Archive for April, 2023

In the States: Texas State Senate Approves Anti-DEI Bill

The “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.

Last week, the Texas State Senate approved a bill that would largely restrict how the state’s public universities can promote equitable access to higher education and cultivate diversity among students, faculty and staff. The bill, SB17, would require universities to close their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) offices; ban any mandatory training surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion; and eliminate the completion of diversity statements as part of the hiring process.

Cardona Urges Lawmakers to Support Department of Education’s FY24 Budget Request Amidst Proposed Debt Limit Bill

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.

To say it was a busy week following the spring recess would be an understatement. The House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee held their Budget Hearing on the FY24 request for the Department of Education, Speaker McCarthy released his Debt Limit Proposal calling for a roll back to the FY22 funding levels — a nearly 22% cut in funding to non-defense discretionary programs, House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education held a hearing on school choice and vouchers, and the house passed a GOP-led bill that would ban transgender athletes from women’s and girls’ sports at federally funded schools and educational institutions.

I cannot overstate this — now is the time to get to the table. We need you to help lawmakers understand what these proposed cuts could mean for education. Stay tuned for more direct next steps, but in the meantime don’t forget to respond to action alerts  and to follow up with Member offices who you have relationships with.

Educational Technology and the Pre-K-12 Environment: Implications for Education Leaders, Teachers, and Students

Author Neil Grimes of William Paterson University shares an excerpt from an open access chapter, “Educational Technology and the Pre-K-12 Environment: Implications for Education Leaders,” Teachers, and Students. The implications in this chapter include the impact that educational technology had on education during remote teaching during COVID-19 and the impact it will continue to have on Pre-K-12 education in the post-COVID-19 era.

Educational technology has accelerated in recent years, and it has had a profound impact on current teaching and learning in the Pre-K-12 environment. In future years, advancement and innovation in technology will continue to empower teachers to customize students’ learning experiences. To accomplish this, teachers will need ongoing professional development, which includes engaging in learning activities associated with technology play theory that focuses on educational technology and technology integration involving the technology integration planning cycle. This article will discuss the impact of content neutral technologies on pre-K-12 grade levels and content areas, the use of educational technologies used in remote instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of TPACK, the importance of creating a sense of belonging in the online learning environment, the need for teachers to pursue micro-credentials related to digital learning, and the impact that virtual reality, augmented reality, the metaverse and artificial intelligence can have on teachers, administrators, and students. Governments, schools, and families increasingly value technology as a central part of the education process and invest accordingly. Technological innovation over the past two decades has forever altered today’s education landscape. ICT and content-neutral technologies will continue to empower Pre-K-12 teachers to change the way they teach their students in the 21st Century. Teachers and students in high needs schools will continue to need the greatest support to implement and use the latest ed-tech tools.

To Be Seen and Valued: Strategies to Affirm and Support Arab American Students’ Cultural Identities

The authors of this article write from a positionality as Black women teacher-educators who value the cultural identities K-12 students bring into the learning space. As such, they prepare teacher-candidates to value, respect, and include the cultural identities and experiences of students. Much of teacher-candidates’ preparation includes modeled teaching and learning practices infused throughout their courses.

Teachers are often looked upon to develop and sustain classroom spaces that include and value the cultural identities and experiences of students. However, many teachers do not share similar cultural identities and experiences with their students. Muhammad suggests, “youth need opportunities in school to explore multiple facets of selfhood, but also to learn about the identities of others who may differ (Muhammad, 2020, p. 67).

Adriana C. Labarta Named April Holmes Scholar of the Month

Congratulations to Adriana C. Labarta, Holmes Scholar of the Month for April 2023. In 2021, Labarta was awarded the grand prize for the Tomorrow’s Counselor Essay Contest and was recognized as Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year in the Department of Counselor Education. Florida Atlantic University. Additionally, she has been recognized from 2020-2022 as a Southern Association of Counselor Education and Supervision (SACES) Emerging Leader.

Labarta completed her M.Ed and Ed.S. in  Counselor Education with a specialization in Mental Health Counseling from University of Florida. She received her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida.

Oklahoma Math Teacher Named 2023 National Teacher of the Year

AACTE is a proud member of the National Teacher of the Year Selection Committee and applauds 2023 National Teacher of the Year Rebecka Peterson’s commitment to the profession and meeting the needs of all students.

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) announced that Rebecka Peterson, a high school math teacher, is the 2023 National Teacher of the Year.

Peterson has taught high school math classes ranging from intermediate algebra to Advanced Placement calculus for 11 years at Union High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A proud immigrant of Swedish-Iranian descent, Peterson is passionate about making mathematics engaging, relevant and accessible to all students, no matter their background.

What to Expect at Washington Week

Support Your Cause and Get Ready to Influence Policy June 4 – 7

AACTE exists to advocate for high-quality and equitable education for all — and works to amplify the voices of its member advocates. Teacher educators, scholars, and other members from colleges and institutions nationwide are invited to attend AACTE’s 2023 Washington Week on June 4 – 7. Under this year’s theme of “Investing in Education,” AACTE’s national advocacy event will inspire attendees to explore some of the most pressing policy issues in educator preparation, such as censorship, educator shortage, and educator diversity.

Register today, and remember to book your hotel by May 24 to receive your special rate.

NCTR’s BEI Releases Education Policy Report to Better Support Black Educators

The National Center for Teacher Residencies’ (NCTR) Black Educators Initiative (BEI) recently released a report focused on state, higher education, and school district recommendations to support the recruitment and preparation of Black educators. 

Informed by the work and impact of NCTR’s BEI-supported teacher residency programs, the report, “Doing Better for Black Educators: Six Policy Recommendations for Improving the Recruitment and Preparation of Black Educators,” provides six policy recommendations and action steps that are meant to help teacher preparation programs, school districts, and states use what BEI grantees are learning in order to improve the recruitment, preparation, and support of Black educators across the country.

AACTE Celebrates Volunteers During #NationalVolunteerWeek

In celebration of National Volunteer Week, AACTE thanks all members who give their time to advance AACTE and its vision to revolutionize education for all learners. AACTE is grateful to those who support the organization in a number of ways:

It does not go unnoticed that volunteering your time, while fulfilling your role at your institution, is a great sacrifice. AACTE not only thanks you but also acknowledges that without your efforts, the organization’s mission and programs could not succeed or move forward.

IUP Receives $1.19 Million to Address Need for STEM High School Teachers

Indiana University of Pennsylvania has been selected to receive $1.19 million from the National Science Foundation through the Noyce Scholarships and Stipends program to help address the critical need for effective Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) teachers in Pennsylvania’s high schools.

Holly Travis, dean’s associate for Educator Preparation in the College of Education and Communications and professor of Biology, is the principal investigator for the multi-year project, which includes collaboration with 12 area school districts and two community colleges.

The project, IUP Crimson Hawks Advance and Retain Great Educators (IUP-CHARGE), will begin in May and continue through April 2028.

Illinois State Receives $800,000 IBHE Grant to Support Teacher Education

Illinois State University was awarded a grant of more than $800,000 by the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) to support the ongoing education of early childhood teachers.  

The funds are part of the $3.37 million awarded in IBHE Early Childhood Faculty Preparation Grants. “The grants will help increase the diversity of faculty in early childhood education in Illinois at a time of great need by expanding the educational pipelines for aspiring early childhood faculty,” said IBHE Executive Director Ginger Ostro, in a news release from the Governor’s Office.

In the States: Preparing for School Board Elections

The “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.

Earlier this month, the Wisconsin Supreme Court and Chicago Mayoral races garnered national attention with some analysts suggesting the results could offer a gauge on voter issues heading into the 2024 Presidential election. However, across both states a slate of races that fell relatively under the radar were the highly contested and politicized school board seats. Roughly 30,000 school board elections will occur in more than two dozen states across the nation this year. National, conservative education groups have backed a number of candidates and have highly emphasized issues surrounding critical race theory, parental choice, and transgender students. Yet, following the April 4 election GOP backed candidates did not fare as well as their supporters had hoped. As reported in Politico, Ryan Girdusky, founder of the conservative 1776 Project political action committee said, “We lost more than we won.”

AACTE President & CEO Discusses Academic Freedom at #SpeechMatters Conference

AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone recently joined other leaders from higher education, politics, media, and civil society in exploring ways for institutions of higher education to protect democratic freedoms during the fifth annual #SpeechMatters conference. Themed “Fighting for our Democratic Freedoms,” the conference was held virtually in March to respond to the increasing number of state legislation aimed at censoring curriculum and democratic values significantly weakened by political polarization and misinformation.