Archive for July, 2023

Florida Organizations Oppose State’s Efforts to Rewrite History of the Black Experience

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, education officials in Florida approved new standards for teaching African American history. The standards are being considered by many as an effort to “purposefully omit or rewrite key historical facts about the Black experience.” Embedded within the standards is instruction on “how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit” and lessons that touch on acts of violence perpetrated “against and by” African Americans. Additionally, Black history lessons for younger students require students to only recognize Black investors and artists. A Florida teacher who expressed concerns surrounding students only having to recognize such individuals saying, “As a teacher, we focus on the verb in the standards, and these are the lowest level of cognitive rigor.”

The Florida Education Association submitted a letter in opposition of the standards to the Florida Board of Education, saying in part:

“Today — in the year 2023, we stand as a diverse coalition demanding you adhere to the law and adopt standards that require the instruction of history, culture, experiences, and contributions of African Americans in the state’s K-12 curriculum as directed in FS 1003.42. We owe the next generation of scholars the opportunity to know the full unvarnished history of this state and country and all who contributed to it — good and bad.”

The new standards are backed unanimously by the state Board of Education and encompass the “anti-woke” policies touted by Republican Governor and Presidential Candidate Ron Desantis.

Submit an Annual Meeting Proposal by August 4

As the deadline for 2024 Annual Meeting proposals approaches, AACTE invites diverse voices from both the higher education and PK-12 communities to submit a proposal for consideration in the 2024 Annual Meeting program. AACTE strongly encourages doctoral students pursuing an Ed.D. or Ph.D. to share their perspective on addressing current issues and providing innovative ways to approach that which has yet to be considered in educator preparation.

Individuals from all educational fields are invited to bring their research and practice to the Annual Meeting that aligns with this year’s theme: Ascending New Height: Propelling the Profession into the Future. 

Holmes Program Receives Funding to Support Future Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education Faculty and Leaders

AACTE is excited to announce a new partnership with the Early Childhood Intervention Personnel Center on Equity (ECIPCE), a national center federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs to assist states in building comprehensive systems of personnel development to improve outcomes for infants and young children with disabilities and their families. ECIPCE has awarded AACTE a 5-year sub-award to support a cohort of 12 Holmes Scholars pursuing doctorates in early childhood and early childhood special education.

More early childhood leaders and practitioners with the requisite skills and knowledge are required to meet the needs of children aged birth – 5 years old.  This partnership will directly address this issue, in part, by providing targeted mentorship, professional development, and financial support to doctoral students of color pursuing a Ph.D. or an Ed.D. in early childhood and early childhood special education.

Democrats Oppose the FY2024 Labor HHS-Education 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.

There is a flurry of activity on Capitol Hill as Members race towards the August recess. This week, Democrats in the House pushed back on the House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee’s proposed draconian cuts to education funding. Your voices and advocacy efforts are needed more now perhaps than ever before.

Democrats Hold a Virtual Press Conference Opposing the FY2024 Labor HHS- Education Bill

On Friday, Democrats issued a press release and held a virtual press conference opposing the FY2024 Labor HHS- Education Bill. As you will recall, the bill puts forth an overall cut to the Department of Education of $22.1 billion or a 28% decrease compared to the current FY2023 enacted levels. The bill also seeks to use policy riders as a means to block a number of Biden Administration proposals surrounding education and student debt relief.

Kaine and Collins Introduce Bill to Address Teacher and Principal Shortages

U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Susan Collins (R-ME), members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, reintroduced the Preparing and Retaining Education Professionals (PREP) Act, bipartisan legislation to address teacher and principal shortages, particularly in rural communities, and increase teacher diversity. This legislation would help ensure that there are enough teachers and principals with the right skills and tools to prepare students for the future.

“Our nation’s educators are critical to ensuring students’ success, which is why I’m committed to finding solutions to address teacher and principal shortages in Virginia and across the country,” said Kaine. “I’m proud to reintroduce this bipartisan bill to expand teacher training programs and help boost diversity among the teacher workforce.”

“Teacher and principal shortages at schools across the country, particularly in rural areas in the State of Maine, impede our students’ ability to reach their full potential,” said Collins. “This bipartisan bill would increase access to high-quality teacher and leader training programs and extend federal support for recruiting well-prepared educators for areas affected by teacher shortages.”

Georgia Power Foundation Grant to UNG Boosts Teacher Prep

The Georgia Power Foundation Inc. has awarded UNG a $100,000 grant for its partnerships with the Hall County and Gainesville school systems to grow and diversify the teacher pipeline. Glennis Barnes, Gainesville area manager for Georgia Power, presented the check to Lauren Johnson, assistant dean of UNG’s College of Education; Sheri Hardee, dean of the College of Education; Steven Smith, vice president of regional campuses; and some of UNG’s College of Education students.

The University of North Georgia’s (UNG) Grow-Your-Own partnerships with Hall County Schools and Gainesville City Schools to expand and diversify the teacher pipeline have received a sizable infusion of funding to support these future educators.

The grant was funded by the Georgia Power Foundation’s Teachers for Georgia signature program — a program established to recruit and retain more male educators of color throughout Georgia.

“Georgia Power Foundation’s investment will ensure that students will have the necessary tools at their disposal to successfully complete their degree in education through the Grow-Your-Own program,” Glennis Barnes, Gainesville area manager for Georgia Power, said. “Since the launch of Teachers for Georgia in 2020, the Foundation has invested over $1 million to support programs and educational institutions working toward this cause here in North Georgia and across the state.”

The Realizing Inspiring and Successful Educators Undergraduate Program (RISE UP) launched in Fall 2017 with Hall County Schools supports heritage Spanish-speaking graduates of Hall high schools through UNG’s teacher education programs. The school district covers students’ tuition, fees, and assessment costs while UNG provides participants targeted advising and opportunities for peer support. Students serve as paraprofessionals within the school district while they are students at UNG and have a teaching job upon graduation.

AACTE Provides Washington Week Attendees with Resources to Stay Engaged with Policymakers

On behalf of AACTE, I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude to those who attended the recent policy and advocacy event in Washington, D.C. Your presence and active participation made it a resounding success, and I’m thrilled that we had the opportunity to discuss and advocate for programs that strengthen and expand the education workforce.  Additionally, please take a moment to watch the brief video from AACTE’s President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone. She encourages us to stay connected so that we can remain active and engaged in the work of advocating for educator preparation.

AACTE Co-Hosts Congressional Briefing on Educator Preparation

TheStrengthening Educator Preparation: Addressing Needs and Exploring Innovative Solutions” congressional briefing organized by AACTE, University of Northern Iowa (UNI), and American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), took place today, Tuesday, July 18, on Capitol Hill. The briefing brought together a group of university presidents and deans, all AACTE members, from around the country for a candid conversation on issues impacting educator preparation and innovative solutions. 

The issue summary provided to briefing participants stated, “the educational profession is in crisis.” The summary outlined the following four legislative actions necessary to address the crisis:

  1. Removing financial barriers to entering the education profession
  2. Updating and expanding the Teacher Quality Partnership Grant Program
  3. Reauthorizing the Augustus F. Hawkins Centers of Excellence Program
  4. Increasing Capacity of Educator Preparation Programs

Last Call: Apply to Become a Reviewer by July 21

AACTE invites you to step into a more influential role and help shape the content at the 2024 Annual Meeting. The deadline is fast approaching. Apply to be a reviewer by July 21. 

By becoming a reviewer of Annual Meeting proposals in this highly selective process, your service to the field will be celebrated and shared with peers and educational leaders.

  • Sharpen your skills: Stay at the forefront of educational innovation and enhance the quality of your writing, teaching, and research.
  • Bolster your portfolio: Acquire service to enhance your assessment for tenure and promotion by demonstrating your commitment to advancing the field.
  • Increase your influence: Receive a certificate of appreciation, highlighting your expertise and dedication to the field.

Service as a reviewer of Annual Meeting proposals is open to doctoral students and faculty.  And don’t forget, you can still submit an Annual Meeting proposal, even while serving as a reviewer.

Call for Entries: 2024 James D. Anderson Outstanding Dissertation Award

Have you or do you know someone who recently completed a doctoral dissertation related to educator preparation? Now is the time to submit entries for the AACTE 2024 James D. Anderson Outstanding Dissertation Award. The deadline for submission is July 28.

This award recognizes excellence in doctoral dissertation research (or its equivalent) that contributes to the knowledge base of educator preparation or of teaching and learning with implications for educator preparation.

Overseen by AACTE’s Committee on Research and Dissemination, the award includes a $1,000 cash prize as well as special recognition at AACTE’s Annual Meeting in Aurora/Denver, CO, February 16 – 18, 2024.

The Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact Is Now in Effect. Here’s What That Means

It’s about to get much easier for some teachers to keep teaching after moving across state lines.

Ten states have signed on to the Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact this spring — the benchmark needed for the agreement to become active. Now, a teacher who has a bachelor’s degree, completed a state-approved program for teacher licensure, and has a full teaching license can receive an equivalent license from participating states.

That means they can teach in another state without having to submit additional materials, take state-specific exams, or complete additional coursework.

Read the full article in EdWeek.

AACTE is one of the organizations that contributed to the development process for the Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact.

For more information, read the recent press release issued by The Council of State Governments (CSG).

AACTE is one of the organizations that contributed to the development process for the Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact.
For more information, read the recent press release issued by The Council of State Governments (CSG).

Wisconsin School District Responds to Gender Identity Harassment

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 Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced that the Rhinelander School District in Rhinelander, Wisconsin entered into an agreement to ensure compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 when responding to harassment based on gender identity.

The investigation by OCR found that during the 2021-22 school year, a nonbinary student and their parent reported to the district that students repeatedly mocked and targeted the student during multiple classes, while multiple teachers repeatedly used incorrect pronouns for the student and one teacher removed the student from class on the ground that the teacher could not protect the student from harassment by the other students.

House Republicans Propose a 15% Cut in Funding for Department of 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.

On Thursday, House Republicans released their FY2024 Labor HHS Education Appropriations bill. The bill provides $67.4 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Education — a 15% cut. However, when taking into account the additional $10 billion of existing K-12 funding that was rescinded as part of the bill — the overall cut comes to $22.1 billion or a 28% decrease compared to the current FY2023 enacted levels. The bill also seeks to use policy riders as a means to block a number of Biden Administration proposals surrounding education and student debt relief. We won’t have a complete line by line breakdown until the bill goes to a full committee mark up, but as it currently stands the only seeming increase for the Department of Education goes to Charter Schools with a $10 million increase. The bill freezes funding for special education programs, Impact Aid, career technical and adult education, and the maximum Pell grant at the current level of $7,395.

UNM Special Education Department Celebrates Program Milestone

Ten years and 55 graduates later, UNM is responding to a critical need for Board Certified Behavior Analysts.

Copeland teaches class for ABA certificate.

This article was originally published by The University of New Mexico Newsroom

UNM’s Department of Special Education, in the College of Education & Human Sciences (COEHS) is filling a critical need in New Mexico.

Now with its 55th graduate, the Graduate Certificate Program in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)  is creating Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) for the state. It’s a proper milestone for a program which just hit its 10th anniversary.

“It makes me feel really excited. Depending on which statistics you’re looking at, we have been identified as a state where sometimes there are no behavioral health providers in an entire county, so for us to have prepared these individuals who are now providing this critical service for children and families just really warms my heart,” Special Education Department Professor Susan Copeland said.

Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) are responsible for teaching, instruction and behavioral support to individuals with developmental disabilities. While many focus on autism spectrum disorder, the field covers children and adults who have intellectual disabilities or emotional behavior disturbances.

Teacher Mentorship Collaborative Offers Support, Resources to New Teachers

This article was originally published by the University of Houston — Clear Lake Newsroom

Teaching is a tough job. So tough that the Texas Associate of School Boards reports that about half public school teachers nationally have seriously considered leaving the profession within their first five years of teaching. Although many teachers cite low pay and underfunding as a main source of frustration, TASB says that about 62% consider a different profession because as teachers, they feel undervalued and unsupported.

University of Houston-Clear Lake professors in the College of Education have a plan to address the shortage of teachers in local school districts. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, they came up with the idea to create a mentoring collaborative with the aim of setting up a progressive, responsive approach to mentoring new teachers.

“We have ideals and values that we want to embrace through this collaborative, such as communication and continuity,” said Associate Professor of Special Education Elizabeth Beavers. “We were experimenting with what we wanted mentoring to look like. From the beginning, we wanted to do something so students could stay connected with faculty after leaving.”