Archive for December, 2022

In the States: Office of Civil Rights Enters Agreements with California and Iowa School Districts

The new “In the States” feature by Kaitlyn Brennan is a weekly update to keep members informed on state-level activities impacting the education and educator preparation community.

OCR Enters Resolution Agreement with (California) Davis Joint Unified School District

This week, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced that the Davis Joint Unified School District in California has entered into a resolution agreement to ensure that its restraint and seclusion policies and practices do not deny students with disabilities a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

Department of Education Dissolves National Parent and Family Engagement Council

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.

The final countdown is on for Congress to pass a FY2023 spending bill with the current Continuing Resolution (CR) expiring next Friday. There is considerable speculation on whether or not a bill will pass before January, but many on the Hill remain hopeful that we will see an omnibus package before Christmas. Stay tuned as next week is sure to be a busy week in Washington.

Exploring Clinical Experiences as a Fulbright Scholar

As a member of AACTE’s Global Diversity Committee and a professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, I was selected as a Fulbright Global Scholar for 2022-23. My Fulbright project focuses on three primary objectives: 1) to learn about the development and delivery of clinical experiences in international settings; 2) to determine how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted practices associated with the delivery of clinical experiences and preparation of teacher candidates; and 3) to create an international collaborative for continued learning and development of knowledge associated with clinical experiences.

NJACTE Officers Appointed to Task Force on Public School Staff Shortages

Stacey Leftwich (left) and Amy Kline (right) of the New Jersey Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (NJACTE).

Stacey Leftwich, president, and Amy Kline, treasurer/president-elect, of the New Jersey Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NJACTE) were appointed to Governor Phil Murphy’s newly established Task Force on Public School Staff Shortages. Created under Executive Order No. 309, the task force is part of Governor Murphy’s efforts to address ongoing school staff shortages and will be charged to develop short and long-term recommendations to increase the number of K-12 school staff — including teachers and support staff — in the State of New Jersey.

GACTE Works to Elevate the Teaching Profession throughout Georgia

The Georgia Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (GACTE) has been looking at the teacher pipeline in our state and receiving input on ways to increase teacher recruitment and retention. Several state reports confirm the shortage in Georgia and GACTE’s goal was to get everyone on board to look for ways to help reduce shortages. GACTE convened an initial meeting where three main action items were identified including (1) Elevate Teacher Voice in the school and in policy and legislation; (2) Re-imagine induction and mentoring to increase the dignity and honor of the profession; and (3) Raise the profile of teachers in Georgia. A second meeting at Kennesaw State University, brought the collaborative together to turn general strategies from the first meeting into action items.

Amid Teacher Shortage, Black Male Educators Point to Why There Aren’t More of Them

Marvin Burton, Jr. poses for a photo this year with his wife and three sons. Courtesy of Marvin Burton Jr.

This article originally appeared on ABC News.

Educator Marvin Burton Jr. is a self-described renaissance man.

“You have to be that type of teacher now,” Burton Jr. told ABC News, adding, “It’s never a dull moment. I don’t know of a teacher that’s not tired when they leave from just the daily work — the daily grind.”

The advanced, professionally-certified vocal music instructor has taught everything from special education to English language arts over the past three school years because he said a nationwide teacher shortage has forced him in different directions. Burton Jr. said he’s “totally exhausted” most evenings when leaving Drew-Freeman Middle School in Suitland, Maryland, driving to pick up his three sons in Temple Hills before commuting another half an hour home to Brandywine.

USC Research Calls for Long-Term Strategy to Address Teacher Shortages

A University of South Carolina research team’s new report suggests that the state does not need another series of programs, but rather a new strategy, to truly change the future of teaching. The report showcases evidence of what is and is not currently working for the teaching profession, innovations already underway in certain school districts, and insight from South Carolina educators who are ready to evolve teaching and learning in South Carolina. (Read the report summary and the full report.)

With funding support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, a team of researchers at the USC College of Education released the report, The Future of South Carolina’s Teaching Profession, focusing on the current state of the teaching profession in South Carolina. It offers suggestions to alleviate the teacher shortage challenge while addressing student-led learning.

In the States: Addressing Students with Disabilities Services and Educator Shortage

The new “In the States” feature by Kaitlyn Brennan is a weekly update to keep members informed on state-level activities impacting the education and educator preparation community.

Office of Civil Rights Comes to Agreement with Fairfax County Public Schools (VA) Over Students with Disabilities Receiving Services

On Wednesday, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced they have come to an agreement with Fairfax County Public Schools after the district failed to provide thousands of students with disabilities with the services required under law during the pandemic. “I am relieved that the more than 25,000 students with disabilities in Fairfax County will now receive services federal law promises to them, even during a pandemic, to ensure their equal access to education,” Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine Lhamon said in a statement.

The OCR investigation found that during the pandemic, Fairfax County Public Schools, the largest school district in Virginia, reduced its special education instruction and “inaccurately informed staff that the school division was not required to provide compensatory education to students with disabilities who did not receive a [free appropriate public education] during the COVID-19 pandemic because the school division was not at fault.”

Member Spotlight: Lin Wu

AACTE’s Member Spotlight features an individual from a member institution, highlighting how their work makes a difference in classrooms across the country. Nominate yourself or another member by providing a response to the following questions and sending to communications@aacte.org.

Get to know Dr. Lin Wu …

Congratulations and Best Wishes to Jacqueline Rodriguez

AACTE is incredibly grateful for Jacqueline Rodriguez’s leadership over the past four years at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). During her tenure, she has well-positioned AACTE and I am grateful for all her vigor, determination, and colleagueship. Jackie has accepted a position as CEO of the National Center for Learning Disabilities and will leave AACTE at this month’s end. While the National Office Team and I are saddened to bid her farewell, I want to make sure to take a moment to thank her for all her service to AACTE.

Jackie joined AACTE in 2018 as the Assistant Vice President and was promoted to Vice President for Research, Policy, and Advocacy in just over two years. In this role, she has led the strategy and content development for the association’s research, programs, professional learning, state and federal policy, and advocacy initiatives. She has also represented AACTE with integrity and grace for many media interviews, helping spread AACTE’s message for advocacy in education and education preparation across the country.

TEACH Grants: Helping to Make the Profession Affordable

Recently, the U.S. Department of Education issued a reminder that TEACH Grants are available to those who are interested in pursuing a career in education. 

The TEACH Grant Program, which was created approximately 15 years ago, provides grants of up to $4,000 a year to students who are completing or plan to complete course work needed to begin a career in teaching. A TEACH Grant-eligible program is a program of study that is designed to prepare you to teach as a highly qualified teacher in a high-need field and that leads to a bachelor’s or master’s degree or is a post-baccalaureate program. A two-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor’s degree is considered a program that leads to a bachelor’s degree.

House Judiciary Committee Request Interview with Top Department of Education Advisors

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.

The countdown is on for Congress to pass a fiscal year (FY) 2023 package before the 117th Congress ends at the end of this month. As you will recall, the government is currently operating on a continuing resolution. Essentially what this means is the government is operating on last fiscal year’s funding levels through December 16. At that time, a budget or another continuing resolution must pass or the government will shut down. While its widely reported that the four corners have not yet agreed on top line numbers, many believe a budget will pass before the 118th Congress begins, even if that means working up to Christmas Eve. Stay tuned!

AACTE in the Headlines: Innovation in Teacher Preparation

During the month of November, AACTE made headlines that highlighted innovation in teacher preparation programs, strategies for addressing the teacher shortage, ways to diversify the teaching profession, and censorship in schools.

AACTE has been cited in media outlets ranging from K-12 Dive to the Star-Telegram and Forbes on issues that include teacher apprenticeships, teacher preparation programs and engagement in education.

New Data: AACTE Finds College and University-Based Alternative Teacher Preparation Programs More Effectively Address Educator Shortage than Alternative Programs Outside of Higher Ed

AACTE released a new analysis focusing on alternative preparation programs run by institutions of higher education (IHE-based alternative programs). The study shows that IHE- based alternative teacher preparation programs are bringing more educators to the strained workforce than alternative programs run by organizations other than colleges and universities.

“This new analysis confirms that colleges and universities serve a critical role in preparing qualified future educators for the profession,” says AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone, Ed.D. “These IHE-based alternative-based programs are doing the critical work of addressing the teacher shortage by providing those who have already earned a bachelor’s degree with a streamlined path to becoming fully licensed teachers.”

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