Archive for September, 2023

Take a Seat at the Table: The Role of EPPS in Teacher Apprenticeship Programs

Educator preparation programs (EPPs) have an opportunity to strengthen existing district partnerships and lead the way in co-designing teacher Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs), including the launch, operation, and continuous improvement of programs. EPPs should be at the table as states, districts, and other partners establish these mutually beneficial partnerships and subsequent teacher RAPs by offering options and informing how the classroom training, related instruction, and hands-on experience are fulfilled.

The American Institutes for Research (AIR) Center on Great Teachers and Leaders is partnering with AACTE, the CEEDAR Center, and InnovateEDU to host a webinar that will expand upon the report, Take a Seat at the Table: The Role of Educator Preparation Programs in Teacher Apprenticeship Programs. In the webinar, we will provide concrete strategies and examples of the role that EPPs can play in teacher RAPs, drawing on National Guideline Standards that were developed by the Pathways Alliance and recently published by the U.S. Department of Labor. Leaders from Ball State University and Missouri State University will share their experiences with designing, implementing, and funding teacher Thwacks. 

The Take a Seat at the Table: The Role of EPPS in Teacher Apprenticeship Programs webinar will take place Wednesday, October 11, 2:00 – 3:00 pm. ET. To join this webinar, please complete the registration form. Participation in the webinar is free, and additional colleagues are welcome.


•            Lynn Holdheide, AIR, CEEDAR Center, and Center on Great Teachers and Leaders
•            Weadé James, AACTE
•            Sabrina Baptiste, InnovateEDU
•            Reesha Adamson, Missouri State University
•            Susan M. Tancock, Ball State University
•            Carrie Lively, The Pursuit Institute

AACTE Invites You to ‘Lunch with Lynn’

You are invited to join AACTE for its inaugural “Lunch with Lynn” conversation. Hosted by AACTE President & CEO Lynn M. Gangone, this monthly series of virtual conversations will include members of the educator preparation community.  

For the first session, AACTE’s Dean in Residence, Leslie T. Fenwick, will join Lynn to discuss the editorial “75 Years of Transforming Teacher Education,” which they coauthored earlier this year for the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE). In celebrating the Association’s 75th anniversary, their dialogue will focus on AACTE’s historic support of educators and the imperative of learning from those efforts moving forward. AACTE members can access the article on the JTE site. 

Following Lynn and Leslie’s conversation, participants will be invited to join in the discussion and ask questions. The first session is scheduled for Wednesday, September 27 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Register today for the Lunch with Lynn – 75th Anniversary Edition.


Southeast Missouri State University Again Named Apple Distinguished School

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) 2022 Best Practice Award for Innovative Use of Technology winner Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO)’s College of Education, Health, and Human Studies was recently designated as an Apple Distinguished School.

A designation the college has held since 2014, SEMO’s College of Education, Health, and Human Studies holds this distinction through 2025. The college received this honor for its integration of technology through the university’s EDvolution Center, a space on campus dedicated to innovation and emerging technology.

At the EDvolution Center, students can experience the Virtual Reality Room, utilize the podcasting booth, and collaborate with others using mediascapes, so they may use and share these and other technological tools with their students in their own classrooms. Through their work in assisting students in solving contextual problems in meaningful ways utilizing technology, the EDvolution Center and the EDvolution Model, a research-based model focusing on effective and appropriate technology integration received the AACTE 2022 Best Practice Award for the Innovative Use of Technology.

“We are extremely proud to earn this prestigious distinction for an additional three years,” said Joe Pujol, dean of the College of Education, Health, and Human Studies. “The selection of Southeast as an Apple Distinguished School highlights our success as an innovator and a compelling learning environment that engages students and provides tangible evidence of academic achievement.”

 Washington Update: AI, Appropriations, and Accelerating Academic Success

As expected, it was another busy week in our nation’s capital with agenda items ranging from appropriations to artificial intelligence. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) held a forum on artificial intelligence (AI) for members of the upper chamber with c-suite tech giants like Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates joining to offer insights into the rapidly developing technology.

As you will recall, last week Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), ranking member on the HELP Committee, released a white paper on AI and a request for comment from stakeholders. Expect artificial intelligence to continue to be a topic of conversation on the Hill as members grapple with the role of Congress in regulating this ever-changing technology.

The House Education and Workforce Committee marked-up and approved a slate of bills and resolutions including one that would block the new income-driven repayment plan known as Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE), (H.J. Res. 88). Another measure (H.R. 4259) would require schools or state education agencies to notify a parent who has a child with a disability that they have a right to bring an advocate or personnel to individualized education program meetings. It is a bipartisan bill with Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-NY) leading the bill and Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) co-sponsoring.

The number of legislative days remaining for Congress to pass a FY2024 budget or a continuing resolution to keep the government open, funded, and avoid a shutdown continues to dwindle.

In North Carolina: OCR Resolves Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Investigation of Nash County Public Schools

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced Nash County Public Schools in North Carolina entered into a resolution agreement to ensure compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 with respect to responding to reports of sexual harassment and when enforcing its dress code.

The complaint alleged that during the first week of the 2022-23 school year, an individual posted on social media an anonymous threat of sexual violence against freshman girls at a district high school and that the district was aware of the posting but did not respond consistent with Title IX. Additionally, OCR’s investigation discovered the school held an assembly only for girls, without holding an assembly for boys, to address dress code compliance. During that assembly, the district communicated to the girls that they were “opening the door” to harassment with their manner of dress and then “wonder why they [boys] disrespect you.”

National Education Policy Center Reviews NCTQ Report

A recent report from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) evaluates more than half of the elementary teacher preparation programs in the United States, to gauge their effectiveness in reading instruction. A review by the National Education Policy Center finds, however, that the report lacks the rigor necessary to adequately inform policy or practice.

Paul Thomas of Furman University reviewed Teacher Prep Review: Strengthening Elementary Reading Instruction, and found it to repeat the patterns made in previous NCTQ advocacy reports, including cherry-picked citations, a failure to distinguish between scientific and non-scientific evidence, and misrepresentation and exaggeration of the research base.

The report claims to identify how well candidates are prepared to teach elementary reading based on NCTQ’s Reading Foundations standards for scientifically based reading practices. The evaluation, drawn simply from analyzing course syllabi and materials, concludes that “[only] 25% of programs adequately address all five core components of reading instruction.” Further, it outlines model programs and recommended actions for teacher preparation programs, state leaders, school districts, advocates, teachers, and parents.

College of Education and Health Professions Team Earns Grant to Start Razorback STARS Project

College of Education and Health Professions faculty and Decatur School District officials met recently to discuss their new partnership. From left, Matt Boeving, Steve Watkins, Christy Smith, Jennifer Beasley, Christine Ralston, Kevin Matthews, and Ederlee Gomez.

A faculty team in the College of Education and Health Professions was awarded a $525,013 Teacher Quality Partnership grant from the U.S. Department of Education that will help produce a pipeline of teachers in small, rural Northwest Arkansas schools.

The team is based in the college’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction, which prepares students for various careers in education. The grant team is led by Christine Ralston, a teaching associate professor, who is working closely with co-principal investigators Jennifer Beasley, Vicki Collet, and Christy Smith.

Collet will provide support for mentoring, and Smith will provide support for co-teaching, which are both pivotal to the Razorback STARS project.

2024 Annual Meeting Early Bird Registration Now Open

AACTE invites you to register early for its 2024 Annual Meeting in Denver, CO, February 16 – 18. Say “yes!” and receive the best value for the premier educator preparation conference in the nation. In alignment with this year’s theme, “Ascending New Heights: Propelling the Profession into the Future,” you will be immersed in three days of specialty content — both research and practice — to become better equipped to drive change in the educator preparation field.

Anti-DEI and the Future of Higher Education

This article was reprinted with permission from Diverse: Issues In Higher Education.

The recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that affirmative action in college admission decisions was unconstitutional sent shock waves throughout the higher education community. Many institutions seeking to balance the racial composition of their student bodies are left to wonder about the next steps. Seen as a victory for some who view themselves as a new unprotected class, the ruling represents a setback for others who have experienced marginalization based on their race. Yet leading up to the federal ruling, a string of state legislative actions — each seeking to hobble or even decimate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) activities and programming on university campuses — provides a telling story of a divided national mindset.

Coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic, the ruthless death of George Floyd and many other African Americans who suffered police brutality ushered in cries for racial justice that reverberated across all sectors of society. Higher education quickly doubled down on its DEI commitment, reaffirming the importance of safe learning spaces for marginalized and underrepresented groups. At the same time, former President Trump’s executive order promulgated opposition for a racialized and sexualized America. The order sought to disavow and exterminate any notions of historical or contemporary racism and sexism in the foundation and fabric of the American Republic.

K-State College of Education, Hutchinson Community College Develop Teacher Pathway Program for Area Students

Kansas State University’s College of Education and Hutchinson Community College have begun a partnership that paves a seamless pathway for area students to earn a bachelor’s degree in education online while remaining in their home communities.

This pathway program begins in high school, where students chart their journeys to becoming teachers and take dual credit courses through Hutchinson Community College. As they progress through the community college phase, students will be provided with comprehensive guidance to ensure a smooth transition to K-State Online and field experiences in their local schools. 

The innovative online platform allows aspiring educators — both traditional and non-traditional students — to balance their studies with other commitments while benefiting from the expertise of distinguished faculty members and advanced educational resources.

In the States: Teacher Vacancies, Canceled Classes, and Long-Term Substitutes

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 month, the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada — the nation’s fifth-largest school district —was forced to cancel classes at two elementary schools due to teacher vacancies. Currently, Clark County has upwards of 1,100 teacher vacancies; however, that number nearly doubles when you account for positions being filled by substitute teachers, many of whom are often un or underqualified for the role.

Additional disruptions to the academic year occurred the Friday before Labor Day when another elementary school was forced to cancel classes due to a high volume of teachers calling in sick leading to staffing concerns. Similarly, a Las Vegas middle school reported combining classes due to the lack of personnel.

Washington Update: The Senate Returns

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.

The Senate returned on Tuesday from August recess and all eyes quickly turned to appropriations. Members in the House return this coming Tuesday and there will already be a full agenda of action to both enact a necessary extension of government funding to start on October 1 and avoid a government shutdown (otherwise known as a continuing resolution) and passing FY 2024 government funding bills. With only three weeks remaining until the end of the fiscal year this will certainly be a busy and stressful time in Washington. Although Congress has been on recess for the past month, the work in DC doesn’t stop — a lot has happened since our last update. Let’s dive in.

Ranking Member Cassidy Releases Report on the Legislative Role of Congress as it relates to Artificial Intelligence

On Wednesday, Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee released a white paper, Exploring Congress’ Framework for the Future of AI: The Oversight and Legislative Role of Congress Over the Integration of Artificial Intelligence in Health, Education, and Labor. The paper examines the benefits and risks of artificial intelligence (AI) and how Congress should regulate the technology. The report ends with a call for stakeholder input on “ways to improve the framework in which these technologies are developed, reviewed, and used” by submitting comments to by September 22. Read the white paper in its entirety.

New Guide Seeks to Help Districts Keep Their Principal Pipelines Up and Running

The Wallace Foundation’s Knowledge Center for School Leadership has released a new Principal Sustainability Guide. The guide, developed by Policy Studies Associates (PSA), explains what it takes to sustain an effective principal pipeline and provides districts with tools to assess the strength of their pipelines and sustain their efforts for long-term benefits. Partnerships are one of the six key elements for sustainability outlined in the guide.

Last year, AACTE covered the partnership dynamics between principal preparation programs and districts throughout its University Principal Preparation Initiative Podcast. The podcast sheds light on how programs can work with districts to ensure high-quality principal preparation responsive to the district’s needs. The Principal Sustainability Guide dives into high-quality preservice principal preparation and the six other domains comprising a comprehensive, aligned principal pipeline strategy. AACTE encourages members to explore and share the guide with your district and community partners. AACTE and the Wallace Knowledge Center for School Leadership have a wealth of resources for preparation programs that cover various topics beyond district partnerships.

If you are interested in working with AACTE’s Topical Action Group for Principal Preparation and Support, please contact me at

AACTE Launches Lunch and Learn Professional Development Series

AACTE is pleased to offer Lunch and Learns, new professional development opportunities for members.  These 30-minute sessions are designed to provide you with an immediate tool or strategy that you can immediately apply to your work. You can’t make it virtually? All Lunch and Learns will be available on-demand just for AACTE members. Watch them during your lunch break or whenever it is convenient for you.

AACTE will kick off its new Lunch and Learn Series on Tuesday, September 26 from 3:00 -3:30 p.m. ET with Building Partnerships to Address the Educator Shortage in California. Karen Escalante (California State University San Bernadino) will teach us about the partnership developed between the Riverside County Office of Education and California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB), a Hispanic and minority-serving institution. The mission of this partnership is to support teacher candidates into, through, and beyond teacher induction.

In the States: A Virginia High School Uses Online Teaching Program Due to Shortage

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, local news media outlets reported that more than 600 students at Chancellor High School in Spotsylvania County, Virginia are taking math and English courses using the online platform, Edgenuity, as the district grapples with vacant teaching positions.

In an email sent to parents just before the end of the first week of classes for students, Principal Abe Jeffers outlined the problem: “At Chancellor, we have over 600 of our students taking math and English courses using the program due to three math vacancies and English vacancies.” Jeffers explained the school has filled one vacant English position and has an interview scheduled with another candidate. “… However, we have had no applicants to fill our three math positions, thus we’re forced to have our students use the teaching program Edgenuity, supervised by a substitute teacher, to learn math.”

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