Archive for 2024

Preview AACTE’s Washington Week 2024: Testimonial from State Leaders

The June 3 – 5, 2024 AACTE Washington Week is just around the corner. This year’s national advocacy event for educator preparation will be held at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel in Arlington, VA, and on Capitol Hill.

AACTE’s legislative conference aims to improve member advocacy skills, including Congressional visits while advocating for policies that support educator preparation programs.

Combining programming from three distinct events — the State Leaders Institute, Holmes Policy Institute, and Day on the Hill — AACTE’s Washington Week establishes a mini-conference fostering heightened collaboration and networking opportunities.

National Center for Learning Disabilities Research and Survey

My name is Lauren Wong and I am from WestEd, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization engaged in educational technical support and research across the country. We are partnered with the National Center for Learning Disabilities, one of the nation’s leading organizations advancing the lives of individuals with learning disabilities through policy, innovation, practice, and outreach. We are working together to learn about the experiences, opinions, and perspectives of educators who teach students with learning disabilities. 

We are surveying K-12 educators who teach students with learning disabilities. Your participation in this survey will help us understand your experiences teaching students with learning disabilities, the needs you have related to professional development and access to resources, and your school’s climate. All information shared will be kept secure and will be de-identified to protect your privacy and confidentiality. Results from this survey will be used to guide NCLD’s efforts in outreach, policy, and advocacy.

Diversifying the Teaching Profession: Strategies for Success

A 2024 AACTE Session Recap and Reflection

The session “Diversifying the Teaching Profession: Strategies for Success” provided invaluable insights into evaluating, reimagining, and implementing supportive models for diversifying the teaching profession. The presenters reflected and provided various perspectives to emphasize the importance of having a diverse teaching workforce to support culturally and linguistically diverse students across the United States. Key highlights from the presentation include the importance of providing high-quality instruction for our students, which begins with teachers, leaders, and districts nationwide through excellent lines of work in teacher preparation, professional learning, education policy, and diversity, equity, and inclusion by explaining local and national strategies to diversify the teaching profession.

In this session, the discussion centered on the need to diversify the teaching profession locally and nationally. More specifically, the focus was on the innovative work being done by The Public Education Business Coalition (PEBC) in Colorado, which has a proven track record of successfully reaching and attracting a diverse pool of potential educators across the United States. With a national reach, the PEBC is leading the charge in promoting high-quality instruction by collaborating with teachers, leaders, and districts nationwide. Their work spans various areas, including teacher preparation, professional learning, education policy, diversity, equity, and inclusion. By leveraging their expertise in these areas, the PEBC is helping to create a more inclusive and equitable teaching profession that better reflects the diverse student population in our schools.

U.S. Department of Education Launches Government Coordinating Council to Strengthen Cybersecurity in Schools 

The U.S. Department of Education (Department), in coordination with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), launched the Government Coordinating Council (GCC) for the Education Facilities Subsector, a pivotal step forward in the national effort to enhance cybersecurity across K-12 educational institutions. This new council signifies an unprecedented level of collaboration between federal, state, tribal, and local governments to protect schools from cybersecurity threats. The Education Facilities Subsector is part of the Government Facilities Sector, one of 16 critical infrastructure sectors defined in Presidential Policy Directive 21. 

In recent years, the PK-12 cybersecurity landscape has become increasingly complex, with school districts across the country experiencing ransomware attacks that shut down schools and data breaches that expose sensitive health, financial, and educational data on students, families, and staff. The formation of the GCC is a direct response to these challenges, aiming to foster a more resilient and secure K-12 digital infrastructure through structured dialogue and shared best practices. 

In DC: OSSE Invests in Teacher Preparation, Pipelines, and Supports 

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) announced the expansion of a popular and successful educator coaching program, which will provide free instructional coaching to 75 DC public and public charter teachers who have completed DC Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) programs and have fewer than five years of teaching experience. This work builds on OSSE’s 2023-24 school year school leader coaching, which served nearly 200 school leaders who support over 2,000 DC school-based educators. 

“OSSE is proud to provide this coaching opportunity for new teachers who have completed their teacher training right here in the District,” said State Superintendent Christina Grant, Ed.D. “To improve student outcomes, teachers must be well prepared and well supported from the minute they set foot in the classroom, and investing in this one-on-one coaching resource will provide new teachers with the support they need to improve their instructional practice and ultimately make a meaningful impact on the social and academic success of DC students.” 

College of Education Sets New College Record for Gifts Received on NC State’s 2024 Day of Giving

On NC State University’s sixth Day of Giving, March 20, 2024, donors made 992 gifts to the College of Education, the most gifts the college has ever received on the day. Additionally, for the third year in a row, the college won the Faculty and Staff Giving Challenge.  

The gifts will go toward benefiting students and ensuring they are prepared to become extraordinary educators by creating and expanding scholarships, funding high-impact student experiences and equity initiatives, and fostering educational innovation.  

“Thanks to donor support on Day of Giving, more students will pursue their dream of becoming educators, more students will deepen their education through high-impact experiences and the College of Education will expand its reputation as the college that prepares North Carolina’s best educators,” said Matt Friedrick, the college’s executive director of development. 

Jaminque L. Adams, University of Georgia, Named March Holmes Scholar of the Month 

Jaminque L. AdamsFor March’s AACTE Holmes Scholar of the Month, we are thrilled to highlight Jaminque L. Adams, a doctoral candidate in the Educational Theory and Practice program at the University of Georgia (UGA). Adams’ research focuses on Black studies in education, centering the voices, labor, and experiences of Black women educators and their students. Her passion stems from her own journey as a student in Detroit Public Schools and a former teacher at a public charter school in Houston, TX. 

Adams’ commitment to uplifting Black women educators shines through her impressive scholarly work and involvement. In the summer of 2023, she was a summer research fellow and later selected as a graduate research assistant for the Black Teacher Archive Project at Harvard University. She is currently guest editing a special issue of Educational Studies Journal titled “When We See Us: The Interior Lives of Black Women Educators and Their Students Within Carceral Spaces.”  

Lunch & Learn: Howard University’s Award-Winning Elementary Education International Cultural Immersion Program 

AACTE has recognized Howard University with the 2024 AACTE Best Practice Award in Support of Global and International Perspectives for its elementary education program that integrates global experiences into the curriculum. On Thursday, April 4, from 1:00 to 1:45 p.m. ET, AACTE will host a Lunch & Learn where members can learn more about this program and how it serves as an exemplar in the intercultural, global, and cross-cultural arenas. 

The Best Practice Award in Support of Global and International Perspectives is sponsored by AACTE’s Committee on Global Diversity as part of its mission to ensure that a global/ international perspective is brought to policy and programs associated with the preparation of education professionals. 

How Leadership Potential Can Be Heightened Through Mentorship: Women’s History Month 

Navigating the dynamic landscape of higher education in Florida as a Black woman academic presents a unique set of challenges in today’s political climate. However, amidst these challenges lies an opportunity to catalyze transformation for future generations. As minority women, we often find ourselves in spaces where representation is lacking, our voices may be marginalized, and the path forward appears uncertain. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Black faculty represent only about 6% of all faculty in colleges and universities. Furthermore, 2% of full and 5% of assistant professors are Black women. Many Black women in academia struggle to find support from mentors and influential figures who can advocate for their advancement into leadership positions. Navigating one’s career becomes even more daunting when access to cultural or social capital is limited.  

From my journey as an undergraduate student to a doctoral candidate, my mentors have instilled in me the belief that my presence in this space is a personal triumph and a legacy for those who came before me and those who will follow. This conviction has been my guiding light throughout my higher education journey. As a faculty member at a predominantly white institution (PWI), I intentionally mentor, coach, support, and empower minority women in academia. Mentorship is a powerful tool through which I aim to model the type of servant leadership needed in education.  

Biden-Harris Administration Approves Additional $5.8 Billion in Student Debt Relief for 78,000 Public Service Workers

President Biden will email an additional 380,000 public service workers thanking them for their service and notifying them they are on track to have their debt cancelled through PSLF within two years 

The Biden-Harris Administration announced the approval of $5.8 billion in additional student loan debt relief for 77,700 borrowers. These approvals are the result of fixes made by the Administration to Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). Today’s announcement brings the total loan forgiveness approved by the Biden-Harris Administration to $143.6 billion for 3.96 million Americans. This action builds on President Biden and his Administration’s efforts to provide debt relief to as many borrowers as possible as quickly as possible. 

“For too long, our nation’s teachers, nurses, social workers, firefighters, and other public servants faced logistical troubles and trap doors when they tried to access the debt relief they were entitled to under the law. With this announcement, the Biden-Harris Administration is showing how we’re taking further steps not only to fix those trap doors, but also to expand opportunity to many more Americans,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “Today, more than 100 times more borrowers are eligible for PSLF than there were at the beginning of the Administration. The Biden Administration is turning a promise broken under our predecessor into a promise kept.” 

Special Education Teacher Advocates Invited to AACTE, CEEDAR Meeting

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

On March 28, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET, special education teacher advocates are invited to attend the next meeting of the national affinity group, Championing Special Educators: Strategies for Recruitment & Retention in Educator Preparation.  This meeting will explore wellness strategies for teacher candidates. 

Tyler Hester, Ed.D. and Hallie Fox, Ph.D., both of Educators Thriving, a nonprofit organization that supports educators thriving as professionals and people, will share the most common pitfalls that lead to educator burnout and the six factors that predict educator well-being. Additionally, Casey Woodfield, Ph.D. and Alicia Drelick, Ph.D., faculty in the Wellness and Inclusive Services in Education Department at Rowan University will share practical strategies and tools they have used with preservice teachers in the classroom to center wellness and to humanize their teaching practices. Meeting attendees will explore a range of tools that center wellness and model person-centered approaches in the classroom.  

In North Carolina: 20 Public School Units to Receive Nearly $1 Million in STEM Grants

Twenty North Carolina public school units (PSUs) will benefit from nearly $1 million in grants intended to expand and enrich Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. The Increasing Engagement in STEM grants, included in the most recent budget by the General Assembly, provide funds to PSUs to engage grades 6-8 students in experiential STEM education programs. 

The grant opportunity generated significant interest across the state, with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) receiving 68 applications — 43 from local education agencies (LEAs), or school districts, and 25 from charter schools. 

Igniting Revolutionary Change: Women’s Fearless Leadership in Educator Preparation

As the vice president of Holmes Scholars and an emerging scholar forging my own path, I am utterly resolute in amplifying the voices of fearless women leaders who are radically transforming educator preparation. For too long, the narratives shaping how we mold future teachers have been exclusive and upheld oppressive systems. But, trailblazing women are boldly dismantling these barriers through revolutionary leadership — and their impact demands thunderous celebration.

My role in Holmes Scholars has granted me witness to the seismic power of centering equity and justice. By elevating scholars from systematically marginalized backgrounds, we unapologetically disrupt the status quo. Our work challenges educator preparation programs to embrace culturally sustaining, anti-racist pedagogies as the unbending foundation. This is the path we must persist on with relentless courage.

Calling All Holmes Scholars in Early Childhood Special Education Programs: Funding and Professional Development Opportunities

AACTE is proud to offer financial and professional development support to Holmes scholars enrolled in doctoral studies in early childhood special education to help them take their research and careers to the next level through our partnership program with the Early Childhood Intervention Personnel Center on Equity (ECIPC-E) at the University of Connecticut. This national initiative, funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, aims to enhance outcomes for infants and young children with disabilities and their families by bolstering the pipeline of skilled early childhood leaders and practitioners.