Archive for March, 2023

UW–Madison Receives $5M Gift to Extend Innovative Teacher Pledge Program

This article was originally published by the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Education.

As the nationwide teacher shortage continues to generate headlines, stress education leaders, and frustrate policymakers in search of answers, the UW–Madison School of Education is announcing the extension of an innovative program aimed at addressing the problem in Wisconsin.

The UW–Madison School of Education Wisconsin Teacher Pledge program first started supporting students in the fall of 2020 and is dedicated to bolstering Wisconsin’s teacher workforce. This donor-funded initiative pays the equivalent of in-state tuition and fees, testing, and licensing costs for students enrolled in one of the School’s teacher preparation programs. In return, graduates “pledge” to teach for three or four years at a pre-kindergarten through 12th grade school in Wisconsin.

Renowned Teacher Educators To Discuss ‘Transforming Education’

Marilyn Cochran-Smith and Gloria Ladson-Billings will share their perspectives on navigating K-12 education.

Texas A&M University’s School of Education and Human Development (SEHD) will host a meeting of two renowned and respected minds in teacher education with a combined 90+ years of experience.

Marilyn Cochran-Smith and Gloria Ladson-Billings, both National Academy of Education members, will share their perspectives on navigating K-12 education in a conversation moderated by SEHD professor Cheryl Craig.

AACTE Honors International Transgender Day of Visibility

According to the Williams Institute at UCLA, there are over 1.6 million trans youth (13+) and adults across the United States. With new language and increased social acceptance to explore gender identity, the number of students identifying as transgender, non-binary, or any other gender non-conforming identity continues to rise. AACTE celebrates educators, policymakers, communities, and advocates that are doing the work to ensure transgender youth have the inclusive spaces and access to equal rights they deserve. In honor of International Transgender Day on March 31, AACTE encourages P-20 educators to do the work of learning how to support the identities of trans students and teachers, a sentiment shared by many of our members.

Andrews Institute Awarded Cross-Discipline National Science Foundation Grant

A new grant will support TCU’s effort to determine how it has implicitly influenced the inequities found in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) departments. The National Science Foundation (NSF) grant is titled ADVANCE Catalyst: Faculty Resources and Opportunities for Growth in STEM, also known as FROG in STEM. By identifying barriers and bridges for women STEM faculty, this project aims to produce institutional change that will impact not only STEM, but also all women faculty at TCU.  

“Receipt of this award will facilitate our institutional goals to increase the representation and advancement of women among our academic science and engineering faculty and ensure that all our faculty in every discipline are supported and thrive at TCU,” said Floyd Wormley, associate provost for research and dean of graduate studies. “I can think of no better person at TCU than Dr. Weinburgh to lead these efforts, and she has the administration’s full support.”

In the States: Florida Slated to Sign into Law Largest School Voucher Program in the Country

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.

On Thursday, lawmakers in the Florida state Legislature sent Governor Ron DeSantis a landmark education bill, FL HB1 (23R), that guarantees vouchers to any family regardless of income. The legislation comes as Republican lawmakers in Florida and the nation more broadly have led an effort to expand parental rights in education. Democrats argue that the bill is essentially a giveaway to millionaires and billionaires across the state who send their children to choice options. Currently, the vouchers are available to students whose families earn no more than 400 percent of the federal poverty level, which is $120,000 for a family of four.

Family Engagement and Student Support to Serve K-20, Special Education

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.

House Republicans Pass “Parent Bill of Rights”

On Friday, the House Republicans passed the Parent Bill of Rights Act in a 213-208 vote. Republicans did not, however, vote down party lines with Reps. Andy Biggs (AZ), Ken Buck (CO), Matt Gaetz (FL), Mike Lawler (NY) and Matt Rosendale (MT) all voting with Democrats in opposing the measure. The legislation H.R.5, more commonly referred to as “The Parent Bill of Rights,” was first introduced in the 117th Congress. It would require K-12 school districts receiving federal funding to publicly post their curriculum and annually provide parents with a list of books in the school library, a breakdown of school expenditures and more. The bill has been touted by some as a vehicle for GOP priorities on policies relating to school choice and transgender students. On Friday, Senate Majority Leader Schumer, vowed that the bill “will meet a dead end” in the Senate. The legislation has also already been denounced by the Biden Administration and several education organizations.

New AACTE TAG Strengthens Evidence-Based Practices in Comprehensive Mental Health

Are you interested in advocating and bolstering social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health (SEBMH) content and practice in your teacher education program? As the director of professional development for the Scanlan Center for School Mental Health at the University of Iowa, I invite teacher education professionals to join AACTE’s newly-formed SEBMH Topical Action Group (TAG).

Your Voice Matters: Help Strengthen the Special Educator Workforce

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.

It was a busy week in Washington, and we are slated for another one ahead. This coming week, House Republicans are expected to begin consideration on the Parent Bill of Rights Legislation, H.R. 5. It is anticipated that discussions will begin on Thursday with the final vote slated for Friday. Members introduced several amendments to the bill last week — it remains to be seen if House Rules Committee will now allow floor votes on those amendments. 

In the States: Nearly 65,000 LA Unified School District Employees Go on Strike

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.

This week, the nation’s largest school district, Los Angeles Unified, will cancel classes for its nearly 422,000 students as nearly 65,000 school district employees begin a three day strike. The dispute involves Local 99 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which represents people who work for Los Angeles Unified in a variety of nonteaching positions — bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and paraprofessionals among others. The union represents 30,000 employees who are seeking a 30% pay raise — citing the increasing costs of living in Southern California. For context, the average Local 99 SEIU employee makes only $25,000 per year.  The Los Angeles teachers’ union has asked its 35,000 members to join the walk out in solidarity and to avoid crossing the support workers’ picket lines. The joint walkout of marks the first of its kind for the district and is limited to three days.

Young Children Develop Better Learning Skills When Taught by Teachers of the Same Ethnicity, National US Study Suggests

Young children who are taught by a teacher of the same ethnicity as themselves are developing better learning and problem-solving skills by the age of seven, new research suggests.

The effect was most pronounced in Black and Latinx children, the findings – looking at more than 18,000 pupils across the US – showed.

Published in the peer-reviewed journal Early Education and Development, the study revealed that if the ethnicity of children is shared with that of their teachers, the children are more likely to go on to develop better working memory. This is the ability to hold and process information in your mind – a skill which is essential for learning and problem solving.

Deadline Extended to March 24 for Global Ed Faculty PLC Applications: Ph.D. Students Encouraged to Apply

AACTE is still accepting applications from all AACTE member faculty and Ph.D. students who are interested in joining the Longview-supported Global Education Faculty PLC.

The Global Education Faculty Professional Learning Community (PLC ) will provide a peer support network and professional development to faculty and Ph.D. students at comprehensive teacher preparation programs to effectively integrate global teaching competencies within their curriculum and practices.

Register for the 2023 Holmes Research and Dissertation Retreat

Are you ready to take the next step in your journey to completing your dissertation? Prospective and current doctoral students are invited to join peers and gain the knowledge and tools to successfully navigate the dissertation process.
Now is the time to reserve your spot at the AACTE Holmes Program Research and Dissertation Retreat on April 3 – 4 at the campus of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL. View the full agenda and register today.

Co-sponsored by the PNC Foundation and Florida Atlantic University, the Holmes Research and Dissertation Retreat will equip Holmes scholars with knowledge and tools to enhance their research productivity and navigate the dissertation process. Topics will include research methods and approaches, how to select and integrate a theoretical framework, how to identify grants and funding opportunities to support their dissertation and scholarship, and strategies to successfully publish and present their research to an interdisciplinary audience. Registration ($25) is required for scholars.

AACTE Endorses Legislation to Boost Teacher Salaries: Urges Members to Act

Members of the House of Representatives and Senate recently introduced legislation that would help ensure that all public school teachers earn a livable and competitive wage that is at least $60,000 a year and increases over the course of their career.  ACCTE strongly supports this legislation and encourages you to contact your members of Congress to encourage them to support it as well.

Education is key to ensuring that our nation has access to a well-trained, highly qualified workforce to meet the needs of tomorrow’s economy.  However, our nation faces a shortage of teachers and other educators to help meet these needs.  Today, 44% of public school teachers quit the profession within 5 years and teacher pay has been stagnant for decades. Unacceptably, after adjusting for inflation, the average weekly wage of a public school teacher has gone up by only $29 over the past 30 years, forcing many public school teachers to work two or three jobs during the school year to make ends meet.

This is simply unacceptable.

To help remedy this, Rep. Federica Wilson (FL-24) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) recently introduced legislation (H.R.882/S.766) to address this challenge and attract more individuals to the profession.  Among other things, the legislation would increase federal investments in public schools and in supporting the teaching profession and require States to establish a “minimum salary for teachers” that must be at least $60,000 and to pay teachers a livable and competitive annual salary that is at least and commensurate with similarly college-educated and experienced professionals and increases throughout a teacher’s career.

Urge your members of Congress to support this critical legislation today using the AACTE Action Alert.

Can We Have It All: Speed and Scale of Alternative Programs with the Quality of University-based Teacher Preparation?

A reflection on the Understanding the Landscape of Alternative Preparation session at #AACTE23

The current need for teachers is urgent. Enrollment and completion in university-based teacher preparation has been declining for more than a decade and production is not keeping pace with demand. Some states have turned to alternative teacher preparation to rapidly address the growing crisis but with mixed results. The Understanding the Landscape of Alternative Preparation session at ACTE 2023 brought together several leaders in the space of university-based alternative programs aiming to increase the speed and number of teachers prepared while maintaining the quality of the preparation provided.

The panel included Jacqueline King, consultant for research, policy, and advocacy for AACTE; Suzanne Arnold, executive director of ASPIRE to Teach Alternative Licensure Program at the University of Colorado Denver; Tommy Hodges, dean and professor of mathematics education at the University of South Carolina; and Robert Lee, dean of the Sandford College of Education at National University. The panel was moderated by Stephanie Knight, dean of the Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University.