There is a growing trend by state lawmakers to propose and, in some cases, pass legislation that censors and penalizes K-12 and higher education teachers and faculty members, as well as educational leaders in both sectors. It is vital for the educator preparation community to support intellectual freedom as a core component of a democratic society and oppose the censorship of content and knowledge that would disallow educators to promote empathy and engage students in positive inquiry into social issues.
Given AACTE’s unique role in bridging K-12 and higher education, our future leaders — scholars and practitioners in colleges of education and school districts — have been invited to explore, from their perspective and experience, the impact of this burgeoning state and national movement on who they are as educators and what they see as the effect on our profession.
Between now and the first day of the 75th Annual Meeting on February 24 in Indianapolis, AACTE encourages you to get social and spread the news on how to support educators and education through the 75 Days | 75 Ways to advocate campaign. Join your colleagues in engaging with the more than 50 tips that have been shared so far on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. Hit the like button, leave a comment, share a post, or retweet tips that resonate with you and spread the word.
For information on how to share your tip, visit the AACTE 75 Days | 75 Ways social media toolkit and use the #AACTE75Days75Ways hashtag on your social media timelines.
The Annual Meeting is AACTE’s most innovative and collaborative event of the year, and it’s only weeks away. This year, as we gather together to celebrate AACTE’s 75th anniversary, attendees may access the Annual Meeting online community to discuss research, ask questions, and connect with other attendees.
AACTE encourages all attendees to take a moment and connect with other advocates who are passionate about education preparation.
Looking for strategies to support teachers throughout their career? GoReact will host a live discussion on teacher support with a panel of education experts to gain revolutionary insights on how best to motivate and support teachers at every stage in their career. Register today for this complimentary event.
On Wednesday, February 15 at 4:00 p.m. EST, AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone will share her insights with Machel Mills-Miles, Vice President of Standards Implementation and Outreach at Learning Forward; Brent Raby, Ed.D., Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning for West Aurora School District in Illinois; and Ann Stark, an experienced educator with over 22 years as a classroom teacher and 14 years as an induction program mentor.
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.
SHEEO Releases Top Policy Priorities
Last month, the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) released a report detailing the top policy priorities for state higher education leaders across the country. Economic and workforce development, along with the K-12 teacher workforce, tied for the top two state policy priorities of SHEEOs. Rounding out the top five priorities are (3) state funding for financial aid programs, (4) state operating support for public colleges and universities, and (5) higher education’s value proposition. Other issues include declining enrollment and college affordability, tied for sixth, (8) public perception of higher education, (9) addressing equity gaps, and (10) college completion/student success. Rising issues outlined in the report include a focus on student health and safety and student basic needs, like food, housing, and childcare.
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.
Nearly a month into the 118th Congress, Democratic and Republican leadership are finalizing committee and subcommittee assignments. Senate Democrats announced committee assignments last week — including a few changes. In the Senate HELP and Appropriations committees, the changes from the last Congress are as follows: Senate Appropriations Committee —Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has retired, and Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) is now on the Committee. Senator Peters priorities include affordable higher education, student loan debt relief, funding for STEAM research, career technical education, and apprenticeship programs. Senate HELP Committee Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) is no longer on the Committee, and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) has joined the HELP Committee. Republicans in the Senate have not yet finalized committee and subcommittee assignments. In the House, Republicans and Democrats have finalized rosters for all Appropriations subcommittees. Additionally, the final roster of all House Education and the Workforce Committee members has been finalized and can be found here.
This article was originally published by Education Week and is reprinted with permission.
Dear Florida Educators,
When I was growing up in Florida and I would hear church folks describe a troubling event that ran afoul of their moral compass, they would say, “it’s just not sitting right with my spirit.” That’s how I’ve been feeling lately when I hear about recent efforts in my home state of Florida to limit academic freedom in higher education; stifle intellectual curiosity in schools; ban books; obliterate diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in higher education; and silence the questions of pre-K-12 learners who may be struggling with their gender identity and sexuality.
I was educated in public pre-K-12 schools and graduated from three major Florida universities with my undergraduate and graduate degrees in the area of special education. I’m a former special education teacher who worked in Pinellas, Seminole, and Miami-Dade counties and was a tenure-track faculty member at Florida International University. Yet today, when I think about the education landscape in my home state, I’m grieved that instead of being lauded as a leader in innovation and delivering high-quality, equitable educational opportunities to all learners, Florida is applauded by its governor as “the place where woke goes to die.”
Join AACTE as we celebrate Black History Month. This year, AACTE’s 75th Annual Meeting falls in February, the theme of which is Innovation through Inspiration: Remembering the Past to Revolutionize the Future; and how could we revolutionize the future of education and education and education preparation to ensure all learners receive a high-quality, equitable education without Black educators? AACTE is excited to offer programming throughout Annual Meeting and its preconference events, February 23 – 26, dedicated to supporting Black Educators and the representation of Black history and perspectives and curriculum and educator preparation policy and practice.
“AACTE meets the challenges of the 21st century through hosting career fairs that endeavors to diversify the post-secondary faculty pipeline. The outcomes of their efforts speak for themselves,” said Amanda Wilkerson, University of Central Florida, Holmes Program Alumna. “Through the Holmes Scholars program and innovative professional development training, I was able to showcase my research skills that ultimately led to acquiring a tenure-track academic role at a Research 1 Institution.”
Perhaps your institution is looking to connect with or recruit diverse faculty like Amanda Wilkerson. You need to look no further than the Holmes Program, which supports students who self-identify as racially and ethnically diverse and are pursuing graduate degrees in education at AACTE member institutions.
At this year’s 75th Annual Meeting, AACTE is featuring several Deeper Dive sessions that cover topics most relevant to you, including a closer look and celebration of the JTE Article of the Year, a conversation on how apprenticeships can address the shortages, and many more. These sessions were curated to reflect the association’s top strategic priorities: to build and sustain high-quality preparation and pipeline of teachers, expand policies that diversify the field, and advance the educator preparation field through innovative research, practices, and advocacy.
To attend AACTE Deeper Dive sessions and more cutting-edge content at the 2023 Annual Meeting, be sure to register for the 3-day conference before February 17.
Engaging classroom discussions have been found to deepen learning, create community, and help students along their academic path. It has also been credited with building more democratic learning environments that are broadly inclusive and enhancing student learning. Contrary to this evidence, researchers find there are few high-quality discussions in most classrooms across the educational landscape. What might we do to ensure that students in PK-12 and higher education experience both discussion for learning and learning to discuss?
Join this pertinent closing session at the Annual Meeting with Diana E. Hess, dean of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, who will describe what she and colleagues are learning from The Discussion Project — a professional development program designed to help instructors build the knowledge and skills needed to teach their students how to engage in rich and inclusive discussions.
AACTE members are still offering tips on supporting educators, students, and educator preparation through the 75 Days | 75 Ways to advocate for educator preparation campaign. Every day until the launch of the 75th Annual Meeting on February 24 in Indianapolis, AACTE will share a new tip from a member.
Ball State University will play a major role in a first-of-its-kind program in the nation centered on special education after the recent federal approval of a state registered apprenticeship supporting the educator pipeline.
Students participating in the program—which is first launching at Noblesville High School and will be available to scale at other Indiana schools—will allow students to graduate a year early having earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Special Education from the University.
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) has announced five exemplary educators from across the country as finalists for 2023 National Teacher of the Year, four of whom have been prepared for teacher education by AACTE member institutions.
AACTE is a proud member of the National Teacher of the Year Selection Committee and applauds each finalist for their commitment to the profession and meeting the needs of all students, as well as the AACTE member institutions that have contributed to their success.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced that it is increasing the educator expense deduction for the first time since 2002, when it was first implemented.
Previously the maximum amount educators could deduct from their taxes was $250 for school supplies, including books, supplies, and other materials used in the classroom as well as COVID-19 protective items. However, the IRS will allow up to $300 in qualified expenses to be deducted for 2022. The limit will rise in $50 increments in future years based on inflation adjustments.