Archive for September, 2023

Join us in Denver for #AACTE2024

Join AACTE at the 2024 Annual Meeting at the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, February 16 – 18, where you will experience a lineup of quality programming and a host hotel that showcases Colorado’s alpine charm.

With topics for every member of the educator preparation community — students, faculty, leaders, K-12 administrators and staff, and education partners — the AACTE Annual Meeting will advances your skills and knowledge to propel the profession into the future. AACTE encourages you to register early, by November 1, to get the best rate.

In Oklahoma: Substitute Teacher Shortage Impacts Instruction

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.

Seventy-three percent of school districts across the state of Oklahoma report they anticipate a shortage of substitute teachers will impact their capacity to deliver instruction this school year.

“As long as there’s a teacher shortage, there’s going to be a substitute shortage, as well,” said Aaron Espolt, superintendent of Shawnee Public Schools said in a recent interview.

Currently, pay at the largest Oklahoma City-area districts ranges between $85-$125 per day for substitutes with a teaching license and $70-$110 for those who are uncertified. Yet, many substitute teachers say this pay rate is not sustainable, particularly when other hourly jobs in the area offer higher wages. 

Rather than paying more, some school districts face the possibility of cutting their substitute pay. Putnam City and Oklahoma City schools both increased their daily rates for substitutes with federal COVID-19 relief money — funding that will expire next year. It is reported that all of Oklahoma City Public Schools’ (OKCPS) substitute pay comes from pandemic relief dollars. District administrators have not decided what rate their schools will pay next year.

Possible Government Shutdown and Attack on Educator Workforce 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.

The alarm bells are beginning to sound in the nation’s capital as Washington D.C. lawmakers and federal employees prepare for a possible government shutdown.

Since Monday, House Republicans have postponed a vote on their proposed continuing resolution (CR) that would have extended government funding for one month but with an 8% cut to non-defense discretionary (NDD) funding, which includes education funding. The bill did not have enough support to pass after all Democrats opposed it and some Republicans sought deeper spending cuts.

The Republican House bill would slash education funding by nearly $64 billion or 28%. In a letter to House leadership, the Coalition for Teaching Quality described the bill as a direct attack on the educator workforce that will harm professionals at all levels, impacting students, families, and communities.

Whether the government shuts down after next Saturday, feedback to lawmakers on the importance of education funding is critical.

Virtual State Leaders Institute Convenes EPPs to Address State Policy Challenges

Following up on the highly successful inaugural event last year, AACTE and the Advisory Council of State Representatives (ACSR) are once again sponsoring a highly interactive Virtual State Leaders Institute on Wednesday, November 1 from 12 pm to 5 p.m. ET.

With a low registration fee of $50 per person ($65 for non-AACTE members), anyone active in a state affiliate organization can attend to hear the latest on key state policy issues, connect with and learn from colleagues around the country, and build capacity to advocate on behalf of high-quality educator preparation. 

My Student Experience: Holmes Scholars Program Creates Opportunities for Mentorship, Collaboration

This article was originally published by NC State University College of Education News.

When Amelia Rivera learned NC State’s College of Education was launching a chapter of the American Association of College and Teacher Education’s Holmes Scholars Program, she jumped at the opportunity to join. 

“Once we got in the first meeting, I was like, ‘OK, I’m sold,’” said Rivera, who is pursuing her Ph.D. in the Teacher Education and Learning Sciences educational equity concentration. “This is where I’m supposed to be.”

The Holmes Scholars Program recruits, prepares and sustains scholar-leader students who reflect and understand the implications of diverse perspectives in the nation’s learning communities. Students in the program receive mentorship, peer support and professional development opportunities.

Opinion: Educators Must Be on the Frontline of Social Activism

This story was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news outlet focused on education and is reprinted with permission.

In the last few years, the American education system has been bludgeoned by changes that have upended decades of progress toward better academic, economic and social outcomes for all.

Politicians around the country have been aiming to demolish progressive policies by targeting teaching about race and ethnicity, the LGBTQIA+ community and women’s reproductive rights. Calls for book banning and censorship have become common. These dangerous culture wars will wreak havoc on education and education policy for years to come.

As a teacher and school-based leader, I always understood the necessity of advocating for students and helping them navigate life, and I tried to help other teachers change the trajectory of many lives.

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

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.

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.