Archive for October, 2023

Final Reminder: State Leaders Institute Starts November 1

AACTE and the Advisory Council of State Representatives (ACSR) invite all who are interested in state policy impacting educator preparation to gather together at the Fall Virtual State Leaders Institute, where you can catch up on the latest information about state policy developments and share advocacy plans, activities, and resources with your colleagues from around the country. 

The low registration fee of $50 per person ($65 for AACTE non-members) and virtual format are designed to enable all who have an interest in state policy to attend.

Join us as we delve into innovative strategies, research, and best practices that will help us elevate teacher preparation programs to new heights. Together, we can work towards creating a brighter and more effective future for our educators and, in turn, for the students they inspire. Your participation in this event will be instrumental in shaping the future of teacher preparation. We look forward to your presence and contributions.

In California: Teacher Shortage and Opioid Crisis Bills Become Law

Like most states in the nation, California is experiencing a teacher shortage. Teacher recruitment has largely been led by the 1,000 individual districts in the state, and the California Department of Education (CDE) historically has not had the staffing capacity to engage in direct teacher recruitment or support in this area.

In recent months, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond launched a one-stop recruitment portal that allows teacher candidates to get information in one place, including how to pursue a teaching credential, how to find vacancies at districts, and ways to access resources to support their education and credentialing. Thurmond also hosted a Teacher Recruitment Summit in August and formally launched a coalition to further engage in direct recruitment of teacher candidates statewide.

#AACTE24 Early Bird Registration Rate Ends November 1

Tomorrow, November 1, is your last day to save with early bird registration. Students, faculty, leaders, K-12 administrators and staff, and education partners are invited to join AACTE at the 2024 Annual Meeting at the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, February 16–18.

This year’s Annual Conference theme, Ascending New Heights: Propelling the Profession into the Future, aligns with the association’s vision and mission to revolutionize education for all learners by elevating education and educator preparation through research, professional practice, advocacy, and collaboration.

Check out the preconference activities, take a further look at some of the Featured Sessions, or view the meeting schedule on AACTE’s website. Plus, new this year is the “Team” rate — register three or more individuals from your institution to save even more.

Learn more and register by November 1.

Washington Update: Speaker Johnson Elected, Department of Education Awards Grants for Fostering Diverse Schools

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.

Editor’s Note: This is the final Washington Update published on the Ed Prep Matters blog. The updates on federal policies and legislation will now be included in the biweekly member-exclusive AACTE Talks Policy newsletter from AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone. To read the latest issue, visit
On Wednesday, after three weeks of chaos, the United States House of Representatives elected Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) as speaker. Speaker Johnson was first elected to the House in 2016 after practicing constitutional law for two decades. Before his election as speaker, Johnson served as vice chair of the GOP Conference. Speaker Johnson was one of eight House members who served on former President Trump’s defense team during the first impeachment trial in the Senate. He also played a key role in assembling the House Republican case for objecting to the certification of former President Trump’s 2020 loss on January 6, 2021 — recruiting colleagues to support that effort and helming a legal brief seeking to overturn the 2020 election.

Inspiring Partnerships: Multimillion-Dollar Global Competition Sparks Learning Innovation

Spurring Advancements in Education Technology, Georgia State Partnership Benefits Students and Educators Around the World

Imagine an app at a child’s fingertips that uses insights about how they learn to help them solve a tricky math problem or a learning platform that can help upskill workers for the new economy. These are just two of the ideas that could soon be a reality thanks to a transformative undertaking known as the Tools Competition.

The competition was started in 2020 by The Learning Agency at the height of the COVID-19 epidemic as educators switched to emergency, online education. It brings together technologists, researchers, and educators from around the world to develop innovative learning solutions. Since its first cycle, the competition has named 80 winning ideas from 35 countries.

Georgia State University is a partner in the initiative which just launched — through November 10 — its latest search for candidates to design and develop cutting-edge, creative ideas to propel education technology further.

Register for the November 2 Lunch & Learn with David Slykhuis

Why Your Dean Wants You to Keep Your Outlook Calendar Up-To-Date and Other Microsoft 365 Tips

AACTE is pleased to offer Lunch & 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. Can’t make it virtually? All Lunch & Learns will be available on-demand for AACTE members. Watch them during your lunch break or whenever it is convenient for you.

Join us on Thursday, November 2, from 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET for AACTE’s Lunch & Learn, Why Your Dean Wants You to Keep Your Outlook Calendar Up-To-Date and Other Microsoft 365 Tips, with David Slykhuis, Ph.D., of Valdosta State University. This session will briefly touch on several of the important, and often underutilized abilities of Microsoft Office 365. Some examples include the following:

Education and Workforce Data Review Shows Promising State-Level Trends in Legislation

A new report by Data Quality Campaign (DQC) shows data legislation in various states that have passed into law could positively affect student performance.

In 2023, state legislators introduced 269 bills in 44 states and Washington D.C. that address data across education and the workforce, 72 of which became laws. The Education and Workforce Data Legislation Review by DQC spotlights the bills introduced and laws enacted in 2023 addressing data governance, as well as other recommendations for states to support data access through improved statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDSs).

Unlock Big Savings: Register Early for AACTE’s 2024 Annual Meeting

The 2024 AACTE Annual Meeting is not just an event; it’s a grand gathering of like-minded individuals, and a platform for learning, networking, and sharing unique perspectives in teacher preparation. Early registration for the Annual Meeting can be a money-saving strategy that offers multiple benefits, from budgetary savings to securing your spot.

With early bird registration closing on November 1, you have just over a week to lock in savings. Join us February 16-18 at the Gaylord Rockies in Aurora/Denver, CO, in Propelling the Profession into the Future. The AACTE 2024 Annual Meeting theme aligns with the association’s vision and mission to revolutionize education for all learners by elevating education and educator preparation through research, professional practice, advocacy, and collaboration. Check out the preconference activities, and take a further look at some of the Featured Sessions for 2024:

Using ATLAS to Help Preservice Teachers to See Structures of Teaching

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) has provided a useful resource for teacher preparation programs and in this post, I share a three-part strategy used to help preservice art teachers to develop a pedagogical mindset.

Accomplished Teaching Learning and Schools (ATLAS) is a resource of the NBPTS. The subscription-based site contains curated teaching videos, along with supporting commentary and instructional materials, submitted as part of teaching evaluations such as the edTPA, and National Board Certification. 

As a National Board Certified Teacher, I was keenly aware of the rigorous teaching expected of the NBPTS. So, as classrooms closed during the 2020 pandemic, I quickly signed up and searched the ATLAS database for teaching exemplars that would resonate with soon-to-be art teachers. I scanned through 50 art videos, selected one, and developed a simple three-part strategy for using the video in whole-group instruction. I use this approach twice a semester.

Voorhees’ Center of Excellence for Educator Preparation and Innovation Receives $26.7 Million Grant

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Voorhees University a $26.7 million grant to serve more than 850 teachers and nearly 11,000 students.

Voorhees’ Center of Excellence for Educator Preparation and Innovation is receiving a new Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program grant to improve student achievement in Fairfield County School District and Georgetown County School District.

The REAP: Rewarding Educator Achievement and Performance grant aims to improve the quality of education, elevate educator effectiveness, raise student achievement, and increase equity in learning.

Most Public Schools Face Challenges in Hiring Teachers, Other Personnel Entering the 2023-2024 Academic Year

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released the latest round of findings from the School Pulse Panel (SPP). These SPP data examine teaching and non-teacher staffing, technology/digital literacy, and community partnerships as reported by school leaders in U.S. public schools.

Key Findings

Staffing for 2023-2024 School Year

  • Forty-five percent of U.S. public schools report feeling that they are understaffed entering the 2023-2024 school year, a decrease from the 53 % of schools who felt understaffed entering the last school year (2022-2023).
    • For public schools that report feeling understaffed, 67 % of schools that have classroom aides report feeling understaffed in this area. Sixty-three percent that offer special education services report feeling understaffed in this area.
    • Outside of the classroom, public schools report feeling understaffed with their transportation staff (61 %) and mental health professionals (49 %).

Special Education Teacher Advocates Invited to First Meeting of AACTE, CEEDAR Collaboration

Championing Special Educators: Strategies for Recruitment & Retention in Educator Preparation, a Collaboration Between AACTE and CEEDAR

On October 31, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET, special education teacher advocates are invited to attend the first meeting of the new national affinity group, Championing Special Educators: Strategies for Recruitment & Retention in Educator Preparation.  The first meeting, Multiple Pathways into the Profession, will dive into two educator preparation programs providing innovative ways for students to obtain special education educator licensure.

Elena Andrei, Ed.D., and Claire E. Hughes, Ph.D., of Cleveland State University will share information on their DREAM project, a master’s program degree that results in two initial licensures (P-5, Early Childhood Intervention Specialist), and a TESOL endorsement.

New Research Brief Identifies Evidence-Based Practices to Enhance Student Teaching Programs

The first year of teaching is like a masterclass in adaptability and multitasking; teachers learn to balance daily teaching performance with the backstage work of grading, lesson planning, and learning to navigate the policies and practices of their new workplace. Student teaching experiences serve as the bridge connecting the pedagogical theories teachers acquire in teacher preparation programs to the dynamic, frequently turbulent, reality of the classroom. EdResearch for Action has released a research synthesis brief that explores how district leaders and education preparation providers can leverage evidence-based practices to chart a path toward ensuring novice teachers are at their most ready when they enter the classroom.

The brief, titled “Increasing Teacher Preparedness Through Effective Student Teaching,” weaves together findings drawn from over 75 research studies to identify what barriers to better student teaching experiences exist, in addition to what practices are truly effective and what practices fall short. What follows is a short summary of the brief’s findings.

Preview #AACTE24 Featured Sessions

Early bird registration is still open for the  AACTE 2024 Annual Meeting taking place February 16-18 at Gaylord Rockies in Aurora/Denver, CO. In addition to 150-plus interactive learning opportunities, AACTE will provide members with a robust and dynamic selection of “Featured Sessions” which provide a large-format, expert-facilitated exploration of a key topic. Take a look at some of the slated discussions for this year’s Annual Meeting.

Department of Education Launches New Centers, Biden-Harris Administration Announces Grants

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 of the writing of this update, the House has been without a speaker and effectively paralyzed for ten days.

Meanwhile, eyes around the world are focused on the horrific events occurring in Israel. The uptick in acts of antisemitism and Islamophobia at colleges and universities has prompted new pressure on the Department of Education to release a proposal that, as reported by Politico, would potentially force college administrators to investigate claims of discrimination against ethnic groups or risk losing federal money.

Congress will need to act swiftly to pass an aid package for both Israel and Ukraine and still needs to pass an FY24 spending bill before November 17 to avoid a potential government shutdown. 

With Congress caught up in the selection of a new Speaker of the House, today’s newsletter focuses on several recent announcements from the Biden-Harris Administration.