oriented working groups that focus on areas such as accreditation, historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), elementary education, research in teacher preparation, international education, and women in leadership, just to name a few. 

To view the full the list of the 20 TAGs visit: aacte.org and join the TAG community on aacteconnect360.org.

If you have any questions please reach out to me at mgrenda@aacte.org.

Department of Education Solicits Public Input on Amending Section 504

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.  

After 45 years, the Department of Education has announced plans to update Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Stay tuned for opportunities to provide feedback to stakeholders on what you would like to see. Take a read for more information on that and more below.

Department of Education Announces Plan to Update Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Education announced plans to update Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The forthcoming changes will mark the first update to the regulations in 45 years. The Department’s Section 504 regulations were the first set of regulations issued by the federal government that addressed the treatment of people with disabilities through a civil rights framework, rather than through solely a medical or vocational framework. Section 504 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in public and private programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance, including schools and postsecondary institutions.

“While the world has undergone enormous changes since 1977, the Department’s Section 504 regulations have remained, with few exceptions, unaltered,” said Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon. “As we observe the 45th anniversary of these important regulations this month, it is time to start the process of updating them. Just as in 1977, the voices of people with disabilities must be heard and incorporated as we engage in that work.”

Addressing P-20 Education Censorship Washington Week

As of May 2, PEN America has noted that 34% of Live Educational Gag Order bills affect Institutes of Higher Education, and 100% of the teachers in the 15 states that have signed gag orders into law feel the impact on their work. In addition to these laws and the more than 80 live gag-order bills, rampant illegal and legalized banning of books is restricting the rights of educators to serve diverse students and their equally diverse needs. It is necessary for educators to understand and address this coordinated attack to protect students’ quality of education, human rights and mental health.

This year, at AACTE’s 2022 Washington Week, AACTE has dedicated one of its three strands to education censorship. The strand was developed based on feedback from members and AACTE’s research report on education censorship. Highlights from the report will be released at Washington Week. Sessions will cover the following objectives:

  1. The scope, tactics, and themes within education censorship policies
  2. Which policies implicate IHE, and how faculty can organize to address them
  3. How these policies and the moral panic surrounding them affect the work of teachers, and therefore teacher educators

Perfecting Your Advocacy Skills at Washington Week

Advocacy for teacher preparation programs and the fundamental need to place highly diverse qualified teachers in the classroom across the nation is more dire than ever before. AACTE’s Washington Week is the precise opportunity to perfect one’s craft of advocacy through training, workshops, and immersive experiences by conducting congressional visits with Senators and Congressmen or Congresswomen on Capitol Hill.

Legislators may not be aware of the obstacles our teacher preparation programs are confronted with on a daily basis nor the negative impact it is having on school districts in surrounding communities, and someone else might be telling your story incorrectly. This is one of the times when universities aren’t competing against one another and can come together to advocate the need for teacher preparation to be an equitable education for all children. Institutions of higher education are able to cohesively express the barriers encountered by teacher preparation programs and share their stories as one collective unit to their designated state legislators. You are able to learn how to advocate for the importance of the Higher Education Act, Teacher Quality Grants, and other fiscal appropriations that pertain to teacher preparation in the hopes that legislators will move it to the forefront of their agenda. More significantly, Washington Week has returned in person this year allowing you to better collaborate with colleagues in your field and even within your state.

Asian American Leadership in Higher Education: A ‘Glass Cliff’ or ‘Golden Opportunity?’

What do we mean by a “glass cliff?” It happens when a member of an underrepresented group assumes a leadership role during a period of crisis or downturn, when the chance of failure is highest. Research has documented the “glass cliff” for Asian Americans in corporate America; for instance, when companies are in decline, they’re two and a half times more likely to appoint an Asian American CEO.[i] This made me wonder if there is also a glass cliff for Asian American higher education leaders.

Asians make up 5% of the population, 6.5% of college students, and 8.4% of faculty members — but they comprise only 1% of college presidents.[ii] Based on an annual growth rate of 6%, racial parity in the presidency for Asian Americans will occur by 2036 (see Figure 1 below). Parity is defined as the year in which the representation of Asian Americans in the presidency reflects their overall representation in the U.S. population. Data on the future demographics of the United States come from the U.S. Census Bureau’s projections.

Attend the ‘Teaching Truth: Messaging the Moment’ Webinar

Every student deserves to learn and thrive in a school environment that supports student identities, equips them for the future, and teaches the truth. Unfortunately, across the country, we have seen attempts to surveil and gag educators and whitewash the history of the United States by attacking culturally responsive curriculum, respect for LGBTQ+ students, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. We need to teach students the truth of our history to enable them to learn from the wisdom and mistakes of our past to help create a more just and equitable future. We must ensure students have an honest and accurate education that helps them develop critical thinking skills.

On Tuesday, May 24, The Leadership Conference Education Fund will host the second webinar in its Teaching Truth series in collaboration with AACTE, Ed Trust, GLSEN, IDRA, and National Black Justice Coalition. In this webinar, we will hear from messaging experts on how to break through the noise and make a proactive, compelling, and mobilizing case for the importance of teaching the truth in our schools. Additionally, we will hear from advocates who are taking messaging research and putting it into action to fight against the attacks on honest teaching in our schools. 

Speakers include

  • Victoria Kirby York, National Black Justice Coalition 
  • Anthony Torres, ASO Communications
  • Thomas Marshall, IDRA 
  • Sumi Cho, African American Policy Forum 

RSVP for the webinar today.

National Urban League VP to Speak at Washington Week

AACTE’s upcoming Washington Week conference will feature speakers from national civil rights and advocacy organizations who have sought to empower and increase educational access and opportunities for disenfranchised communities. One of these organization is the National Urban League. Founded in 1910, the National Urban League, also known as The League, is a historic civil rights organization whose mission is to help African-Americans and underserved communities achieve their highest true social parity, economic self- reliance, power, and civil rights. The League promotes economic empowerment through education and job training, housing and community development, workforce development, entrepreneurship, health, and quality of life. Through their signature education programs, The League strives to ensure that every child is ready for college, career, and life. 

Representing The League at the upcoming Washington Week conference is Horatio Blackman, vice president of education policy, advocacy, and engagement. Blackman’s work has focused on educational improvement, access, and opportunity for marginalized communities, specifically Black youth, utilizing data and evidence to support change efforts at the local, state, and national levels. Central in his practice is engaging communities in education improvement efforts. In his role at the National Urban League, Blackman leads the Equity & Excellence Project and related education policy and advocacy work.

Blackman joined the League after serving as an assistant professor in the College of Education and Human Development and a research associate with the Center for Research in Education and Social Policy at the University of Delaware. Blackman is an expert in connecting evidence to policy, practice, all with a focus on supporting the needs of historically underserved communities. He is a graduate of Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education.

Register today for AACTE’s Washington Week conference.

Holmes Scholar Takes on New Role as Campaign Manager After Attending 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.

AACTE Holmes Scholar and Hofstra University adjunct instructor, Angeline Dean, successfully defended her dissertation recently. But Dean isn’t just a faculty and scholar, she is also an activist studying at Rowan University, eager to share her enthusiasm for Washington Week and how it served as the catalyst for her new role as campaign manager. “We [Candidate Armstrong and I] are working to dismantle the status quo in our communities, says Dean, “If you believe in all of this, you have to fight back.” Read below for the rest of Dean’s interview with AACTE.

Conversations About Federal Student Loans, Grants and More

The Conversation Surrounding Student Loan Forgiveness Continues 

Young male college student holding a sign of student loan

Young male college student holding a sign of student loan

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.  

Last week, the White House signaled that President Biden is considering taking steps towards student loan forgiveness for people making less than $125,000 per year. “The President talked back on the campaign about taking steps, or looking at steps, to help people making less than $125,000 a year,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. “So that is the frame through which he’s considering making considerations at this point.”

In April of 2020  while on the campaign trail, President Biden released a plan to, “forgive all undergraduate tuition-related federal student debt from two- and four-year public colleges and universities for debt-holders earning up to $125,000 with appropriate phase-outs to avoid a cliff.”

Just last week the President said that he was considering  canceling “some” amount of federal student loan debt but ruled out demands to forgive as much as $50,000 per borrower. “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.”

A Focus on Leadership Academy Content: Implementing Strategic Planning at All Levels

2022 Leadership Academy

Over the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pace of change, and the time to respond to those changes, has seemingly accelerated. Today’s leaders are tasked with making informed decisions to solve new problems, but often with minimal information and without an opportunity for collaborative input. As a result, successful leaders are relying upon detailed, strategic plans as guides to ensure their decisions are in alignment with the goals and priorities of their institution and their constituents.

One benefit of strategic planning is that it creates a single, forward-focused vision. As a part of its strategic plan, AACTE aligns its ongoing commitment to high-quality educator preparation with its commitment to leveraging opportunities to address the future challenges that come from an ever-changing educational landscape. To that end, AACTE is working with deans, program chairs, and other academic leaders to ensure their strategic planning processes are forward-thinking and revolutionary, while also representative of the diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning environments AACTE and its members want to create. To provide this support, AACTE is proud to offer the following session content in both the dean and chair strands of the 2022 Leadership Academy:

AACTE Opposes Efforts to Silence Educators and LGBTQ+ Students

On behalf of AACTE (American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education), President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone issued the following statement in response to recent legislation meant to oppress educators and students, including, as well as legislation specifically targeting transgendered and gender non-conforming students:

“Recently, there has been a concerted effort to prevent students, teachers, and educators from discussing our nation’s history in an honest and open manner. More than 30 states have pending legislation that prohibit the discussion of issues deemed “divisive,” including discourse of indigenous people and their removal from native lands, acts of antisemitism, the Black Lives Matter movement, and sexual orientation and gender identity.

AACTE strongly opposes legislation that censors curriculum and educators and prevents students, especially LGBTQ+ students and those from historically marginalized groups, from receiving the full and safe academic experience they deserve.

Additionally, AACTE supports policies and legislation that ensure teacher candidates are appropriately trained to support LGBTQ+ students and the various communities they represent. For example, according to GLSEN, LGBTQ+ students face increased rates of school discipline—including detention, suspension, or expulsion from school. Non-binary students are more likely to say they feel unsafe in schools. In addition, transgender and gender-nonconforming youth are three times more likely than LGBQT+ students to say that they did not expect to finish high school.

Elected officials should expand educational opportunities to all students, regardless of race, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, or creed, rather than implement policies that limit a student’s value in the classroom. Such discriminatory policies prohibit students from reaching their full academic potential by enabling bullying, harassment, and other harmful practices.

Though couched as efforts to make sure no student feels uncomfortable or to increase parental engagement, these laws do the opposite. Teachers, counselors, and school staff should be empowered to provide safe and inclusive spaces for all students, not stifled. 

Addressing historical and current events prepares students to live, participate, and empathize with diverse perspectives. Efforts to suppress inquiry and curb discussion violate the basic principles of free speech and an open exchange of ideas, which undermines the foundation of a healthy democracy through an educated citizenry.

AACTE encourages all educators to report any censorship efforts to organizations such as the American Library Association, National Coalition Against Censorship, African American Policy Forum (race/racism) and to report discrimination to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.”  

Stacey Leftwich says Washington Week ‘Prepares You to be a Change Agent’ Advocates 

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 for 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.

Executive Director of the Office of Educator Support and Partnerships at Rowan University, Stacey Leftwich, has only attended Washington Week once, and it was virtually. But, as the new president to her AACTE state affiliate, she found Washington Week’s State Leadership Institute (SLI) invaluable in preparing her for her state advocacy activities, stating “(SLI) was particularly helpful as we prepared for the Day on the Hill activities and for our meeting with our state senators and representatives.” Leftwich shares more during her chat with AACTE about her Washington Week experience.

A Call to Action: Rethinking Intro to Education through a Racial Equity and Social Justice Lens

The 100Kin10 Project Team is seeking applicants to serve as faculty interested in implementing a re-imagined Intro to Education Course through a racial equity and social justice lens.

 

The Project Team is interested in exploring how the course can be used as a recruitment tool to diversify the teacher workforce by centering racial equity and social justice in the course content. With support through 100Kin10, the Redesigning Introduction to Education Project Team is looking to work with five faculty who can teach this course during the Fall 2022 semester and participate in a community of practice to inform the work and foster discourse around its impact on students. Faculty participants will receive $5,000 as compensation for their efforts.
 

For more information, visit RedesigningIntrotoEd. The application deadline is June 1, 2022.

 

AANHPI Literature for Children and Adults

In the second article commemorating AACTE’s recognition of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) Heritage Month, Valerie Ooka Pang, a professor in the School of Teacher Education at San Diego State University, shares her favorite literature sources for teachers to use in their P-20 classrooms. Watch AACTE’s webinar with Ooka Pang and others to learn more about AANHPI representation and inclusion in classrooms and educator preparation.

Valerie Ooka Pang in front of State CapitolAs a teacher, how often do you consciously choose literature that is about AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) populations or was written or illustrated by AAPI authors and artists?

What do you know about AAPI children and their communities? Do you only know about Chinatowns or Chinese New Year? Stories about these singular aspects often convey stereotypical perspectives. AAPIs are people like others with dreams, fears, and hopes.

If you have little knowledge of AAPI communities and you would like to know how you can begin to integrate fantastic AAPI literature into your classroom, keep reading.

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