Archive for March, 2023

An #AACTE23 Recap: How the Digital Equity & Transformation Pledge Creates Digital Efficacy

At AACTE’s 75th Annual Meeting in February, incoming Committee on Innovation and Technology Member Laurie Bobley (Touro University) attended the Deeper Dive Session, “Technology Pledge into Practice – How the Digital Equity & Transformation Pledge Creates Digital Efficacy at EPPs,” presented by the committee. In the following article, she recaps the session’s content and implications.

Education at all levels has undergone a rapid transformational shift towards digital learning environments and the use of technology. Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs) are now grappling with how to ensure that the changes are implemented in a way that is truly beneficial to teaching and learning. As EPPs also consider the future of learning, they have begun to recognize the vital role that technology must play.

The U.S. Department of Education and ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) worked with input from EPPs and other stakeholders by developing the EPP Pledge ­­for Digital Equity and Transformation. The pledge focuses on “a vision for transforming educator preparation providers to meet the needs of today’s schools.” It consists of five pillars that can guide the preparation of educators to engage and educate students with technology in new learning environments.

AACTE Welcomes New Holmes Council Officers

Each year, participants of the Holmes Program elect peers to represent the needs of the Holmes community and to collaborate with AACTE to enhance programming and initiatives to benefit the Holmes student body. Established in 1991, the Holmes Program’s primary goal is to increase the diversity of tenure-track education faculty and leaders within higher education and the PK-12 school system. Holmes Scholars benefit from culturally relevant professional development and mentorship offered by AACTE and its member institutions. Holmes participants are immersed in an identify affirming community of over 200 peers and 800 alumni mentors. AACTE is excited to welcome the 2023-24 Holmes Council officers who will work alongside the association and its stakeholders to implement impactful programming for the Holmes community.

AACTE Expresses Support for President Biden’s Budget

AACTE expressed its support for President Biden’s fiscal year 2024 budget, which calls for strong investments in education that will help address the critical shortage of educators in our nation’s schools as well as help millions of students achieve their academic dreams. 

The nation faces an unprecedented challenge hiring and retaining well-qualified and diverse educators to lead our classrooms.  This shortage has been exacerbated by the pandemic, stagnant wages, and difficult work environments.  The president’s budget proposal seeks to address many of these challenges.  AACTE urges Congress to fund these priorities at the highest possible levels.

AACTE Weighs in on Parental Bill of Rights

The House Education and Workforce Committee recently approved legislation that would establish a Bill of Rights for parents of elementary and secondary school students.

The legislation, introduced by Rep. Julia Letlow (LA-5), would, among other things, empower parents to inspect books and other teaching materials in schools. While AACTE supports parental involvement in their children’s education, it opposed the legislation, in part, because the legislation would restrict any classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity and expression and would pose an undue burden on educators by creating unnecessary and burdensome reporting requirements on schools.

You’re Invited to the March 16 Listening Session for Colleges of Education 

The U.S. Department of Education is refreshing the National Educational Technology Plan. I am writing to extend this special invitation to participate in a group listening session. The group listening session for teacher education faculty and teacher preparation candidates only will take place on Thursday, March 16 from 1:00 –2:30 p.m. PDT/ 4:00-5:30 p.m. EDT.

To accept this invitation, please complete this confirmation form. Registration is required to participate.

Biden-Harris Administration Proposes 13.6% Increase in Education Funding

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.

On Thursday, the Biden-Harris Administration unveiled their FY2024 budget proposal. Under the request, the Department of Education would receive $90 billion in total discretionary funding — a $10.3 billion or 13.6% increase over the FY 2023 enacted level of funding provided for the Department of Education. In addition to the $90 billion in discretionary spending, the proposal also calls for new mandatory spending requests which include $600 billion over ten years for universal preschool and expanded support for childcare and $96 billion over ten years in new spending to double the maximum Pell grant by 2029, and $90 billion over ten years for a new free community college program. The budget request also includes $578 million in new funding to increase the number of counselors, school psychologists, and other health professionals in schools. This increase is spread among three programs: $428 million split between the School-Based Mental Services and Mental Health Services Professional Demonstration programs and $150 million within FIPSE for colleges to address student mental health needs.

Florida House Subcommittee Passes Bill to Ban DEI Programs and Certain Majors at State Universities

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 Monday, lawmakers on the Florida state House Postsecondary Education and Workforce Subcommittee passed FL HB999 (23R) — a wide ranging legislation that would introduce a number of new policies for the state university system across Florida. These policies include but are not limited to eliminating majors or minors that touch on subjects such as critical race theory and “radical” feminist or gender theories. The proposal would also prohibit universities and colleges from spending or accepting funds — from the state, feds, or elsewhere — on programs linked to diversity, equity and inclusion and critical race theory.

#AACTE23 Attendees go Viral on Social Media

The 2023 Annual Meeting has passed, and AACTE would like to thank attendees for sharing their experiences on social media platforms like TwitterInstagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, using the #AACTE23 hashtag during the 3-day conference.  

Thanks to attendees who went viral with their posts and photos, the 75th Annual Meeting gained a significant amount of awareness across social media with more than 1200 conversations taking place. In addition, these numerous posts, reposts, likes, and comments, brought increased attention to the many ways members are revolutionizing education, advocating for educator preparation and elevating the teaching profession.

NMU Collaborative Project Receives NAFSCE Grant

Northern Michigan University education assistant professor Kristen White is among collaborators from 10 partner universities and K12s — including Marquette Area Public Schools — to receive an award from the National Association for Family, School and Community Engagement (NAFSCE) to participate in its Family Engagement Educator Preparation Innovation Project. Only nine collaboratives were selected from a nationwide pool of 76 proposals to receive grants totaling more than $150,000. 

The nine collaboratives will implement select components of the Educator Preparation Framework for Family and Community Partnerships, released by NAFSCE in December 2022, and engage in a learning community through June 2023. The grants will incubate new ideas, uncover how the framework sparks innovation to prepare educators for family and community engagement in diverse communities, and create a platform to share and disseminate ideas and knowledge.

N.C. A&T’s Taliaferro Receives National Award Using Data to Ensure Teacher Readiness

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s Alisa Taliaferro, Ed.D. recently received the prestigious 2022 Ed-Fi Alliance Educator Interoperability Leader of the Year Award. The award is one from seven community award categories including Lifetime Achievement, Partner, Technical Contributor, Ambassador, Solution and Rookie of the Year. 

“The impact of data interoperability is powerful in that it empowers agency among stakeholders such as students, faculty and administrators by providing them with real-time, accurate and actionable information from multiple sources and well-connected data systems,” said Taliaferro, associate dean of Quality Assurance and Graduate Programs in the College of Education.

NJACTE to Host Annual Day of Assessment

On Thursday, March 30, the New Jersey Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NJACTE) will be hosting our Annual Day of Assessment with the theme, “Authenticity and Improvement: Reimagining Assessment in a Changing Landscape.” The conference is free to attend and open to all AACTE affiliate members and their professional networks. Register now.

A Pre-Conference Session “8 Approaches to Transform Your Self Study into Meaningful Reflections” by our generous sponsor HelioCampus will begin at 1:00 p.m. The pre-conference session will be followed by the opening presentation “Assessment and Continuous Improvement: We’re Doing Everything Right, But Are We Doing the Right Things?” with panelists from The College of New Jersey and Rutgers University – New Brunswick.

National Teaching Grant to Boost Diversity

Sam Houston State University was one of 12 Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to receive a portion of the U.S. Department of Education’s Augustus F. Hawkins Centers for Excellence Program grants, which aim to increase high-quality teacher preparation programs for teachers of color, strengthen the diversity of the teacher pipeline and address teacher shortages.

The program supports comprehensive, high-quality teacher preparation programs at MSIs, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs). SHSU is categorized within MSI as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI).

In the States: Massive Education Bill Moves Through Arkansas State Legislature

Last week, a massive education bill started to move its way through the Arkansas state legislature. It is likely that the bill will pass through the state Senate this week before heading to Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders desk for signature. The robust legislative package, SB294, otherwise known as Arkansas LEARNS has been touted by the governor as addressing a vast array of education issues ranging from school choice to increasing the starting salary for teachers across the state. While many school choice advocates are supporting the bill, going so far as to provide the financial backing for an extensive public relations campaign that includes television and Facebook ads, the legislation does not come without criticism. Arkansas minority whip, Democrat Rep. Vivian Flowers expressed her concern, saying:

House Republicans Introduce ‘Parent Bill of Rights’ … Again

In February, the House Education and Workforce Committee held their first hearing: “American Education in Crisis.” During the chairwoman’s opening remarks, Virginia Foxx (R-NC)  expressed her support for H.R.5 , more commonly referred to as “The Parent Bill of Rights.” The legislation was first introduced in the 117th Congress and 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, the ability to opt their child out of all data collection, and more. As anticipated, on Wednesday, House Republicans reintroduced the bill.